Tip...what a dog. Border collies are like no other breed that is for sure. You better be ready for a wild ride when you obtain a border collie.
Shelby was born in October of 1994. She never saw a day care or a preschool, so she was home with me and the first five years I had her all to myself. So, when it was time for her to go to school...there was an empty spot in my life. In October of 2001 we went to the Georgia National Fair just as we always do. Each year there is a demonstration done by a man with extraordinary dogs. One in particular. His name is Tip. This dog lives to work, I mean really, non stop. When he is chained to the fence waiting his turn in the demonstration he loops around and steps over the chain over and over, staring intently at the sheep in the pen area. I think this obsession has been what has kept him alive today. Tip (my Tips Daddy) has had cancer for two years, but he doesnt know it apparently. He will be 11 or 12 years old now...and I hope he will still be alive when we go, not letting the cancer get him.
So, back to my Tip. We had been talking for some time about getting a dog. We both knew we wanted a border collie, but we wanted the dog from real working stock...none of this back yard breeder stuff. I have seen what back yard breeding does to border collies. When Shelby was in elementary school her school had a "Dog Day" one weekend. You brought your dog to show off his or her talents. We set up the agility course for Tips talents. There was another border collie there. He had had all the instinct of a border collie bred out of him, you could tell, you could see it in his eyes, the passion and obsession this type of dog has was gone. He did not crouch...his stance was like any normal dog. A herding dog slinks...has an intense stare towards what it is herding. This dog had none of that, and it was sad really.
Wow I keep trailing off dont I. LOL
So we brought our money and got the last pup he had. Sired by Tip...a national champion herding dog among other achievements. He sold the pup to us for a hundred dollars less just because he wanted the pup to go to a dedicated home and he felt we were the ones to have her.
That was the start of a whole new world. What a dog. She was great. I no longer had to yell for the cats to stop popping their claws on the furniture or puking on my bed covers. She was on top of things. All it took was one pop, one puking sound and she was on their butts. I am down to one cat now, and then that will be all for me. I am done with cats. Where we used to live there was an overabundance of squirrels. So many my bird feeders were almost always under attack. She was always on top of things, a black and white streak out the door to chase them away. Sometimes there would be as many as twenty squirrels out there...what fun for her!
When my first chickens started living outdoors in their new chicken house we began to have a rat problem. Even taking up food does not keep rats away. See, rats eat the chicken poop too. Yes, I know...gross. She was on top of that too, along with my have a heart trap, of which I had no heart if one was unlucky enough to get trapped...if you know what I mean. It was dispatched to rat heaven right away.
A couple of miles from our old home there was a couple that had dogs that ran agility. Their back yard backed up to the road and you could see the jumps, teeters, weave poles, all of that. So one day I stopped in and asked about it all...we talked for a long time...she made everything herself out of PVC pipes and such. So you guessed it, I went and got what I needed and started making stuff. I have a few pictures of these...I will post later. I made my own tunnel at first then later I bought a collapsing tunnel and a regular tunnel off of the internet.
As we practiced and got better I talked to the man that had sold her to us...he inquired as to what we had been doing with Tip and I told him. He asked if we might like to do a little run and add to his herding demonstration showing the diversity of the border collie.
I am going to continue this...but I dont want this to get too long...so I will be back.