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Living With Border Collies

I continue to be amazed at the things I did not know before I lived with Border Collies. Generally I sum this up with the comment: I did not know I need help herding my socks on and off my feet. However, it is true. Despite having donned my own socks for probably 48 years without any apparent problems, both Mamma Mudge and Houdini are convinced I need reminders and aid in the process.

Living with Border Collies is entertaining, frustrating, annoying, satisfying, and educational. Anyone who owns dogs of any breed will probably have seen the collected list of Dog Light Bulb jokes. You know, "How many Irish Setters does it take to change a light bulb? None, they just sit there in the dark." The one for Border Collies is: How many Border Collies does it take to change a light bulb? Answer? "I've changed the light bulb, and oh by the way the electric cord was frayed so I fixed that. And while I was at it I noticed the house wiring needed to be upgraded, and that's done, plus the plumbing is unclogged and the laundry done. I'm about to start on mowing the lawn."

One of the earliest things I learned is they need direction. Give them something to do, and they're content. They'll do it. Don't stop giving them something to do, though, because they will find something to do. So I allowed the Border Collie Bros to start wandering through the Internet Place via my LJ. Not content with this, they made their own LJ, bordercolliebrs.

And this is some of the stuff they find and herd back to their LJ. WARNING: If you follow the link they've posted there... put down your drinks and food, and swallow whatever you've got in your mouth before starting.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 10th, 2006 02:31 pm (UTC)
i miss my standard collie. mind you, probably not as intelligent and savant as a border... because we do know those are the peak of doggiedom... but scotty was a good dog.

who used to herd me like nobody's business!
Jul. 10th, 2006 06:26 pm (UTC)
Re: heh.
BorderCollies. Herding R us!
Jul. 10th, 2006 07:16 pm (UTC)
Your lovely dogs suggested I get in touch with you for more information about living with Border Collies. Our family (me, zedrikcayne and three cats) is getting ready to move from an apartment to a house, with a yard, and we're thinking about a dog. It was suggested, based on what I described as our parameters and desire, that I look for a herding breed, since none of my favorite breeds are well suited for where we currently live. I know, as the companion of three border collies you can probably tell me quite a bit about what it's like sharing with them. If you have the time, and inclination, I'd like to chat or exchange some e-mail about it sometime.
Jul. 10th, 2006 07:33 pm (UTC)
Certainly! The e-mail on my info page should work, and you can also try madshutterbug at gmail dot com (sorry; trying to avoid spambots here). Keep in mind we do live on a small ranch with goats and cows for the Bros and their Mamma to work with. Oh, and including Mamma Mudge, it's four BC we live with.

I can put your cat's mind to ease a bit; the Bros do fine with our cats, though they will try herding them as well.
Jul. 10th, 2006 07:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I'm sure Beta, Widget and Gizmo will appreciate a dog that does well with cats.
Jul. 10th, 2006 07:43 pm (UTC)
We had a Border Collie for a few years when I was small. Some asshole decided to abandon her at the side of US 1, from whence she wandered over to the farm of some dear friends who raised Australian shepherds, who found her, fed her, and passed her on to us.

We think that Gypsy must have been abused by the person who abandoned her, because she would cringe if you happened to raise your arm the wrong way. and she was afraid of the swinging dog door, because after she'd gone through the laws of physics (see pendulums) would cause it to swing forward and bump her on the butt.

Gypsy was a good dog but I don't remember her trying to herd anything or anyone (though later we got an Aussie who was the runt of a litter and too small to show; maybe they herded each other when they got bored). Granted, we didn't teach her to, but still.

All this talk about instinct makes me wonder what happened to Gypsy that she was content to sit and be a dog of leisure, so long as nobody reached up to change a light bulb. Did they break her spirit? What did they do? There must be a Special Hell for people who are so cruel. I hope so.
Jul. 10th, 2006 08:10 pm (UTC)
Well, animals are individuals; she might have been, among other things, an atypical border collie who was content to just sit. But yeah, I too hope there is a special ring of hell for people who are cruel to animals for which they're responsible.
Jul. 10th, 2006 08:08 pm (UTC)
Heh. When I managed the Dogs CD ROM for Microsoft, one of the things we said about border collies was that they'd herd anything, including your socks, and they were great dogs but they HAD to have jobs to do.

"I've changed the light bulb, and oh by the way the electric cord was frayed so I fixed that. And while I was at it I noticed the house wiring needed to be upgraded, and that's done, plus the plumbing is unclogged and the laundry done. I'm about to start on mowing the lawn."

Obviously I need a border collie.
Jul. 11th, 2006 02:44 am (UTC)
love keeping up with your adventurous life and love the notes by the collies. Think I may try doing a blog to keep you and Cathy up with news, after all life with an 8 yr old with ADHD is lively and exciting. Now I just need to learn how. Tell the herders that there are no growlybeasties here but lots of painting supplies to herd and I can use all the help I can get.
Artist in Training
Jul. 11th, 2006 12:52 pm (UTC)
Artist in Training works well for the name of the blog, too! You need to either take out the spaces, or add underscores "_" though. *G* It seems I remember a lot of growlybeasts up there though; at least between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Maybeso not so many Sky Grumblers.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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