So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Kaylee is gone now, and with her, I’m ending a chapter of my life. My next service dog will not be a collie. I’m not sure I’ll have another one at all, and if I do, it’ll be years in the future. This blog will no longer be updated- I may or may not delete it, I haven’t decided. But I felt like it was wrong just to abandon it with no notice at all.
It’s been fun, y’all. The good has mostly outweighed the bad, and despite how I feel right now, I’m not sorry. Not sorry I brought Kaylee into my life, and not sorry for all the wonderful people I’ve met through the breed- not any of it.

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Quiet fall…

Plans are being made for a winter litter, and other than that, we’re just keepin’ on, keepin’ on, as my mom used to say. 🙂

Pebbles picked up her first UKC points at the NETXAEDA show on Halloween weekend, and will be back out in December, hopefully. 🙂

Kaylee is a guest on another blog!

Kaylee was featured in a photo post over at Dreameyce with her favorite houseguest ever, my friend Emily’s daughter Dea!!

Things are pretty busy around here- we’re getting ready for the Aussie Nationals, where I’ll be vending, and not much is going on…. more updates soon.

Obedience practice with Kaylee

While I’ve been recovering from surgery, I’ve been staying with my parents. So Mom (primarily- Dad is out of town at our family ranch) and Stuart (my younger brother who just finished his MBA at DU and is job hunting (if anyone needs a new MBA minion, he’s willing to relocate.) Given that they don’t MAKE her do anything, feed her lots of cookies, and provide lots of petting (and my mom was very well trained by Indy to require very little of dogs but to provide them with every thing they could ever want at one adorable head tilt- she’s particularly susceptible to tan-pointed dogs as a result), it doesn’t really surprise me that Kaylee has started to prefer them over me, a little. She’s been off work with an ear infection for several weeks and well, I’ve been letting things slide and not making practice fun as much as I should.

We didn’t work for long- we just did a little bit of heeling, focusing on a slightly forged position and a lot of enthusiasm, and then some work on sit stays while I worked with Lizzie- it was really nice to see her having FUN working for a change. She’s not a dog who lives to work like Wings was- she works for her food and because I make it fun. (It’s one of the things I find interesting about her and Pebbles- Pebbles comes up and tries to intiate training sessions- Kaylee waits for me to initiate them, and she’s happy enough to participate for a reasonable amount of reinforcement, but Pebbles finds just the attention alone reinforcing enough to want to do more- more on this in another musing post, which will probably end up on the training blog instead of this one.)

Not a big post. 🙂 Just a ‘this is what we did today.’

12 Things To Love About Collies

  1. Sweetness
    If there’s one word for the breed, it’s sweetness. They’re just lovey dogs without being saccharine.
  2. A coat for everyone (who doesn’t mind shedding)!
    Whether you like a no-maintenance short coat or the glorious fluffy rough, you can have it. 😛
  3. Pointy noses.
    Pointy noses for kissing!
  4. Energy level
    I love that collies are generally up for any adventure you are- even if it’s watching it on the television cuz you feel like crap.
  5. Variety!
    Collies come in a color for everyone- from the classic mahogany sables to silvery blue merles to tricolors.
  6. Ability to get along with other pets
    Dog aggression exists in collies, but it’s really rare. And while Lassie’s a myth, they really ARE good with most other pets and animals.
  7. Enthusiasm
    While a bouncing off the wall with drive collie is not exactly common, most of them are up for anything YOU are willing to put the energy into.
  8. Versatility
    Collies are really great generalists- good for people like me who like to dabble in a lot of sports. Most collies like the variety.
  9. Perfect size
    Big enough to really HUG, small enough to pick up in an emergency.
  10. Pointy noses!
    I realize I already said this, but they ARE very important. They are good for poking into things- Kaylee’s alerts are nose-pokes.
  11. Good with kids
    No, I don’t have kids (or any plans to have any, ever), and it isn’t anything magical- you still have to socialize them. But most collies seem to genuinely like children, which kind of mystifies me- but it’s nice to be able to use attention even the screamiest toddler as a reward for your collie holding a down and having it be the BEST JACKPOT EVER instead of a huge distraction.
  12. Colliefluff
    Colliefluff is a really nice fiber to work with. I felt most of what I get, but I’m told it works well for spinning too. (Kaylee’s coat texture is not wonderful.) It comes in wonderful colors.

Additional update

This blog will be moving to it’s own site shortly, hosted by DailyData.

How cute is this?

Polymer clay pin of a tricolor smooth collie in profile by Dreameyce Studio/Emily Godlevsky

Polymer clay pin of a tricolor smooth collie by Dreameyce Studio

(Please pause for a brief commercial message!)

My friend Emmy made this pin for me when I got Malcolm as a puppy 2 years ago. It’s super-cute, and I still wear it all the time. I went to visit her in January and she had a new style featuring all three of her own dogs (Cardigan Corgis Traum and Galaxy & Catahoula mix Covey). I definitely need to get her to make me one of the whole crew before it gets any bigger!

It’s relatively difficult to find collie stuff that features a color other than sable or an expression other than “Regal gazing into the distance.” Emmy’s work captures the whimsy and expression that I adore about collies in a way that’s totally unique, and she has some great poses! Go see her work at Etsy.

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