Monday, July 14, 2008

I was born in Indiana in April of 2007. My new owners struggled to name me. They finally settled on April, the month of my birth. I was eleven weeks old when my new owners came to my place of birth. They played with a number of my litter mates as well as me. I just climbed in the ladies lap. I refused to be put down. My litter mates did not care. They just walked away. In a short time, I was in the car going to my new home. I adjusted to my new life rather quickly. My first recollections were that I was being taken outside nearly all the time. It took me several months to understand why.

I made a good choice for a home because it was on a country, wooded lot with really big trees and a fenced, nice, big yard. The forest adjacent to my new home was a neat feature. It is large and natural. Often we go for long walks on the deer trails. I have found baby rabbits and two Eastern box turtles on the many walks in the forest. I am not allowed disturb the creatures I find. I am allowed to smell them. Most of the time I find the animals. My human's nose is to high off the ground to smell well. When we go for a walk on a hot afternoon, I am sometimes allowed to swim in the pond or the creek found in the woods near my house. I like chasing sticks so much, they throw them into the water and I retrieve them. I often refuse to come out of the water. I can swim all day. Swimming is a game of "border collie chess," they throw the sticks into the water and I retrieve them. I drop them in the creek where they cannot get them. They have to go find more sticks while I stand in the water. I love controlling my owners behavior. Maybe some day they will think of a way to make me do all the work. My owner has solved the problem of my not coming out of the water. He just walks down the creek twenty feet or so and I come out of the water with the stick.

I love the snow in the Winter. I will play in the snow for long periods of time. I just love the fluffy stuff. When my owners runs the snow thrower, I try to catch the snow. This is great fun. Snowballs are fun to catch.

Around the house, I am very well behaved. I have the run of the place. I don't chew or destroy anything in the house. My favorite thing to do is play ball in the house. I have many soft, rubber balls that I can play with. I bring a ball to my owners and I do not allow them to take it from my mouth. I pull away just as they reach for it. If they do get the ball, I run to the living room. My owner's throw the ball in my direction. I usually catch the ball. If I miss, it is my owner's fault. They can be lousy throwers. I like to play this game anywhere from two to three thousand times a day. We border collies need attention and exercise. I also like to remove the ventilation register where the heat and cooling come out. They are on the floor. I love to see my owner's expression when I drop a ball into the heating duct. They sure can move fast when I do that. So far, I have dropped at least five balls down those shafts. My owners say strange words when I am able to drop a ball they can't get.

I have a toy box that is keep in the kitchen. When I am left along, I play with the toys. They are all over the house when I am finished. Most of the time, if the weather permits, I get to ride in the car and do errands. I really enjoy going different places. My favorite place is Walgreen's drive-up window. They always give me treats. I love treats. I will do most anything for a treat.

Outside, I will not chase a ball. I only chase sticks and retrieve them. I like to do this activity two to three thousand times a day. Sticks are not allowed in the house. I have a pile of sticks at the front door and similar pile at the back door. When we go for a walk, I always bring home another stick. I love sticks. Frisbee is fun for two or three tosses. I am not getting into the Frisbee thing. I catch it but I rather chew it up than play with it. I have chewed at least five Frisbees to total uselessness. My owners are not happy with my Frisbee behavior.

My next big experience was a long car ride to a place far away. When the car finally stopped, I met the grandchildren of my owner's daughter. We all became fast friends. I also met my mentor, Dugan, a border collie that was much older than I. I quickly learned from Dugan the proper border collie attitudes and some I should not have learned. The mother of the grandchildren, Mrs. R, I instantly liked and she became my beloved care taker when my owners went to California. The children's father, Mr. B., on the other hand, it was an enemy from the beginning. I also decided not to get along with Riley the other dog that lived in this house. I got jealous and growled at her and started a fight. The people stopped the fight and we were separated. Recently, I visited my buddies and I had a great time. I also get along well with Riley now. Dugan is my idol. As far as Mr. B. is concerned, he just ignores me. I know he is there, but I no longer growl at him. He does, at times, give me treats.

Most of my first year was learning how to live with my owners. I was quick to catch on. They insisted that I ring a cow bell when I wanted to go out. I refused to do this for months. Then one day I really needed to go out and I rang the bell. My owners quickly figured out I was stubborn and that I knew what to do. This jig was up. Now I ring the bell whenever I need to go out. I ring the bell loudly when there is a squirrel in my yard. It sounds like three ice cream trucks at once.
I also ring the bell when the deer come to the salt lick located just outside the fence. They come every day. Recently, a doe and three fawns we at the salt lick. Triples, I was told.

I love chasing squirrels. Some squirrels get bold and come to the bird feeder. At first I would not rest until the door was opened and I chased the furry critters off the property. I have a zero tolerance policy for squirrels in my yard. Lately, I bark a lot at squirrels in my yard. My owners get up and open the back door. I refuse to go out. I have learned that the squirrels "high tail it" at the sound of the door opening. I don't have to chase them anymore. My owners are perplexed at this new behavior. This is another border collie chess game. I have to be one step ahead of my owners. Now the "ball" is in there court. What will they think of to counter this move? I have also learned how to open the outside doors when I am left outside. The outside doors each have a lever and I just pull it down and push.

My owners insisted that I greet strangers and allow them to pet me. Being a bit stubborn, I refused to be nice to some strangers. They introduced me to the dog park so I would be familiar with other dogs and other people. During my first visit, I stayed in the corner. I was scared. After a few visits, I began to play with the other dogs and I allowed strangers to pet me. Occasionally, I would growl at a person. Now I just play at the park and I let everyone pet me.

The real fun for me came when I met the next door neighbor. I growled at him and lunged at him. He jumped back and went in the house. That is when I knew I could control some humans. The neighbor has not been seen in weeks. My owners are careful where they take me. I had great fun growling at many things they introduced me to. I don't growl much any more. I growl at strangers who come into the house or when they leave the house.

My owners figured I needed to experience farm life and that I should learn to herd like my dad Spud. My mom, Bonnie, does not herd. Recently we went for a car ride into the country. We arrived at a farm with animals I never met. Listening to the humans, I was there to test my herding skills. At first all I wanted to do was get out of the pen. There were three large animals and a human standing on the far side of the pen. I tried to climb out and dig out of that pen. A lady, called Mary, pulled me toward the animals with no success. Then one of my owners entered the pen with me and I knew this was OK. I chased the animals and then ran away from me. I changed direction and so did they. The lady in the pen kept putting this paddle in my face to keep me a safe distance from the animals. I was having the time of my life chasing the animals they call sheep. In a short time, I was totally spent. My owners took me out of the pen for a drink and a rest. After a short time, I was back herding sheep. I loved it. The trainer told my owners I had talent to herd. They seemed pleased. I believe they will be taking me back another day for more chasing of the sheep. I can't wait.

I have been to the farm five times. I still herd sheep. I am a bit reluctant to enter the pen. My owners and Mary have decided to stop my lessons. It takes five years to become good at herding. My owners are senior citizens and they are concerned that they will be using walkers to enter the pen by the time I get really good at herding sheep.

My owners grandchildren from Ohio came to visit for several days. I had the time of my life playing with them. We are real buddies. We go everywhere together. We have a great time playing together. Sometimes I think I would be better off in a family with kids. It would be more fun.

I love to dig in the dirt. My owners will not let me dig in the yard. If I start digging, I hear "NO DIG" and I stop. Recently, my owner decided to make the flower garden much smaller and to plant grass in the part where flowers used to be. I was allowed to help dig for two days. For every shovel of dirt that was dug up, it was my job to separate the clumps of dirt into fine particles. That was fun! When the dirt was moved to a new location, I was allowed to dig. I am allowed to dig in that section of the property. If it is muddy, my owners get upset with my digging. They wash my feet in a bucket before I can get back in the house.

One of my favorite treats is a cup of "Frosty Paws" they buy at the grocery store. On a hot afternoon, I often get a cup of that to lick. In five minutes, I have it gone. I love those treats.

I hope you like my selection in music. I picked it out myself. The barking does get to me though.

One of my relatives just was named 1st Place picture for Kong Dog Products. Hmm, I look just like him. Lassie, can Hollywood be calling next?

I am excited. My best buddies are coming for several days this weekend. We are going to play Frisbee Golf in the woods. There is a course set-up down by the creek. Of course, in border collie tradition, the rules will be a bit different. I get to grab the Frisbee and run with it. That should make the golf game a bit harder. The border collie scores 10, my best buds 9 each. My owner a big ZERO. I can't wait. The Spirit of the Woods will be watching the whole event.

The Frisbee Golf lasted only several minutes. This border collie just took the frisbees. Everyone decided to go down to the creek. We had a great time in the creek. We all came home very wet.

On September 16, 2008 there was some excitement at our home. My owners became grandparents again - a girl and a boy - twins. They are the children of my owner's son and his wife. They live in California. Grandma went out and bought baby balloons and attached them to the mail box announcing the new born's. When grandpa and I went for our walk several days later, the neighbor congratulated us on the two new puppies at our house. The neighbors figured that there was no way my owners were parents again so they assumed I gave birth to two puppies. See the Pics of the new borns.

Christmas has come and gone and not too much news to report. I was out for a ride with my owner and he stopped at the neighbors. Everytime we stop at this neighbors house I bark at the man. Everytime he has a treat for me. The neighbor wanted to pet me under the chin so he placed his right hand inside the car window and held a treat in his left hand about a foot behind the right hand. I figured this was a trick. So I placed my left paw in his right hand forcing it down while I moved forward to get the treat. I out smarted him. We border collies are smart. He is not going to pet me. It is my little game.

Christmas pictures of the Calfifornia twins are now on the site. I can't wait to meet them.

I have over time developed a herd of my own. Being a border collie, a herding breed, I want my herd together. When the California side of the family visited in the summer of 2010 and again in February 2011, I was not happy. In my mind they did not belong in the house or were part of my herd. I did my best to scare them away and my owners relegated me to the basement while they were visiting. Ugh. I will never consider them as part of my herd. They had a chance to be nice, but when Randy had my Frosty Paw treat, that was the last straw. I protested by showing my teeth and lunging at him. Randy having a my Frosty Paw is unacceptable to me. I got my Frosty Paw and Randy finally went home. The family went back to California and I have the run of the house again.

When my owners went to California in March 2011, I was allowed to stay in the house and the girls down the block took care of me for a week. It was better than kennel life.

My most notable accomplishment is the time I stopped a crime. It was May 2011 on a sunny, warm day. I was riding with all the car windows down. The lady of the house was driving and she left the car to get something in a store. When she returned, a street person began to approach the car from the rear. He planned to reach in and take my owner's purse. The street person apparently did not see me. I was very quiet and calm as I watched him approach the open car. The street person began to reach in and take the purse. Unfortunately for him, I was in rare form. I jumped into the open window showing my teeth and barking a in threatening manner. He withdrew his arm and ran off. My owner gave me a big hug for stopping the purse theft. I hope to meet McGruff the crime dog someday.

It is now March 2012 and I will be 5 years old on the 23 of April 2012. I still love the walks everyday in the woods, catching rubber balls, and retrieving sticks.

We border collies are very smart. I love to invent games to play. When the weather is bad, my owners walk on the treadmill. I invented the game where I drop the ball ball on the front of the treadmill. The ball rolls on to the moving mat. My owners then kick the ball to get it past me. I catch the ball 99% of the time and I repeat the process a hundred times over. The rules are mine. I also have rules about stick throwing too. If any game is not played by my rules, I sit and I will not participate.

Being a border collie is fun. I hope you enjoy my Blog.

April the border collie.