The Stock Dog Story

The comments about seeing a Border Collie photo got me thinking how I've never shared the  early story of the stock dogs.  I do have a Border Collie, in fact I have two and a half Border Collies.   The Border Collie in the post Let's Just Sit For A Moment, and the Just Watching And Waiting post, is Jayde.  Jayde was the go-to dog for several years and is mentioned often early in the blog.  She and Cajun have tackled many jobs with me.  She is ten years old now, although it is not her age that slows her down, it is swollen joints.  She is semi-retired from stock work, meaning occasionally I give her short jobs to do but don’t ask her to work long days or do long gathers.  She joins us in all the other activities though, surrounded by Kelpies and all. 

The other Border Collie, Fynn, is fully retired to the couch, he is thirteen years old but is in better shape than Jayde as he did not work nearly as hard as she has in her life.   When we moved here eleven years ago, five dogs made the move with us.  Fynn was the youngest dog of that pack. 

The next oldest dog in that pack was a Border Collie cross we adopted from an animal shelter - that dog, Chance, was the reason we bought our first five sheep.  At the time this place was a crop farm one end to the other.  That dog and those five sheep ended up being the leverage for a lot of changes here (hence the name Dog Tale Ranch).  I started teaching Chance and Fynn on the sheep, or trying to.  Chance loved it, Fynn enjoyed it as long as no one got upset and stressed him out.  The moment things looked dicey though, he’d leave you high and dry to move sheep yourself. 

Fynn is now the oldest dog of my current pack, and out of that original pack of five, he is the last dog  who is still with us today.  Jayde arrived a couple years after we moved here, when we were changing over from crop farming to raising sheep.  I wised up and bought a trained, started dog to show me the ropes of sheep work.  Cajun (a Kelpie) came along about three years later.

Oh, and the half border collie - that’s Coyote Mic, she is a Border Collie / Kelpie cross who looks like a Kelpie.

While I have leaned in the direction of the Kelpie in recent years, the door remains open for the right Border Collie.  I love both breeds and I love that I have experienced both types of dogs and amongst them, dogs with such different working styles. 


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