You know, some people get excited about black and white border collies, but not me. I love being different. I like to stand out. For example even though I am from East Tennessee I don’t root for the Vols. Oh no, I’m a Bama fan. Mostly because I wanted to go against the norm. Same with dogs. I want to stand out, to be seen. When we are trailing cows I can easily spot my dogs among the dogs. It’s just in my nature I guess.
Well I started with Joe. He is my male. I have to also mention that he tends to think he’s human. If you are around him long you will notice his distinct personality. Unlike most border collies he is a people dog. He wants love and attention. He has a pain threshold that is above the norm and therefore he must be monitored or he will destroy himself to work for you. In the past two years he has broken a front leg that required a confinement (that he enjoyed emensly), he has had allergic reactions to the sun, a growth has developed in one eye, so he is on constant prednisone. Two weeks ago he had three teeth pulled. Let’s just say life for a cattle dog is hard at 8 years old he is starting to age. He no longer can trail and must be put up when we trail near the house, because he will show up and work through the pain to do his job. He is such an amazing dog not only as a pet and friend, but also a top notch working dog.
Next we have Tink. She is Joe’s daughter. She has tremendous instinct and has been an amazing cattle dog. She has his personality, but is more timid to people. Her one vice is thunder. Oh my, when it storms you defiant her inside. When we have not been home and a storm has come up she has literally ripped every screen trying to get in. She likes to venture and lives attention. My daughter used her in dog classes through 4-H and she did great. She has become the go to dog for my husband since Joe’s retirement.
Last is my dog Jipsey. Oh dear where to begin with this one. She has drive and determination that goes beyond the norm. She can’t wait to work cows and lives for feeding time. At this point she is still living inside because her work ethic will take her away from the house. You either give her cows to work, or she will find some cows. They will may be ours or the neighbors it need not matter. If they are in sight, they need to go somewhere. At a little over a year, I just love her. She is progressing nicely with commands and is really starting to transition into wanting to please me with her work rather than just work.
I’m waiting for her to come back into heat to breed her with Joe. I have several people waiting for these pups and with Joe’s advancing age, it must be done soon.
Well these are our reds. Our joy and our love. Cattle work could not happen without them. They are as much a part of our operation as the people on horseback.