The past few days have been busy ones for us. In addition to celebrating my birthday and doing Thanksgiving prep, we have also had a house guest.
Jack, a four-month-old border collie mix spent three days with us, hanging out with the Bagley Pack and enjoying plenty of running and playing. He had been relinquished by his former owner, who did not have the time and energy his care demanded. We enjoyed his company until he was placed with another family.
Like many border collie puppies, Jack was probably adopted because he was cute, alert, and personable. However, border collies, as well as many of the other herding breeds, demand much more in terms of exercise, stimulation and discipline than other dogs we consider as “house pets.” They are, by nature, working dogs. They need direction and a job in order to thrive. It has been said that if you don’t give a border collie a job, he/she will invent one…and you probably won’t like it. Jack’s first owner was, unfortunately, unprepared for the demands of such a canine dynamo.
I was fortunate; my first border collie, Nickie, chose for herself the job of removing leaves from our backyard pool when she was not competing in canine agility or herding. The first thing every morning when she went out, she patrolled the perimeter of the pool and carefully fished out leaves that had fallen overnight. She monitored the pool during the day, and repeated her patrol as necessary. That wasn’t her only job, though; she assumed the responsibilities of pack leader when our Lucky Dog passed away from old age. And, she was also in charge of rat removal as needed. Other border collies have chosen less desirable jobs, such as digging up the back yard, tunneling under fences or chewing up the furniture and drapes. We were so glad Nickie chose something less destructive.
Rue has chosen ball fetching as one of her jobs, along with backyard squirrel patrol.
Fortunately, we are also able to take her to herd sheep a couple of times each week with our coach, Sheryl McDonald. Rue also herds our cattle when we are at the farm. Colt, a retired herding champion, has chosen to herd Rue and Kota when cattle and sheep are not available. Keeping busy is high on all their lists.
We don’t know what jobs Jack will take over at his new home. However, while with us he exhibited a fondness for chewing both real and Nylabones.
He also enjoyed playing with Kota’s frisbee and Rue’s balls.
We hope his new family will provide proper training, discipline and creative outlets for his energy and enthusiasm. We wish him well and hope he will return from time to time for play days with the Bagley Pack.