Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Taz's person tagged me!

Tazimodo's person tagged me in a fun game. You go to your computer archives and then go to the 6th folder and pick the 6th picture and then post it along with the story behind it.

The 6th folder in my person's computer box is called "Renzo's Flyball Debut" from Sept. 2002 (At that point in time, I was in my momma's belly, but my people didn't know anything about me, hadn't even decided to get a border collie and so didn't know that I was on my way to them.)

This was in Davisburg, MI and my people had been training Renzo for a long time in flyball (he had trouble ignoring the other dogs and also holding the ball). So, this was his very first run at a tournament. It was a practice run, but he did a very good job (though his form is not necessarily the best). Renzo is my people's first dog and flyball was the first thing they did with a dog.

Little did they know that the trailhead they had entered would lead them to five border collies in addition to Renzo and through flyball, agility and finally to sheep.

Now it's my turn to tag and I tag

Army of four
Charlie the Big Dog

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thank you Ness and Run Free

Our good old girl Ness crossed the bridge Monday morning.
She had fought a fast-growing inoperable tumor since the start of October.

Ness so enjoyed her life with her Flock, her soft beds, her cheesy treats, her walks, and most of all her squeaky toys! She would so joyfully bound around the yard in her floppy way...leap up onto the feather bed and give a big border collie grin...watch out the picture window and bark at scooters and bicycles...run and find a toy to squeak when we arrived home...

Ness shared her life with us from November 18, 2007 to December 1, 2008.
Far too short a time to live with us, yet more than enough time for us to love.
We miss her so.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanks, Fox! (Guest Blog)

Rafe here.

Miss Tansy said we are to Bark Thanks. Lots to Bark - Work, Farm, Walks, Flock, Soft Beds. Have a special Bark to Fox, Cat.

Once Fox gave me a box of Thin Mints. Good cat, Smart, Agile, Generous. Other day, he tossed down a Treat from the counter for Me:

Came at it from an Angle. That's best, with Strange Objects.

Gave a good Sniff - WHOA!

Guess I say Thanks, Fox. Now I know what a Lemon is.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thanks for Game! (Guest Blog)

Greetings Gentlepups!

I have heard that the Time is soon to give Thanks for Blessings. I have many many Thanks so I begin Today. (I believe several Suns will be Required.) First barks are for my Flock.

Young Hamish is a Good Flockmate and Kind to his Sheep. This summer he showed me a new Game: Worming! His Instruction was Excellent. Here are Photos illustrating his Technique:

First, sniff out a likely area:

Ascertain the Presence of Worms:

Push dirt with Nose:

Stay aware of the environment:

Yet focus on Task at hand:

Persist, Dig deeply for Success:

I learned well. Thank You Hamish!

Sharp Barks,

Monday, October 20, 2008

What a Border Collie looks like, III (Guest Blog)

Rafe here.

Miss Tansy asked for Aerial Photographs. Here's one of Young Kyzer and Me. We have Smooth Coats. Ky is on the left.

We've got nice sleek fur over our muscles. Look good.

Kyzer's long. Aunt Chris calls him "Big Boy". I call him "Otter" Here's his long-lost cousin from over at the International Otter Survival Fund:

This fella's brown, Ky is black, but otherwise...


Saturday, October 18, 2008

What a Border Collie looks like, II (Guest Blog)

Greetings, Gentlepups!

Miss Pippin recently Posted about a topic of great interest to our flock: What We Look Like. As you may have Noted, we all look Different. Not only our Color, but our Coat and Build and Ears and Eyes and many other Aspects.

I share with you today an Aerial Photograph. (Curious, what Images are made of us, but often Useful!) I find it well illustrates my Sturdy yet Trim body:

(You may also note the lovely Waves of my Coat and attractive coloring of my Ruff.)

I will ask the other members of my Flock to share their Aerial Photographs, so as to further Knowledge and Understanding of the Border Collie.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What a border collie looks like

I've posted before about how border collies come in lots of shapes and sizes and are definitely not all black and white. As exhibit A, I present my two younger packmates, Hamish and Kyzer.

They are the same breed, but look different in many ways. What makes them the same breed is how the move and how the work sheep. That's true for me and Rafe, too (though we won't comment on who does a better *job* of working sheep--that's not what's at issue here.)

Anyway, not too long ago, Rafe had the opportunity to be the spokesdog for a bag of dog food. A big company and food that our people don't feed us, but still we were all flattered that the company creating the bag image was interested in Rafe. Rafe even made some money for his work. But, alas, when the new dog food bag came out, guess what kind of border collie was on it.

This kind:
I'm sure this is a very nice dog--but don't you think Rafe (or Hamish or Kyzer or for heaven's sake, me, me, me) would have been a better choice?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Working. Yep.

Rafe here.

Many suns since we posted. Not sure why. Well, been busy, working. Good work too.

I've been learning to drive. That means move the sheep, but not fetch them to my Handler. Move them somewhere else. I like it. Here's what it looks like:

But, not really. I'm fetching in that photo. Just can't see my Handler. Didn't mean to fool you.


Monday, September 01, 2008

How many of us can you find?

As those of you who've followed me over the last several years know my pack has gone from two dogs and three kitties when I started to blog to seven dogs and three kitties.

When my people tell other people this, especially when they mention that six of us are border collies, people are pretty sure that they are crazy and that our house must be nutty. Really, it's not particularly nutty at all. We're usually ready for big fun, but we also settle down if we have to. Note Exhibit A above.

So, right now, my goofy little brother Hamish is at sheep school and Fritz didn't fit in the picture above. But, the other 8 of us are in the picture along with one of the people.

Can you find us all (hint: one of us is hiding in the curtains)?

If you can find us all, can you name us all?

Most important, can you find ME?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Fun Play! (Guest Blog)

Rafe here.

Hey pups! Another beautiful day! Let's run and play!

Ammy, you come and bring your pals! Hamish is always ready to play!


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Fun! (Guest Blog)

Rafe here.

Hey pups! It's a beautiful day! Let's go out and play!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Olym-pups (Guest Blog)

Greetings Gentlepups!

We attended a Lovely Event today - the Annual Picnic of my Rescue. I was most Delighted to see many who helped me and other pups on our journeys to forever homes. We are ever grateful to all who Work in Rescue.

The Theme was "Summer OlymPups". I believe that Theme to be related to the enjoyable time our flock has been spending on the couch watching the Light Box. At the picnic we had several Contests. Our own Miss Pippin won "Best Trick" with her famed rendition of "Twist and Shout"! Curiously, she declined to "Bow" at the conclusion. Perhaps she will explain.

I preferred to stay "out of competition" but was persuaded to give an Exhibition of "Best Kiss". Here is a photograph:

I must admit to be proud of my Posture and Technique - perhaps worthy of a Medal?


Saturday, August 09, 2008

Penning (Guest Blog)

Rafe here.

Miss Pippin is sleeping now. Went frolicking at the dog park with Renzo. We working pups were going to go to the Farm, but won't because of Storms. Don't know why Stormy wants the Farm to herself. Heck, I'd really like to meet her and her Pack. But, I respect her. Need to nap this afternoon anyway.

Here's what I think about when I nap: Work. Penning, these days. Here's a shot of me penning:

Lost that dark sheep at left. Could have been my Handler who lost it. We got it back. Learned a few things from that, good. Learn more when I sleep on it.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Working? (Guest Blog)

Rafe here. Reporting on an investigation.

See, when it's just us pups and kits at home, we stay in the front room. Quick access to doors. Convenient observation posts too. But, I saw we were missing young Kyzer. Hmm. Secret mission for the International Dog of Mystery? So I conducted a search. Here's what I found:

He said he was conducting comfort tests. Essential work.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

This just in

After months and months of hemming and hawing. Reading and searching. Putzing and putzing and putzing.....and putzing. My person has finally updated our static web page.

She's a bit of a geek in this department, but finally decided to make some things a little easier on her design-challenged self and use a pre-made template from Apple computer. (and you know, I'm named after an apple, so anything Apple must be good, right?)

Anyway, pups, check us all out and let me know what you think--it's the first cyber-showing for three of my packmates: Kyzer, Ness and Fox (yes, that's how long it'd been since my dumb person had updated the site).

Also, there was something new and cool for me in the backyard this evening. People will try to get pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Putting my boyz to work

Hi gentle pups,

Again it's been a while since we put paw to keyboard. And, as usual, it's because we've been pretty busy. My people have been taking the working dogs out to work a couple of times a week and I have my important agility work to do. Even Renzo has been mighty busy on squirrel patrol and Ness, well, Ness has been busy destroying plush toys. This is important work, I recognize and a task she is singularly well suited to. The rest of us don't get to destroy toys very often, but our people think that because Nessie probably had few opportunities to destroy toys in her life before coming to us, this is a job she should get to take on. And she's good at it, something we all like to see in a working dog.

As a worker, as many of you who've read about me for a while may remember, I'm not what you'd call "ambitious" or "driven." I'm more of the "do what you have to to get the kibble and spend the rest of your time napping, preening and looking out the window" school of thought.

But the younger males in my pack really do like to work and so I thought I'd share some recent evidence of them moving up their respective career ladders (ha ha! don't tell the Sheep King, but I have it on good authority that after last week-end's shenanigans, he may face a demotion).

Below, is the Sheep King, aka my goofy little brother, Hamish, moving some ewes. You'll notice that one is facing him. That's because she's wondering if she really needs to do what he says. After about 4 more steps on his part, she decided the answer was "yes" and turned to follow her sistren to the pen.

Here we have the oaf-pup, Rafe, catching the ladies as they wish to move toward the group of trees. Rafe has a very nice outrun and pace. And, yes, his ears really do flop like that when he runs. We try not to talk about it too much as he's a bit sensitive about it.

And finally, young Kyzer had his turn. You'll notice he is a bit tighter on the sheep than the older boys and there are more sheep to work as that's a bit easier. He is quite a nice little worker overall and our person is looking forward to watching him mature.

So, there you have it. And just so you see that I, too, occasionally have important work to do, here I am making sure a sneaky paper bag doesn't get away as Hamish stands by gawking in awe.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

And now for something different

These are my kitties. That's Inji on the left (she's old--18--and official "first pet"), Fritz in the middle and Fox lying like the pasha that he is on the chair cushion. I like my kitties, though Fox and I don't always see eye to eye and I was pretty scared of him when he first showed up here.

Anyway, I'm doing some work on the blog today--taking away some of the flyball links there on the side and adding some links to other activities--mostly about sheep. Check them out!

My person is also working hard on updating our "static" pages. Once she's finished, I'll post the link and you can let us know what you think.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Good, solid work (another guest blog)

From the desk of H.B. Moy, Sheep King Extraordinaire

Hello dog and human friends,

A quick report from last week's trial. First, I came in fourth overall. Fourth, I said. Did I mention it was fourth out of 16? No, well it was. Although I did not have as lovely an outrun as my buddy, Rafe, I did finish the course on both runs. No thank yous from the judge and my person didn't have to leave the post to help me. Neither run was pretty, but I (sort of) got the job done. I was mostly hindered, as I generally am, by my inept person.

The sheep were wiley, light and frisky first thing in the morning. I was the very first dog of the trial and we poor dogs couldn't see the sheep because they were right under a swale. Almost all the dogs had trouble finding the sheep and they changed the course for the second run--so it really wasn't just me this time. The handler at the post could see them, but we couldn't.

I looked and looked and finally found them. Came in tight though, so they squirted off to the right and I didn't get them back on line in time to turn the post. Bummer. In this trial, the novices had both a chute and a pen. I was working the sheep to the chute, but my stupid person thought they'd crossed the plane of the chute and she moved on to the pen. The judge hadn't told her to or anything; she was just being stupid. Typical. I lied down though and listened to what I was told (even when it was wrong--not sure if I'll do that again). I sweet-talked those ladies right into the pen. I couldn't believe the run was over!! I was just getting started. But I came back when the stupid person said, "That'll do, Hamish."

Second run. Pretty bad outrun just about straight up the middle. What can I say? The holder was faced in a weird direction and it threw me off. So, again, pretty bad lift and not enough room to get them on-line before the fetch panels. But, once I had them under control and walking nicely, my stupid person TURNED THE WRONG POST!!!!!! I was listening very well and she was telling me the right things, but she was in the wrong place. What's a red dog to do?

I moved the sheep through the chute very nicely and then my stupid person didn't get to the pen in time to open it, so we played ring around the pen. I was a little tight and she wasn't putting me in the right place, so we didn't get the pen. Better score than on the first run, though, so that's not so bad.

And, overall, I listened to what I was told and I lied down like a good boy (not like Rafe, who didn't....).

Now, it's back to some training for my person so that she can do better at the pen and teach me what I'm supposed to do too.

That's the quick report from my side of the field. Over and out

Hamish Braeburn Moy

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I chopped down the cherry tree (Guest Blog)

Rafe here.

Trial Report: I did not Lie Down. Well, I did, but not at the right time. Sheep were light. Heard Lie Down too late. Sheep were moving so I kept moving too. Bad choice. Did not get to finish and pen sheep.

Had a beautiful Outrun though. Heard lots of Open Handlers say so.

Still get to eat Kongs. Get to study sheep more too. It's all Good.

Hamish worked well. Did our flock proud. He'll tell you about it.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Clarification from the Sheep King

From the desk of H.B. Moy, Sheep King Extraordinaire

Hello fellow pups,

My packmate, Rafe, who recently tried to blind me in a fit of jealousy over my livestock-tending skillz, mentioned in his recent post that I was recently unable to find my sheep during a trial. I have of course asked my people to issue a cease and desist letter to his people with the threat of legal action for libel should he decide not to comply. While this is winding its way through the canine legal system, I'd like to give just a glimpse of the true state of affairs concerning aforementioned unfound sheep.

While it is true that I did not find the sheep I was supposed to find, I found a MUCH larger stash of sheep hiding in a pen. I think this is much better than finding the sheep the stupid people wanted me to go after.

However, since the people are in charge of the rules at sheep herding events, I've resigned myself to going for and returning the sheep I'm directed to by the people, even when I know better bounty awaits elsewhere. You see, in the interim, I've been to sheep college (unlike Kyzer, who is currently at sheep preschool.....) and learned that it is in my best interests to abide by what the people want. That is the lot of a sheepdog--even a sheep king such as myself.

I will prove my prowess this coming week-end, Friday to be specific, when Rafe and I both show what we are made of at a Sheep Herding Event. I promise, before DoG and my fellow canines, that I will find my sheep and bring them where I am directed to. I will also Lie Down when so instructed and challenge Rafe to do the same.

In the meantime, I will be meditating upon sheep and shoring up my mental and physical resources with Frozen Peanut Butter Kongs from the fridge, as Exhibit A above indicates.


Hamish Braeburn Moy

Friday, May 30, 2008

Not Much Going On? (Guest Blog)

Rafe here. Miss Pippin said I could post, since she was having no luck. You'd think we had nothing going on. Ha. Headlines:

1 - Ness Barks, Scooters Persist
2 - International Dog of Mystery Has Play Dates
3 - Renzo Wins All Races at Dog Park
4 - Trial: Hamish Can't Find Sheep, Rafe Can't Lie Down
5 - Sitting in Laps Results in Snuggles, Pippin Finds
6 - Tansy Revels in Farm Vacation
7 - Hamish and Rafe to Attend Clinic; Tansy and Kyzer Will Too
8 - Welcoming her 19th Year, Inçi Investigates New Diet


Friday, April 11, 2008

Dog bloggin'

Hey pup-a-dups,

So, my person has been away somewhere I never heard of before. It's called something like Afterthedam and to get there, she had to fly over the big ocean called the Atlantic. The funniest thing, though, is that she went there to talk to other people about, guess what....DOG BLOGS!!

That's right pups, my person told a bunch of other people about us and what we blog about (well, for some reason, she didn't tell people about me and my pack and what we blog about--that would have been unscientific, so she says). She told people about all you doggies' bloggies.

She's been working on this for a while (that's where some of your people's tax dollars have been going--so at least you know they're going for something good and useful....). Anyway, Opy and Charlie's SHD sent her the spreadsheet of all the dogger bloggers about a year ago (when there were *only*350 of us) and then she let her computer pick out 20 blogs to "work on".

It looked to me like she was playing around--counting some stuff and shouting "Eureka" once in while.

The people at the place in Afterthedam liked what she said about our writings. Here's what she said, if you're interested (it's a little weird to me, but maybe you'll get it)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Sheep! (Guest Blog)

Greetings Gentlepups!

Our Flock has News! A few Suns ago we went to Work. And, we had a Surprise!

These lovely Sheep are Ours! We are Delighted. What is best, is they are Light. They will respond with alacrity to our Communications. I find that quality Excellent, as I then can refine my Technique. A good Sheepdog is Polite to her Sheep, and needs to know how to be Subtle when her Sheep are Light. (Upon occasion she needs to be Pushy; that is not so difficult to learn.)

Here you can see them look at Young Kyzer, who had moved a step:

And here Kyzer keeps them in Place:

Our Sheep will live at the Farm, as our own Pasture is not big enough for Mud Pud, ball throwing, and Sheep. I believe that is Best; we will then have no Distractions when we Play.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Spring snow

Hey everypup,

Here in Michigan, we got our first big spring dump of snow last night (we're also hoping that it's our last dump of snow for the season.....). The pups in my pack LOVE the snow (except for Renzo, who gets cold--but even he likes it for a little while). My people took us out at 11:30 last night just to play in the snow. They had some delusional idea that having us play later would entice us to sleep later. Bwahahahah--silly people.

But, we still had a lot of fun. We've had a lot of fun this morning, too. You can see me running and frolicking up there.

Below are Hamish and Kyzer having some fun with each other
Rafey with his ball. Doesn't he look all serious-like--he's kinda like that, but he also knowns how to have a goofy time, too.
And the people even captured our new packmate, Ness, with her ears UP!! She mostly likes to keep them tighter to her head.
The people are sorry they haven't been bloggin' much. It's their usual story. The one who has all the work at the universe seems to think it's reasonable to turn OUR house into the universe too and she's been working a whole lot. The sem-tester (what is a sem-tester?) is over in a few weeks, so she'll have no more excuses about the blog. Except, somehow she always finds some.

When the one spends so much time, the other one has to pick up all the household chores, which means she doesn't have time to blog much either. And neither of them has been visiting my dog blog friends very often to let them know that we're still alive and to tell me about the blogging pee-mail. We just found out that Charlie'd been sick and that Freda's person had been at the people vet.

Hamish has been pining for Amber and we've had no way to let Copper know we've been following his travels in his quest to find Hershey. We wanted to invite him to Michigan on his way home, but the people are too lame to have let him know in time to add us to his itinerary.

We've also just caught up on how much Ivy's Benjamin has grown. We're very sad to see that Marvin the Hollow Hound has left the circle of dog bloggers and even his archives are gone.

And we haven't been to visit any of the dog bloggers who've left comments for us.....

Anyway, my people will be better soon and do more to fulfill their people-responsibilities. Luckily, they've been pretty good about getting us chow, taking us for morning walkies and making sure we have some enrichment activities like agility and working sheep. So, we have good hope that they will get back with the blogging program soon.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Archives (Guest Blog)

Rafe here.

Still quiet. No sheep yet. Heck, I'd go for those Musk Ox in Alaska at this point. (Miss Pippin posted a photo of them below.)

Dug around in the Archives, and found these photos. Me and my litter mates. Two pics. Can you tell which one is me?

Here's a hint: I wanted to leave.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Border Collies aren't the only workin' dogs!

This just in from my friends at the Border Collie Boards. They are talking over there about the Iditarod (partly to show that it isn't only border collies who do important work). Look at the picture that someone took (and it's been verified and is not Photoshopped!). Those sleddogs really did encounter a herd of musk oxen, but no dog or ox got hurt or anything.

And then those cards at the Onion made this one. You can see my own thoughts about Westminster at this old post.

My person is channeling me remotely from Florida where there is no Itidarod running. I'm looking forward for her to come home at the end of the week. I don't know why she goes there all the time, but I've heard there's another toddler-in-training afoot down there......

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Snooze. No Snooze. (Guest Blog)

Rafe here.

Quiet. Except when we bark, then it's noise.

Lots of snow. Ice too. Snow, then ice, then snow. IceSnow sandwich. Love the snow. Don't love ice, no sheep work for us. Not so many big walks. Lots of snooze.


Saturday, February 02, 2008


A few weeks back, my geeky person was at the American Dialect Society's selection of the word of the year (if you care for such things, and I don't suppose you do, you can read about it in excruciating detail). The word "subprime" was the overall winner. I'm pretty sure subprime refers to the kind of meat that's in cheap dog food, so it's entirely appropriate that that was the word of the year. Really, what some people think is reasonable for us to eat....well, that's a different post.

One of the words that was a contender for the category of "most creative" was the verb "to kinnear". This means to take a picture without looking through the viewfinder of your camera because you are holding the camera at about hip level in order for the subject of the picture not to notice that you are taking their picture. It was coined by a woman who was doing exactly that in an airport where she was trying to get a secret picture of the actor, Greg Kinnear. Pretty clever play with language, huh?

Anyway, after learning that word, my person kinneared us.

I'm not sure she can really call it that, though 'cause I wasn't fooled. Can't speak for the goofy boyz--I think they never caught on to her trick. Don't know why not--she looked like an idiot with the camera at her hip....but then again, it's not all that uncommon for her to look like an idiot. Maybe we can coin a new word: to idiotbutiloveheranyway. It means that you let your person do stupid stuff to you without making her feel bad about it.

Whatcha think, pups?