Friday, June 27, 2008
These sheepses were much better behaved than the ones at my Herding Instinct Test. Uncle Wally calls them "puppy dog sheep" because they follow humans. I think that helped Mom a lot; she's getting much better at getting them to obey. But I still had to keep them moving, and turn them around and get them moving the other way, and hold them in the corner of the pen when they needed a rest. Sometimes Mom told me to lie down and take a rest, too, and I listened to her...well, most times. But I never took my eyes off the sheepses - they're sneaky, you know! Look away for just a second, and they could be scattered all over the place, and that's not good. Even when I didn't look away, there was one sheep who kept trying to run off by himself. It was hard, sometimes, getting them all back together. I didn't know if I should herd the one back to the others, or herd the others back to the one. So I usually just went after whichever was moving fastest, cause that's the most fun.
And you know what? My brain didn't fall out my nose, not once! I even left the sheep and came to Mom when she called...well, usually. I didn't want to, but I didn't want her to think I love the sheep more than her. And she's learning - every time I came when she called, she let me go back and herd some more. That was a lot better than the Test, when she made me come to her and then it was all over.
The best part was the Grand Finale. Max and I took the sheepses I was herding, and brought them out to the big field. I got to run and run and run! We did pretty good together, Max and me...He's not a bad sort, for a Borderline Collie. Then Mom called me, and I came back to her from way across the field - Wow, was she ever proud of me, then! I didn't tell her that part of the reason I listened to her, was that it was so hot and my brain was so tired, that I was ready to take a break....but I think she would have been proud of me, anyway. And I could tell she was proud when Uncle Wally said "I like what I see!" while I was herding the sheepses.
I heard Mom and Uncle Wally talking, and we're going back for more Sheep School on Sunday. That's only 2 days away - I can't wait! I wish I could live at Uncle Wally's Sheep School, but Mom says that would make me a Boarder Collie. Then she laughed and said something about a "bad pun" but I'm not sure I understand. I'm a Real Collie, how could I ever be one of those Borderline Collies? Sometimes Mom just doesn't make sense...but I still love her. Even more than sheepses.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Mom says I should introduce myself, in case anydoggy comes to my blog who doesn't already know me. I started writing this blog just for my friends, but some of them have sent it to their friends, and they don't know me (and I don't know them) yet. Soooo.....
I'm Chance, but my ACK registered name is LegendHold Perchance to Dream HIC CGC. My first mom called me Othello, and was going to name me LegendHold Here Nor There, cause she never knew where I was or what I was getting into. All my litter brothers and sisters have ACK registered names that are famous sayings, and a lot of us have names from Shakespeare. My furrever Mom said she had Dreamed of having the Chance to own a collie since she was a little pup. And she knew my great-grandpa, and great-great-grandma...Ever since she met them, she Dreamed of getting the Chance to have a collie like them. So, when she met me, she asked my breeder-mom if she could name me Perchance to Dream.
Part of the reason my furrever Mom loves Collies is that she grew up reading Albert Payson Terhune's books about the famous Sunnybank Collies. One of her favorites was Treve, whose ACK registered name was Ch. Sunnybank Sigurd. He's my great-great-GREAT-grandpa, many generations back. A lot of the other Sunnybank collies are in my family tree, too. Pretty cool, huh? And we live just a few miles from Sunnybank, so we go there a lot, even though the Terhunes and their collies went to the Rainbow Bridge a long time ago. Every summer, we go to the Gathering at Sunnybank, and see all our friends. There are collies everywhere, at the Gathering! My friends Baden and James come with Aunt Toni, and Aunt Brenda brings her collies, too. One of them, Nigel, is a superstar - he was in Westminster this year! But Mom says I'm still the bestest collie ever. I'm officially a Good Citizen, and I'm teaching my Mom obedience. I love to visit the old people where she works and cheer them up. And I finally got to show Mom my herding instict! Now maybe I can teach her to herd sheep, since she tells me I can't herd the other dogs. But hey, if she won't buy me my own flock of sheep, I've got to practice on them, right? I mean, a Collie's gotta do what a Collie's gotta do...And a Collie's gotta herd!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Chance here -
Mom has been promising to take me to play with some sheepses since, gee, forever, I think. And today, she FINALLY did! We got up real early and had breakfast and went out to potty (well, us dogs did, anyway!) then Mom put all the other dogs inside and started putting all my stuff out in the truck…so I knew something good was going on. Then she put me in the truck and we drove and drove and drove. Seemed like forever – way farther than going to Dog School. I thought we’d never get there, wherever “there” was. But finally we got to the end of a bumpy road in the middle of some big fields that smelled delicious! I couldn’t wait to get out and check everything out, but Mom had to stop and talk to the humans there. (She talks too much!)
It was a neat place – all sorts of great smells, and lots of tasty stuff on the ground that Mom didn’t want me to eat. She said she was worried that there might be Ivermectin in it, but I think she just doesn’t appreciate good munchies. Still, she did give me liver treats instead, so I guess it wasn’t too bad. We met a lot of other dogs and their people. There was a big Rottweiler with a long tail – I’ve never seen a Rottie with a long tail before, but it looked good on him. And a couple of Australian Cattle Dogs, and a little mixed breed. And then some other collies came; they were the best, of course! Well, the best dogs, anyway…
The really best thing was the SHEEPSES! Mom and Carolyn, the lady who runs the place, took me up by a pen with 4 sheepses in it. Mom took off my leash and let me do my thing – and boy, did I ever show them how it’s done! I kept those sheepses moving real nice; Carolyn said I was “wearing”, whatever that means. I just know that I kept trotting back and forth behind them to keep them moving where Mom seemed to want them to go. Mom went in the pen with them, but I was still outside. Those stupid sheepses weren’t listening to Mom at all, so, when she brought me into the pen, I really put them in their place! Got them galloping all around the pen! One of them jumped straight up in the air, and almost landed on top of me, but I kept right on herding them. Even when Mom told me to come, I kept right on herding them. She says my brain fell out of my nose at that point, but I didn’t forget what “come” means…I just knew that I was a whole lot better at getting those sheep to obey, than Mom was. So it was up to me to keep herding them, right?
But Mom made me stop, and we went out of the pen so Mom and Carolyn could talk. I dunno why they couldn’t let me keep herding while they were talking, but Mom can be a real spoilsport sometimes! I kept watching the sheep, but I heard some of what they were talking about – and they were talking about ME, of course! Carolyn said I passed the test, and then she said a bunch of stuff about “keeping the stock grouped” and “readily adjusts” and “has sufficient power for stock” and “shows ready adjustment to fetching and driving” and “very natural wearing in fetching balance”. I’m not sure what all that means, but it must be good, because Mom was very happy. She says now I’ll get my Herding Instinct Certificate from the Collie Club, and I’ll have more letters after my name…Alphabet Soup, that’s what she calls my letters.
The only bad thing was, I didn’t get to herd nearly long enough! The other dogs that went before me got to herd for 20 minutes or so, but I only got 7 minutes. That’s not fair, is it? They weren’t nearly as interested as I was, or as good, so how come they got so much more time? I wanna go back and get my other 13 minutes! But Mom says that’s all we needed to do for the test, and now we have to take lessons. I think Mom’s the one who needs the lessons, not me, but I’ll be happy to take her to Sheep School any time! I love sheepses…
Sunday, May 25, 2008
“Mom…? What’s going on? Yesterday you took a bunch of flags and went to the cemetery. And now you’re listening to that song again. Does that mean we’re going to the Memory All Day parade soon?”
That’s right, Chance. Tomorrow is Memorial Day, and we’re going to the parade. And then we’re going to the memorial service afterwards.
“OhBoyOhBoyOhBoy! I love the parade! There are lots of people, and all the little kids will pet me, and there are even doggies in the parade! And Bagpipers!! I LOVE Bagpipers! They’re from Scotland, like Collies! Can I follow them home this year, pleeeeaase???”
Silly boy! No, you can’t follow the bagpipers home. Besides, these bagpipers aren’t really from Scotland. They’re from New Jersey, like us.
“Well, they still sound like they’re from Scotland. It’s the Call of the Highlands, and all my collie ancestors tell me they’re part of my heritage.”
My, Chance, you are growing up! Such big words you’ve learned!
“I’m smart, right Mom? But one thing I don’t understand. The parade is so much fun, but you always cry at the Memory All service after it. If it makes you sad, why do we have to stay?”
Sweet, sweet Chance…I’m so glad you’ve never seen a war. There have been too many wars in our history, and so many men and women – and even dogs – went away to fight for our freedom. A lot of them never made it home, or if they did, they were never the same. Some were horribly injured; some of them lost arms or legs, and some of them were emotionally traumatized, even though they looked alright on the outside.
“Like Grandpa L?”
Yes, like Grandpa L. He was a prisoner of war, and he was tortured for a long time. You’d never know it to look at him, but he still has a lot of pain from what they did to him.
“Is that why you showed Aunt Karen that song on the computer, and told her to play it for him?”
That’s right. Grandpa L was a World War II veteran. He’s getting old now, like all the veterans from that war. They’re dying off pretty quickly, now, and we need to let them know, while we still can, that we appreciate their sacrifices so that we could be free. And the veterans of the other wars, too. Even if we didn’t agree the war was just, the men and women who served deserve our support.
“Oh, now I think I’m starting to understand something. At that part in the Memory All service, where they read all the names of the Legion members who didn’t answer when the roll was callled…I thought the reason you get upset and cry was because they weren’t as good as me – I always answer when you call! But you mean they didn’t answer because they couldn’t, because they had gone to the Rainbow Bridge?”
Yes, Chance, they’ve gone to the Rainbow Bridge. They’ve met their long-lost furkids, if they had any, and they’ve crossed the Bridge into Heaven. And even though there’s no more suffering in Heaven, we miss them because they’re not here anymore. And every year, there are more and more of them who have left us. I just hope they knew how much we appreciate the freedoms they left us.
“Gee, Mom, you’re right – we’d better tell them now, before it’s too late! Do you think our online friends will show that song to the veterans they know, to tell them Thank You?”
I hope so, Chance. It’s at http://www.managedmusic.com/php/BYGIndex.php?page=playBYG , and it’s very poignant. There’s also a new version this year, for Vietnam vets. They’re getting older, too. I wish every one of them could hear the song. It only came out a few years ago, so I never got a chance to play it for Grandma and Grandpa…I wish they could have heard it, and I hope they know how much I appreciate all they did for our country.
“Mom, don’t you know? They come back sometimes – remember when Grandpa came back and taught Rags how to shake hands? They’re still looking out for you…and they know, Mom. They know.”
Thanks, Chance. I wish people were as sensitive to these things as you dogs are. I miss them so much – I wish I could see them, just one more time, and tell them how much I love them and how much I admire them for risking their lives during the War. And THAT’s the real reason we go to the parade, and the memorial service: to thank all the veterans, and remember those who aren’t here anymore. Like they say, “All gave some, some gave all.”
“Mom, you’re starting to cry again. Can I climb up on your lap and give you some Collie Kisses? You always feel better when you’re hugging me…do you need a hug, now?”
I think that’s EXACTLY what I need. C’mon up, you overgrown lapdog, you. Oh, Chance, I love you so…