Friday, September 25, 2009


Poor Tweed. He has a pus-filled pocket of infection in one of his front toes. It must be quite painful, as he licked it into a horrible mess.

As you can see, it's really slowing him down.

Don't worry, that's our last trip to the beach anytime soon, since his toe needs to heal, which means it's staying wrapped and not getting wet. Or at least, that was the plan. After shaving his foot, charging me a princely sum for The World's Most Expensive Vet Wrap ($14.00!!!), coupled with The World's Most Expensive Antibiotics ($60.00!!) my vet assured me that her wrapping job was "dog proof." For extra good measure, she sprayed it with the foulest tasting stuff around.

Tweed unwrapped the bandage in the car on the way home.

Oh but I was ready for this. When we got home, I put a boot on him. He looks ridiculous and he's MAD AS HELL because even his considerable brain can't wrap itself (pardon the pun) around the concept of Velcro.

Mwa ha ha ha.

Anyway, so today was our last beach trip until his foot is better. I had to get one last one in.

Maeve was very glad that I did!


So was I. Because how else would I get shots like this?

Piper has acclimated to Maeve now and it's no longer constant Mad Teeth(tm). That does not mean she is really happy about sharing her Queen Bitch status though.

I'll serve her up a big ole platter of Whoop Ass right now!

She spends a lot of time trying to escape Maeve.

But Maeve is insane.

and FAST!


You are all terrible HORRIBLE AWFUL CRUEL enablers! It's like you all got together and caused a tilt in my reality, because yesterday my landlord informed me that he'd put my condo on the market and it's now officially for sale. Looks like I am moving whether I really intended to or not!

However, whether that move will include Maeve remains to be seen. Because although I really like her, there are two concerns I have.

Concern #1 - Maeve does not jump. I mean, she doesn't jump anything. Small log in the way? She goes around it. Frisbee in the air? Very keen, but waits for it to come to the ground. Last night at agility class during warm up, I tried to coax her over a 10" jump and she limboed underneath it. A stunning display of dexterity to be sure for a dog that stands 18" at the shoulder, but nothing that's going to rocket us to Nationals or anything. Now, I have started a fair number of my own agility dogs (5, akshully) and I teach it to beginners as well, and I've never seen a dog so reluctant to jump.

I already have a non-agility dog (not that I'm MRWOO naming any names MRWOO) and I don't want another agilitydud. Tweed is going on 10 years old - sooner rather than later my boy will retire. And Piper, bless her, is coming along really well (in spite of my poor sportsmanship and bad temper, I should point out). (See Gerhard? I already KNOW I'm an asshole) but she is 7 years old - I waited much too long. If I'm going to get another dog, I want one I can compete with down the line.

Of course, it's easy to say all this when I'm not looking at this face!

Concern #2 - ZOMG!

Hello, my name is Linus, and you promised to love ME!

Okay so this is not really a concern, just a cheap and sleazy way to segue into new rescue puppy photos!!

Goshgillygeewhiz, they are SO DARN CUTE! They are now 33 days old, and have transformed themselves from sleepy cuddly potatoes into razorsharp shark monsters with a taste for blood. NO TOES ARE SAFE!!

Why are you standing on one leg clutching your foot and crying, Facebox Lady's assistant?

I look cute, but I'm just lulling you into a false sense of security. Then I'll attack. And attack, and attack, and attack ...

I do not remember Mona's puppies being this obsessed with feet. PAINFULLY obsessed with feet.

This one was the worst offender of them all. I think he might be a direct descendant of Satan. Or else that Shark Water guy should be doing a study on him or something.

Stalking ... feet ... tasty, delicious feet ...

And this one is just dreaming about feet.

Satan's foot soldiers! (I really need to lay off the puns)

Aren't they the dreamiest though? I so love them (at someone else's house)!!

We have had a fair number of applications come through for them already. The usual handful of ridiculous ones (are they housebroken? How much training do they have? I'm about to have a baby, can I adopt one?) but also some really stellar applications from some really amazing performance homes. So if you want one, act fast (PAULA).

See? I can be an enabler too.

Stop blogging. More ball.


MaggieDog said...

How weird is your landlord's timing?! Freaky!

I can totally get your concern about adding another non-agility dog; I'm the same way with my new additions (have one non-agility dog, don't want another). With that said, my vet is awesome about doing range of motion/joint manipulation exams to see if there is a cause for concern before jumping right into xrays or the like (and $$$). Perhaps your vet might be able to do the same to give you a preliminary read on whether this is physical vs. personality?

The Border Collies said...

Yeahno ... I am unemployed so xrays to determine suit-agili-tably are no in the cards at the moment. And my vet, bless her, assured me today that Tweed would still be an awesome agility dog if he were missing a toe. I'm skeptical! It's times like this that I wish I had a sports dog vet ...

Tatyana said...

My first thought was "how are her hips/elbows/knees?" You don't think that it could be pain keeping her on the ground?

What if you get her jumping by making her walk over things and raising them and stuff?

She's so pretty, I'll be sad if you decide not to keep her! Very very sad!

Dawn said...

OK, maybe I am wrong, but could she just have been taught not to jump? When we adopted one of our girls and got her home we realized we had a huge problem. We lived on 2nd floor and she had clearly been taught not to climb stairs-or jump either. So she wouldnt jump over the stairs to come into the house nor would she go up the stairs to ge tinto our house! We were able to teach her both were OK. Maybe your pretty girl just needs to learn jumping is allowed now?

erin said...

She is pretty but LINUS! omg I want you to adopt him just so we can see more pictures of him!

Katharine Swan said...

Who needs to win an agility competition when OBVIOUSLY you can win a beauty contest instead?

StefRobrts said...

I have a cancer-dog who regularly has to have antibiotics, and sadly they have been $60 or more every time for the last two years :( Not like you can pass on them though.

OMG, the puppies! They are so proving my rule that they are cute so you won't kill them, and the cuter they are, the more they get away with. They would have to gnaw a toe clean off before you could get mad at those little faces!

andrea pratt said...

Trade ya. I have a great 15 month old agility candidate who has a non agility owner (that would be me). Maybe she needs to teach me. I'm hoping she does all the phoning, legwork and research when the time comes, too.

Paula said...

We'll just overlook your puppy pushing for now and talk about Maeve.

My friend rescued a Border Collie a while back ago and he had the same jumping issue. Well, in fact, he even had a running issue, which it seems Maeve doesn't have, at least. We think that he just spent too much time in a crate with no experience with fun things like running and jumping. After a while he *finally* caught on, and I swear I'm not just saying this, I have never seen a dog progress through our club's agility classes so fast! AND, he's turned out to be an awesome flyball dog in a short amount of time as well.

Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...


Just to reassure you, I have a friend here in Britain, who has a Border Collie that has lost a toe and it has not effected his agility in any way shape or form, he is still amazingly good.
Hope Tweed is better soon.


StefRobrts said...

The puppies distracted me, I also meant to say I hope Tweed's toe feels better soon!

Now, how are you able to post so many pics where it looks like your dogs are being shot out of a cannon?

Three Dog Days said...

I'll add that my newest agility dog was not a natural jumper. She couldn't even figure out how to climb over a small wall that came up about to her elbows(front feet up, back feet follow...) Same thing as Dawn said- Pie was a rescue and I think she had been kenneled her whole life. Started with the bar on the ground, worked our way up. Now she's doing the 1 meter hurdel in Schutzhund with ease!

Also, I've moved twice for my dogs. Once so they could have a yard, and a second time so we could have an agility yard. Now we live in the sticks and I'm getting tempted to keep my current foster puppy. Why not? I have pleanty of room!

Scout 'n Freyja said...

I absolutely adore this breed. But I know my limitations and know that a German Shepherd Dog and a Golden Retriever, although full of energy and brains, are NOTHING like a Border Collie. Maybe one day I can rescue a senior...are they a teeny, tiny bit more subdued?

Anonymous said...

omg, oxytocin overload!!! And I am talking about Maeve! She is sooooo cute.

MalaysianFan said...

I think Erin is right -- we all encourage you to keep this dog or that one because we LOVE looking at your photos of them. Me, I'd vote for Maeve over Linus simply because I love to look at her asymmetical markings and her expressive face. I was sad when Sport left, but it was pure selfishness -- his photos always melted my heart. Never met the old gent, but I sure loved looking at him!

I don't know what it is about certain people and dogs -- we just want to see images of them all the time. This is what drives the paparazzi/pup-arazzi, I spose. If you took crummy photographs, we wouldn't have this issue! :-)

Anonymous said...

Since you have to move anyway, you can keep them both!!! Maeve is young enough that you can probably get her to overcome this issue, and the fact that she is really fast works in her favor... and she makes you laugh (which is very important) and how could you let that face walk out of your door? And even if she doesn't, she can be your "heart dog" and wee Linus can be your up and coming agility champ! Best two-fer that has ever come down the pipe!

Scout 'n Freyja said...

Domi, the therapy dog, has passed to the Bridge this weekend. Our blog contains her last letter to her friends. Please come to visit. It would mean so much to our momma and then go to Domi's blog to offer condolences. Momma is crying a lot today.

nickelsmum said...

It's true. If you took crummy photos this would not be so much of an issue. It's your own fault and I hope you feel terribly guilty for putting us through this.

Arwen said...

I'll say the same here as I say to people who want to breed a foal as opposed to buying a young horse...

Is there a guarantee that a puppy would become your desired agility dog?

The only guarantee I can see for finding your next agility dog is to find one that's old enough to have been started, and that shows talent. Maeve has no inclination (though that could change) but - Linus might not either.

About Maeve's jumping - if she's physically okay, could she learn? You have two dogs who could model to her what you're meant to do with jumps. If she sees Piper jump and get rewarded, would she not pick up what you want? Just wondering.

(good luck with your decision. It sounds really difficult!)

Emily said...

The fact of the matter is, you want an agility dog next. So, get yourself a dog that LOVES to jump -- jumping is a LARGE part of the game. Even if she IS structurally sound...the fact that she doesn't want to jump on her own, in every day life is concerning.

My BC pup, who is now 10mo, was born with GD springs in her legs, and THAT'S WHAT YOU WANNA SEE!! I have had the damndest time just keeping her from lifting off every time I throw a toy at her. Forget throwing them above her head, she ROCKET launches for those, but even just the ones I lob at her head, she finds every excuse she can to jump!

So, I'd say as much as you like this dog, it just isn't for you, and she'll find a perfectly happy fit with someone that will LIKE that she doesn't want to jump -- !!!

The split face is hard for me to say no to, too, but it must be done. I got a 6wk old pup last year that was PERFECT...except she was stone ass deaf. You can't play at the International level with a deaf dog. Since that's a goal of mine, I had to give the poor dear back. Broke my heart, but...I have the DOG WITH SPRINGS instead, and she's even MORE perfect for me. It'll all work out. Just find Maeve a nice home and you'll sleep better at night :)

Emily Snider

The Border Collies said...

The fact of the matter is, you want an agility dog next. So, get yourself a dog that LOVES to jump -- jumping is a LARGE part of the game. Even if she IS structurally sound...the fact that she doesn't want to jump on her own, in every day life is concerning.

My BC pup, who is now 10mo, was born with GD springs in her legs, and THAT'S WHAT YOU WANNA SEE!!

I would agree with this, except that ... Tweed, my BEST agility dog, doesn't jump in every day life for anything, not a ball, not a frisbee. He likes 4 on the floor. Piper is found in the dictionary under the term "BOING" and I had to *teach* her to jump in agility as she didn't get it. And Woo is almost never on the ground. He has springs for legs! And he SUCKS at agility! LOL. So I am just not sure that premise is unflawed ....

suzanne said...

When you have time, go to the website of Laureate Shelties... click on "news" then click on "blog". when you get to the blog, go aaaallll the way down the right-hand side of the screen till you see the list of other bloggers that Laureate follows. Click on "Just Dogs with Sherry" and read her post called "the last puppy left". When you get to the last line, you will think of your beloved Briggs.

Emily said...

Why don't you just try to teach her to jump right now, then? See how easy it is to shape the behaviour with a clicker for her...

My best agility dog isn't a jumper-for-the-fris', either, but she WILL, if I ask her to. She'll also jump over a log if asked, etc. It's not totally foreign to her, and you know's so nice to have never had to teach her to jump -- she's just always done it naturally! She's a 19" dog jumping 26"'s nice!

That's all -- not that it's IMPOSSIBLE to get a dog that doesn't naturally jump, to jump...but that it's an awful lot more work, and if you *know* you're looking for an agility dog...might as well start without a deficit :)

The Border Collies said...

That's all -- not that it's IMPOSSIBLE to get a dog that doesn't naturally jump, to jump...but that it's an awful lot more work, and if you *know* you're looking for an agility dog...might as well start without a deficit :)

Sorry, maybe I need to explain myself a different way. I don't KNOW that Maeve is not a "natural" jumper - maybe she has just never been given the opportunity to jump, I don't know. I doubt very much she ever left her backyard before she came to me. But my observations, based on the many dogs I've started and trained, are that a dog who doesn't necessarily seem like a "natural" at being bouncy is not necessarily a dog that can't excel at the sport. And in fact, it seems to be it has nothing to do with it. The premise *seems* to make sense, but my actual experience is that it doesn't hold water, as theories go. Tweed wastes no motion, jumps tight, can wrap a standard and yet he is the most heavy footed and cautious dog I've ever had. Whereas Piper can jump anything, and does of her own volition, but it took quite a long time to teach her how to actually jump in agility because it most certainly did not come naturally. I don't think agility comes natural to any dog based on anything other than chance and luck as it comes together in that individual dog.

Regardless, I would like to make clear that I am not tempted to keep Maeve because of her 'pretty split face' - I am tempted by MANY MANY DOGS on a regular basis and have been for ages, because I've been running a border collie rescue for over a decade. I don't choose my dogs based on how they look, and I wouldn't keep a dog that was pretty just because she was. However, she is keen, FAST, enthusiastic, very bright, learns real fast and seems to fit right into the household so easily. It's difficult to turn that down, but I likely will if she can't play my game. I know she'd make someone else very happy as well. But she's only been with me a week or so, we have lots of time to figure out if she can jump for me or not!

Carol said...

Aack, here I go weighing in...

I have found that we really just discover each animal we own, despite planning for a set of traits we want. We can shape through training and love, but each animal is a unique individual who trains us as well.

Just as Briggs was more than you ever thought when he was that troubled pup, just as Tweed has stepped in to be your total partner in agility and photo muse, just as Piper is your princess bitch with soulful eyes and Mad Teeth tm, just as Woo sproings his disobedient way to get Big Air tm, may your next dog be the best individual they were born to be. I know that if you choose that dog, you WILL help them experience and develop to their unique potential. And may you not have much more than fleeting regrets that the dog chose YOU.

suzanne said...

She fits into your home and makes you SMILE, and that is a gift beyond measure. I have had what seems like a zillion dogs through the years, and only two of them could make me laugh on a daily basis. One was a little pug who got me through the darkest times of my life because no matter how bad things seemed to be, she could always make me smile... I cherished her beyond measure and still miss her and her incredible gift to this day. Maybe flyball would be Maeve's thing. Where I am they are using chiuauas as height dogs so the jumps are as low as they can be and really
fast matters a whole lot more. And at this point, you have no way of knowing if Linus will turn out to be an agility dog or if he will learn, by stellar residential example, to be like Woo in that arena.

nickelsmum said...

As someone who is in the same boat -- any dog I add will be a high intensity sports partner and I need to know if she is physically safe and capable -- I would hold out for x-rays and a good sports vet exam before deciding whether to keep Maeve. You don't have to make a decision yet (I know it gets harder) and your work situation will flip sooner or later. Heck I'm sure everyone (except Carol :)) will chip in for a set of x-rays for Maeve if you sound pitiful enough. If she is physically sound and likes to work, she will learn to jump. She is awfully cute, but I can be a hard-hearted bitch about these things. I have to be, or I would have 20 dogs!

Oregon Sunshine said...

Oh! I wish I could have Maeve! She's just so darn adorable! But, I am consumed with that darn Dobie pup we adopted a couple months ago and my other dogs. No time to add another, yet. :(