Border collies. They're really what started Dreamcatcher Farm. We were just their tools in this plot you see. It all started on my side 25 years ago when I got my first Border collie. At that point in time the movie Babe hadn’t come out yet and after much research I picked this breed because they weren’t AKC dogs, were breed for intelligence and their ability as herding dogs. I had been charmed by a story on NPR about a therapist who used her Border collie to escort people from the waiting room to her office and when the allotted 50 minutes had passed rose and escorted them out again. Both my former significant other and I were mental health people and he was hooked as I was. Unlike today it took awhile to find a Border collie. Finally we found a farmer who had a litter of seven who was perplexed that we wanted a Border collie as a “pet” but after we had made our selection of an energetic and friendly male, eagerly took our $75.
We discovered very quickly that this new puppy we named McGuffin, was not typical in any way of any of the other dogs we had known. First of all his energy was amazing and secondly his learning ability was so rapid that the bar was raised. Digging further into information about this wonderful breed we were horrified to find that having them as pets was considered an insult to the breed and a sign of gross naiveté on the part of the owners. For these dogs were breed to work and to partner with their owners not to be pets.
|Charley and Mick working goats|
Secondly, since the Border collie’s herding developed out of the wolves’ habit of hunting by circling their prey and driving it back to the alpha wolf, the Border collie is keenly tuned to the direction of his human both verbal and in body language. This makes them “very biddable” but also extremely attuned to their human. Many will lie across the room rather than at you feet so they can watch for any sign that you want them to do something.
|Nora, Jenny's niece|