A nice man, who trains dogs for sheepdog trials, drove all the way from Powys a few days ago with some dogs for Andy to see. They seemed to spend the afternoon chasing sheep into pens and then chasing them out again, and getting very wet in the meantime. Thank heavens for the wood burner! Luckily, with Andy usefully occupied, I was able to spend my afternoon lying in front of it, to be absolutely sure someone would be there to see if it burned out.
The new dogs are two bitches, called Connie and Mist, and another dog called Glen. Won’t there be confusion (more than usual) when all the dogs are out together? These three will be trained up to a useful working standard and then homed with sensible farming families. For now, they’ll be part of the Kings Green Pack and once they’ve learned the ropes will find their place in the hierarchy.
Mist and Connie will probably be quicker to find their place than Glen; collie dogs don’t seem to worry so much about status. Chester and I are right at the top (i.e. on the bed), so we don’t worry about it, either.
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The yard has been in chaos all weekend. Some of the girls have come into season (apparently that’s what happens when females live together in a group) and they can’t play with the other dogs out in the field. Don’t they make a fuss when they get left behind! And I’m afraid that there have been some lewd comments coming my way when I walk past the pens. Of course I can see their point, but it’s so undignified.
Glen’s singing has been a feature of the early mornings; ‘howling’, Gill and Andy call it, but Chester and I join in from time to time and I’m sure the neighbours enjoy the harmony. Glen’s voice is surprisingly soprano (girly) for a dog of his size, but we don’t say so.
There’ll be a litter of puppies around the place by the end of January but don’t get excited – they will all be collies.
I think it’s time to put the record straight. The Border collies around here are getting the impression that they’re somehow important.
Just to explain things, I’m a Chihuahua called Alfie, and with my friend, Chester (a Papillon/Chihuahua cross – I prefer to think of him as a mongrel) it’s ME who keeps things together here at Kings Green Farm – the home of the Working Sheepdog Website. I really can’t see what all the fuss is about. Anyone who’s watched Andy’s training DVD First Steps in Border Collie Sheepdog Training will know that Chester and I can move sheep perfectly well and even bark at the same time.
Collies are so terribly earnest, don’t you think? All that rushing about and panting? If they’re not herding something, then they’re looking for things to retrieve or jump over or into. It’s so exhausting!
Gill read me a description of the Chihuahua temperament; it included words like “self important” and “opinionated”. Now I don’t want you to get the wrong idea – I’d be the first to admit that we also have our faults – but if you’re looking for a dog with brains, who’ll chase sheep through mud and then climb into your handbag to dry off (and who isn’t?) a Chihuahua has to be the dog of choice.