The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Border Collie Soliloquy - by Baxter Black
Just a word about one of the greatest creations on the face of the earth, the border collie. Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

The dog that all sheep talk about, but never want to meet. The fur that legends are made of. Makes coyotes cringe, sheep trip the light fantastic, and eagles soar somewhere else.

Invested with the energy of a litter of puppies and the loyalty of Lassie, they ply their trade on sagebrush flats, grassy fields and precipitous peaks, from sea to shining sea.

"Away to me" I command. They streak and sail zipping like pucks on the ice, black and white hummingbirds, in, out, up, down, come by sheep. With their head up, one eye cocked over their shoulder asking directions.

To the gate, through the race. Mighty dog moves behind the bunch like a tow boat pushing barges around a bend.

And heart do they try? "Just let me at them Dad" Stay "Come on, I'm ready!" Stay "Can't you feel me humming? Listen to my heart, it's purring like a cat! I'm primed. Aim me, point me, pull the trigger."

Working dogs is like manipulating a screwdriver with chopsticks, like doing calligraphy with a plastic whip. Like bobbing for apples. Like threading a needle with no hands. Like playing pool on a kitchen table.

There are no straight lines in nature, only arcs. Great sweeping curves of sight and thought and voice and dog. Always having to lead your command about a dog's length.

Sheep bunched like logs on a river. Dogs paddling in the current. Always pushing upstream. A ewe breaks loose. Then another, another. The log jam breaks. Dogs and sheep tumble about in the white water.

Calm again. They start back upstream.

Border collies. Are they truly smarter than chimpanzees? Cuddlier than a koala? More dedicated than Batman's valet?

Can they change course in mid-air? Drag Nell from the tracks and locate the missing microfiche.

Yes, I believe they can. They are the best of the best, the epitome of "above and beyond the call of duty." Head dog. Top gun. I salute you for man has never had a better friend.

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