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, April 3, 2011

Buy that Dog!

Mandy and Buff
It's just not something you will hear me say very often. "Buy that Dog" carries with it a great deal of responsibility, and weight. If I utter those words, I am suggesting that someone take on the care and training of a life that may or may not be well suited to its' new home. I am putting someone in a position of making a commitment that I can only hope will be honored over time.

On rare occasions a student, or others, will ask me to help them find a dog. This is not a task I take lightly, nor one that I would undertake under anything approaching questionable circumstances. Be warned! I must be sure that the person wishing to acquire a dog is suitable working-dog-owner material, then I have to be as sure as I can be that any dog I refer is valued appropriately, and will suit that individual's needs, and skill level, and that's not easy.

Typically what I do is find a dog that may be right, then say to the prospective buyer and seller; "here you go, now you guys work it out," leaving the individuals responsible for their own decisions. Not so with Buff who was owned by a friend, Joyce Geier, and referred to me by another, Carol Campion, who knew he was for sale. I took one look at a video of the dog working, called Mandy, and said emphatically "buy this dog!" To her credit, and that of our friendship, she stepped up, did just that, and boy am I glad she did!

Buff was trained and trialed in Ireland by Seamus Gallgher, who hails from a long line of good dog men. Joyce saw Buff there and bought him for herself. After bringing him home to the states and trialing him for a year or so, she realized he may not be the best dog for her. Because I've done it, I know that it takes guts to make that admission, and in so doing, you are allowing someone else to find the dog of their dreams. It happens. It happened, and my student, Mandy has done just that.

Feeling the Love
I met Buff today for the first time, after his arrival last Friday from New York. Mandy brought him out to test him on sheep, and we threw him in with some lambs. Not the best choice for transitioning a dog, but all I have to work at the moment. Buff surpassed every expectation I had for him, and more importantly, he surpassed Mandy's. The first time she sent him on a little gather in the small field by my house, her hands flew to her face and a look of unbridled joy appeared as she watched her talented youngster square up and speed off on a stunningly beautiful flank to accomplish the task. And then it got better. If you promise not to tell anyone, I'll admit the truth; it made me cry...real tears of joy for the dog and for Mandy. You can ask her...I cried.

"Buy that dog!" Will I use it more liberally on the heels of success with Buff? Absoultely not! If anything, I'll be even more careful, because matches like this are so rare, that what are the chances?  All I know is that we got this one right for the best possible result. Joyce has an opportunity to find the the dog of her dreams, Buff has an idyllic home, and Mandy can finally acheive her working dog goals. It would all have been OK anyway, because if, for some reason, it hadn't worked out, I would have been standing in line to buy that dog!


  1. So happy for Mandy and Buff . I am sure Joyce is also thrilled Buff is in good hands . I know she would not have let him go if it were any other situation.

  2. what a happy story for all involved!!! Good for you, Amelia!!