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A Short Story - From Border Collie Rescue
It was many years ago
that I was born. I seem to remember it was in amongst the loose hay of a near
empty feed barn about mile from the nearest house that I first drew breath and felt life.
It was good. I was very happy then.
Over years, the Border Collie has become the most
popular herding dog and now most farms here keep them.
We got our food each day from the Mistress. We played with
each other and the Masters children. Mum came home each night and now and then - a
special treat - we had a visit from Dad to brighten up the day. I seem to remember we all
had a great need to stick our noses down dads throat whenever he appeared - to this day I
have never understood why - all I know is that he was very patient with us.
Then I really soiled my copy book or rather, I soiled the kitchen floor. I wasnt allowed in the house again. I was banished to the old coal shed. I believe I spent a long time there.
Paul was back from school for the summer holidays but I didnt see much of him. I was regarded as a non worker and master said it would be better if Paul and I didnt bond any more. I got a bit depressed.
Then one day a shadow fell across the grimy window of the
coal shed. A pale face with wide, worried, eyes was looking in, a deep frown of
concentration wrinkling the forehead. After a while it went - but it wasnt long
before it came back - this time with an older face. They looked together then stepped
back. Please said the pale face. I dont know muttered the
older and looked in again.
They both went away. After a while they came back with
Master who picked me up and gave me into the arms of the young, pale face, girl that I had
seen through the window. The man with the older face gave something to Master who said
Thanks and walked away, leaving the three of us together. We looked at each
other. I looked confused, pale face happy, old face a little bit worried. Lets
go tell your mother he said.
Mother, as it turned out, took one look at me and said Ooh, isnt he lovely.
Well I knew I was but it doesnt hurt being told from
time to time, does it? Pale face turned out to be called Gwen and she had a bigger sister
called Molly who also said Ooh, then spoilt it all by wrinkling her nose and
saying he pongs a bit
Father told the family how he had approached my master and
asked about the dog in the coal shed. Master had said that I belonged to his son but it
didnt look like I would be good for work. In the end he had agreed to part with me
saying that his son would miss me but cross my hand with a bit of silver to dry up
his tears. Father had given him a Half Crown and I had a new master - or rather a
I was Gwens constant companion. Day and night we were together. Of course Gwen had to go back to school but it was only five minutes walk up the road so I saw her every lunch time. In fact we always had lunch together.
We played and she taught me how to behave and have good manners in company. I grew more confident and trusting.
Gwen was a hard task mistress but fair and gentle. I grew
to love her, trust her and I couldnt do enough for her. A kind word from her was
worth all the tea in china to me. I was never so happy as when I pleased her.
Gwen used to take me into school whenever she could and
because I was so well mannered, the teachers didnt mind. Gwen used to love to show
me off to her friends. I wish my dog could do that they used to say, and they
would look at me with wonder in their eyes. I felt so proud of myself and Gwen in those
days - but things were to get even better.
She used to tell her friends that I was so intelligent and active that I needed lots to do to stop me from getting bored. She said that I was a member of a working breed of dogs and could have been a sheepdog if she hadnt made me her pet.
She said she had a duty to me to replace the life I would
have had rounding sheep up in the fields with something to keep me mentally stimulated and
interested in life.
We went for our first trial lesson to see if we wanted to
join - what a surprise - I was the only Border Collie there, so naturally I did well. The
instructors were pleasantly surprised by this young teenage girl and her sheepdog. We
Their owners would say I wish my dog could do
that. Gwen said they could if they tried.
My second certificate was the Intermediate. I had an
advantage there too as we had already covered some of the instructions and used to
practice a lot at home.
We sailed on through the training classes and I got my
Advanced. Some of the dogs I had started with were still on their intermediate (some for
the third time) and the instructors were very pleased with Gwen and me. We got a special
prize for the best dog and handler in the year. We were very proud. It was my first
rosette and - I think even now - my favourite.
After a lot of sniffing around and scratching about I found the missing ball and proudly bought it back. Gwen was looking thoughtful. Little did I know it but I was in for something new and interesting.
The training classes were closed for the summer and Gwen
went out and got a book on scent discrimination and search training. She had read lots of
books about dogs and Border Collies and sheepdog training and all. Oh dear, I
thought, as she produced the book - another book, another lesson!!
|Gwen said you could if you
I am looking forward to many more years of learning and
working and hearing these words - yes youve guessed I wish my dog could do
|And you know what the
answer is - dont you ? -------- You can - if you try !!!
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