How We Fell In Love With The Border Collie
When you have shared time and opened your heart to a Border Collie, the story is quite easy to write.
Writes itself, actually. And it can be as short as:
Today I met a Border Collie. The End
Because once you meet one and spend any significant time with him/her, you realize the secret. The secret that no one had told you. That even though you may have fancied yourself a “dog-lover” you had no idea that dogs like THIS existed! Maybe in the movies…but that’s fake! Those are movie-dogs!
Let me start where all good stories start – at the beginning, which for us was actually the end. The end of our very best friend in the whole world. The death of our first dog, Dexter. Dexter was the characteristic, bounding, loves-everyone Black Lab/Golden Retriever mix breed who we promptly brought into our lives 3 short months after purchasing our first home. At the tender age of 24 – a new house and a new puppy – we were sure we were ready for anything!
As most dog owners know – this wonderful, happy story is full of laughs, emotion, lessons in life and love, and sadly, death. Dexter was with us for 13 years and we were happy to have each and every one of them. We buried him close and visit him often. In fact, his birthday is coming up in a few days and I will be stopping by to say hi to my sweet boy.
After we lost Dexter, my husband and I fell into a sad routine of lifelessly passing each other from room to room. Not knowing what to do with the silence in the house that was just deafening. We spent weekends at the local Humane Society giving love to the strays, hoping one would find its way into our broken hearts – but we weren’t able to make any connections.
A few months went by and my mother came for a visit. She and I had coffee and a chat and soon she was on her way out. As my husband walked her to her vehicle she said to him, “Get that girl a dog!”
And then there’s the story of the Black Lab in the rain. I’ll make this one quick…
During our “empty house” period we had a wicked Summer-storm. I left for work that morning as usual except when I turned to get on the highway there was a large black Lab in the middle of the road. Being that it was still very early and a small town, I wasn’t too concerned about traffic so I pulled over, opened the back passenger door and called to him. He looked at me and almost smiled. My heart instantly warmed! He started walking toward me when a mini-van sped up to us laying on the horn which scared him and he ran away.
I called my husband right away still feeling like “something” just happened. That warm feeling still in my body. I told him the whole story and said to keep an eye out for him. A few minutes later as he walked from the bathroom to the kitchen, out of the corner of his eye he saw something in the backyard. It was the black lab! It took Randy a moment to realize he wasn’t seeing things. This was Dexter’s tree! How many times had he walked past that same door to see Dex laying in the yard, chewing a bone? He grabbed a few treats and opened the patio but almost as soon as he set the treats out, the garbage truck horn went off and scared him away again.
What are the odds that he would land in our yard not 5 minutes after running into me on the road? We both took it as a sign that we were ready for our next fur-kid.
In the coming days my husband did what he does best – research. And he found Susan. After several questions and picking a day and time, we were on our way to meet one of the last of a litter born 4 months earlier. There were 2 left. A boy and a girl. T he girl was high-maintenance and the boy was a bit of a runt. Having had some issues at birth and some serious emotional/personality issues….none of this mattered to us. We knew the boy was who we were going home with. And we loved him right away.
Being in a home with an extended Border Collie family can be a bit intimidating. Especially when you know nothing about the breed. All we knew was we loved dogs. We lost ours. We were ready to do this again. And my husband always had a thing for Frisbee dogs. Me? I didn’t much care so as long as I could hug and kiss and pet him and I would hear his tick-tick-tick of his nails following me from room to room.
We loved Susan right away and she loved us. Some people you meet and you just know right away. She felt that way about us too. And we are good friends to this day – spending many a weekend getting the whole family back together.
Bonding with the Border, who we lovingly named Maui (after our favorite place on earth), was not something that just “happens”. This was to be one of my first lessons. And I don’t want to ruin any of the wonderful surprises that await you as the possible new Border Collie owner. Had I been told everything I would have been bummed out. If you are a responsible person and if you had done even a little research, you know full-well the magnitude of your decision to bring a Border Collie into your life. What you don’t know is the magic that awaits you!
Maui’s Mom is giving birth in 4 weeks and we are getting ready to double our Border family! More on that as the story develops…. In closing I’d like to say thank you to my husband for finding Susan and bringing the Border into our lives. He has truly changed our lives forever and we love him for it!
Proud Border Collie owner,