Why an English Shepherd? Well, actually, I’ve no idea. The plan was, if another dog was coming into my life, it was going to be a Border Collie/Working Sheepdog and it was going to be predominantly “white”.
So, off we go to Lune Valley Obedience show in August 2010. My wife was competing in Novice with her Red and White Collie and in Class C with the Black and White one. Sunday, I was judging and that was us sorted. Then along came Rachael Young, foster Mum to ‘Bo’, a BLACK & TAN English Shepherd looking for a new (hopefully) working home. She was completely wild, throwing herself about at the end of the lead, hard mouthing her toy and later, me. And also trying to get to every other dog on the showground.
I was smitten, she was mental, just like me!!!!!
So on Sunday afternoon, after my judging day was over, I’m exhausted, and off we go, home with the newly named ‘Abbie’. Now registered as ‘Edenvillage Brightstar’, bred by Jackie Graves. At this time I didn’t know Jackie – I do now!
The reason for the name change is an excercise called Sendaway for which the command is ‘Go’, and the thought of ‘Bo Go” had me in hysterics. She’s had a broken leg, no training, no work, doesn’t know her name and she wants to take over the house – all at not yet 6 months. Well, she gets firmly put in her place by Kali, the older dog, threatened by Emmi and after pushing me out of the way to get upstairs finds that going upstairs again is NOT a good idea.
Anyway, she’s been here for 5 weeks now (it’s mid-September 2010). She’s learning how to do heelwork, recalls, stays, retrieves and lots of new words are being put into her, although she doesn’t actually know she’s being taught anything yet because she thinks its all playtime. She learns quickly but has a stubborn streak and has a way with sulking to rival any 4 year old child. She is into birds, butterflies and helicopters, although the latter are slightly harder to catch. She has tried wasp but they “bite” back and it hurts so not a good idea.
Her life is just begining and hopefully she’ll be a happy girl. She certainly has discovered that it’s pointless trying to argue with me and much more pleasant if you listen and react. We run training classes locally and she has got the attention of the human pupils who are amazed at the speed she is improving.
English Shepherds. Well, would I suggest one to anyone? Probably not, but to someone who has the time to spend on an active, high drive, working dog? Ooooooh YES.
There may be more to follow later about Abbie. At present she’s asleep, but I don’t know what she’s dreaming about, do I?