Saturday, August 30, 2014

Happy Birthday!

Today was a fun day, we celebrated Ryder and Kori's 3rd birthday!  I can't believe they are 3 already!

Tomorrow we will have pictures to share from our day!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mischief Monday!

Sure, I'll pose for a picture!

How's this?

On second thought, I would much rather be in the water!

Happy Monday Everyone!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Breeders vs rescue

Depending on how active you are on certain social media websites, you may have read the story about a little sheltie and the battle over her fate.  The sheltie lived with her mom, who was also her breeder.  She was a show dog, but she was also her owner's beloved companion.  From what I have read so far, the sheltie was being cared for by a friend, while her mother was out of town.  While her friend was caring for the sheltie, she lost her, and it took a few days to locate her.

While people were looking for the lost sheltie, she was picked up by animal control as a stray.  And after the mandatory stray hold time was up, she was pulled from the shelter by a sheltie rescue.  It was at this time that the woman discovered that the sheltie was picked up by animal control, and when she contacted them, she was told the sheltie had already been released to a rescue.  Both the woman caring for the sheltie and her owner began contacting the rescue, and this is when the battle began.  The rescue refused to return the sheltie to her owner.  They demanded proof that the sheltie actually belonged to the owner, which she provided.  However, the rescue claimed that the AKC registration, pictures and veterinary records were not enough.  And even though the sheltie was microchipped, because the owner hadn't registered the microchip, the rescue continued to refuse to release the dog.

And ongoing legal battle began, with the rescue refusing at every turn to release the sheltie.  After months, a decision was finally reached by the courts.  Finally, on Wednesday, a judge ruled that the sheltie was to be immediately returned to her owner.  However, when the sheriff arrived to pick up the sheltie, the rescue refused to relinquish her.  They have been given five days to turn her over to the sheriff’s department, which means they have until Monday to produce the sheltie.  When I visited the rescue's Facebook page, I read that they are refusing to discuss the case, and they are tired of being harassed over this issue. 

Now, I cannot give enough praise to rescues and the people who tirelessly work to save the lives of dogs, cats and other animals.  But I have started seeing a trend where some rescue groups are demonizing all dog breeders.  This just is not fair, as reputable, ethical breeders genuinely care about the animals they breed.  We have our puppy buyers sign a written contract, in which the new owners promise to return the dog, at any age, to us if they cannot keep the animal.  Many dog breeders are members of their local breed clubs and they too work in rescue.  And they are involved with their chosen breed because of a deep love for that particular dog breed, they are not simply "in it for the money."  In fact most dog breeders barely break even, as every dollar from the sale of their puppies gets funneled back into the expense of caring for their dogs.  So when I read of a rescue group refusing to return a dog to its owner, just because the owner is involved in showing and breeding dogs, it breaks my heart.  Both the rescue groups and the dog breeders are involved with dogs because of their love of dogs, so shouldn’t everyone be working together?
Which brings me to my next story.  Two days ago a fellow collie breeder wrote a post about a smooth collie puppy that was surrendered to a shelter by his owner.  The owners left him there, along with his AKC registration papers.  A few of the collie breeders in the area of the shelter have contacted the staff, concerned that this could be a puppy from their kennel.  The shelter is refusing to let them know if they are listed on the registration as the puppy's breeders.  Even after someone explained to the staff that when a breeder sells a puppy it's with a contract, which states the puppy will be returned to the breeder and not surrendered to a shelter, the manager refused to cooperate.  The shelter manager said that it would be an issue between the breeder and the puppy's owner, and that it does not concern the shelter, and the breeders should contact the puppy's owners.  But if the staff will not release the name of the collie's breeder, then how is anyone supposed know if he is a puppy they bred, and thus contact the puppy's owners? 

It is very disheartening when people continue to vilify dog breeders, and refuse to work with breeders for the benefit of the dogs involved.  What do you think?  How should these two situations have been handled?

And just so this isn't only a sad post, here is a cute puppy belly!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Poetry Saturday...

There are so many lovely Poems and stories about dogs and collies, we thought we share a few with you each Saturday...

This Dog and This Child
Author Unknown

The Dog:

When I'm a puppy, I'll cry at night, and you'll have to get up every couple of hours during the night.
When I'm sick, I sneeze, get runny noses, run a fever, cough, and sometimes throw up. 
When I'm hungry my stomach makes noises.
When I'm tired I take a nap. 
When I'm thirsty I look for something to drink.
When I'm happy, I smile and when I'm sad, you can see it in my eyes.

When I don't get my way, I throw a tantrum. 
When I get hurt, I cry. 
When I get hit, I cower. 
When I get scared, I hide behind your leg and look to you for assurance.
When you leave me, I miss you.
When you come home from work, I get excited.
When you ask me about my day, I get silly.
When you play catch with me, take me fishing, take me for a walk and teach me stuff about the world, I look to you with admiration.
When you're mad at me, I feel sorrow.
When you're proud of me, I feel accomplishment.

The Child:
When I'm a baby, I'll cry at night, and you'll have to get up every couple of hours during the night. 
When I'm sick, I sneeze, get runny noses, run a fever, cough, and sometimes throw up.
When I'm hungry, my stomach makes noises. 
When I'm tired, I take a nap.
When I'm thirsty, I look for something to drink. 
When I'm happy, I smile and when I'm sad, you can see it in my eyes.

When I don't get my way, I throw a tantrum. 
When I get hurt, I cry.
When I get hit, I cower.
When I get scared, I hide behind your leg and look to you for assurance.
When you leave me, I miss you.
When you come home from work, I get excited.
When you ask me about my day, I get silly.
When you play catch with me, take me fishing, take me for a walk and teach me stuff about the world, I look to you with admiration.
When you're mad at me, I feel sorrow. 
When you're proud of me, I feel accomplishment.

We have the same feelings, this dog and this child.
We will spark in your emotions, of Joy and of Pride.

We have the same feelings, this dog and this child.
We both feel pain, we both bleed and we both cry.

We have the same feelings, this dog and this child.
We both feel the fear, of you not loving us and of dying.

We ask you to consider, why is one of us more disposable than the other.
This Dog and This Child

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Proud dog mom...

Our friends over at Fidoseofreality did a blog post about pet parents.  They asked if other bloggers consider themselves dog moms and what we would do if people questioned our use of the term "dog mom" or "dog dad?"

Holly, having fun at the Doggie Fun Zone, because dogs like to play too!

To answer the first part of her question, yes, I do call myself a dog mom.  My daughter does too, and always buys me cards from her and from the dogs.  So while I have a human daughter,  I also have kids of the four-legged variety.  We compete with our collies at dog shows, and have traveled 16 - 20 hours by car with our collies to reach some of these shows.  I know many moms of human children who travel these distances, to take their human kids to different competitions they have entered.

Holly at a dog show.

I take my collies to their doctor when they are sick, I buy them toys at Christmas and on their birthdays.  (Which we wrap in pretty paper)  I talk to them, sing to them, hug them and have pictures of my collies hug up at home and at my desk at work.  (Right next to pictures of my human daughter.).  I feel pride when my collies win at dog shows, and I worry when they are sick.  So yes, I am definitely a dog mom.  And I'm proud to say my daughter feels the same way about our dogs.

Holly, riding on the train with us.

The second part of her question, well that's a little harder to answer.  As I am one of the few dog parents where I work, I tend to not refer to myself as a dog mom there.  I know it is a term that would cause eye rolls, and possible negative comments, so I avoid the subject at my place of employment.  But I avoid it because it's where I work, I don't care what strangers think, and I would use the term without hesitation elsewhere.  Because to me, the definition of a parent is one who provides care and love, who guides and educates, throughout another being's lifetime.  And isn't that what we do for our dogs?  So who else is a Dog mom or Dog dad?

My daughter, sharing a quiet moment with Holly.

Friday, July 18, 2014

What's in a name?

The relationship between dogs and their humans has greatly changed over the last century.  Dogs are now, more than ever before, considered a part of the family.  People cater to their dogs, spending thousands of dollars on products that are designed to make dogs happy and healthy.  With gourmet dog treats, orthopedic dog beds, and toy boxes full of toy dog toys, our dogs have it made.  When working long hours at the office, some people will even drop off their dogs at a doggie daycare center, so their dogs can spend the day happily playing with their friends.

(Kori does not regularly attend doggie daycare, my daughter works at one, and brings Kori to work with her.  Which Kori loves, as you can see by the videos.) 

And with their elevated status, dogs are now given very different monikers.  While we are sure you can still find the occasional Spot, Fluffy, Rover, Buffy, Fido or Champ, people are giving their pets more personal and unique names.  This is a list of the top dog names, is your dog's name on the list?

 1) Max and Bella
2) Charlie and Daisy
3) Jack and Molly
4) Buddy and Lucy
5) Jake and Sadie
6) Tucker and Maggie
7) Duke and Bailey
8) Toby and Chloe
9) Bear and Sophie
10) Oscar and Lola
11) Dexter and Luna
12) Thor and Layla
13) Gunner and Piper
14) Bently and Nala
15) Jax and Stella

So we are curious, what is the most unusual dog name you have heard?  What was the cutest?  What is the most extravagant item you have purchased for your dog? (or your cat?)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Immortalized in paint!

We had to share this!  An artist, Barbara Guitas, spotted one of our pictures of Kori on Facebook, and asked if she could paint it.  I said yes, of course, as I was very flattered.

We are so thrilled with this lovely picture!  She captured our Kori girl's sweet expression!  I can't wait to see this painting, and hang it on our wall!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A coat of a different color...

We have talked about how genes determine the health of a collie, and now I want to talk about how they also determine a collie’s appearance.  Many breeds of dogs have a variety of coat colors and types.  Collies are known for their sweet expressions and beautiful coats.  Collies have two varieties of coats, the rough and smooth coats.  They have four recognized coat colors.  The colors recognized by the AKC are sable and white, tricolor, blue merle, and white.

Pure for sable smooth coated collie
The sable and white coat can actually come in a variety of shades, from a light, buff color to a dark mahogany.  The tricolor is predominantly black, with white and tan markings.  The blue merle is a rich mixture of grays, blacks and white, which give it a bluish appearance.  And lastly, there is the  white collie, who isn’t actually a solid white color as the name implies.  The white collie will have a predominantly white coat with either sable, tri or blue merle markings.  The white color is not recognized in the European standard.

Rough, mahogany sable - this would be a tri factored sable collie.

Sable headed white, photo courtesy of Darlene Kerr

In Europe you will never see a rough and a smooth bred together, as they are viewed as separate breeds.  In the U.S. rough and smooth collies are allowed to be bred together, but are judged separately at dog shows.  In the U.S. the rough and smooth collies are considered to be two varieties of the same breed.  Because we are allowed to breed these two varieties together, we have more dogs to choose from, and thus we have more genetic diversity.

Rough and smooth collies

A collie’s coat is determined by his or her genes.    Because the gene for the rough coat is recessive , if you breed two roughs together the breeding will only produce roughs.  If you breed a rough and a smooth together, you can have both rough and smooth puppies in the litter.  The smooth puppies from such a breeding would be considered rough-factored.  If you bred two rough-factored smooth collies together, you could end up with both rough and smooth puppies in litter, because smooths can carry the recessive rough gene.  If you bred two pure-for-smooth collies together, you would end up with only smooth collies in the litter.

Tricolor smooth collie, photo by Jerrica Coady-Farrell

Coat color is also dependent on dominant and recessive genes.  If you breed a tricolor with another tricolor, you will only have tricolor puppies in the litter.  If you breed a sable and a tricolor, you will produce both tricolor puppies and sable puppies that are trifactored.  Here is the color inheritance breakdown:
S - Sable
Dominant coat color, sable comes in a variety of colors, from straw to dark mahogany.

PS – pure sable
These collies carry no tricolor gene, and can only produce sable offspring.


tS – tri factored sable
sable collies carrying the tricolor gene along with the dominant sable gene.  Most trifactored sables have a very dark mask and a darker sable coat.

Tri = tricolor
Recessive to sable, tricolors have black coats with white and tan markings.
M – merle
A dominant dilution gene which combined with sable or tri genes, produces merled collies.

BM – blue merle
Bluish gray coat with black splotching and white markings.  Blue merles are the product of a dilution gene with the tricolor gene.

SM – sable merle
Sable and white collies with the merle gene, the sable merle comes in pure for sable and tri factored sable.

tSm – tri factored sable merle
These collies carry the tricolor gene alone with the sable and merle gene.  Tri factored sable merles are usually a darker sable color than PSM.

PSM – pure sable merle
A light sable merle, with no tricolor gene.



W – white
These collies have a predominantly white body, with a colored head.  They are the result of breeding two white parents or white factored parents.  The color white is a recessive gene, and depending on the other gene received, the white collie may have tri, sable or blue merle markings.

Wf – white factored
Colored dogs with a lot of white on their neck, tail tip and white extending upward from their hind feet.  When bred to another white factored or a white collie, they can produce white offspring.

WM – white merle
The white merle results from breeding two merled parents.  These collies inherit the dominant dilution gene from both parents.  They may be all white, or may have a few merle spots.  They may be missing eyes, blind and/or deaf.  They may also have severe impairment to their liver or kidneys.  If bred to a tricolor, these collies will only produce blue merle offspring.
 These are the offspring that may be produced by combining the the following sires and dams:
PS  +  PS  = PS
PS + tri = tS
PS  +  tS = PS and tS
tS + tri = tS and tri
tS  + tS = PS,  tS, tri
Tri + tri = tri
Tri + BM = tri, BM
BM  +  BM  = BM, tri, WM
BM  +  tS  = BM, tS, tSM, tri
BM + PS = tSM, tS
WM + tri  = BM
tSM  +  tri  = BM, tS, tSM, tri
tSM  +  tS  = BM, tSM, tri, tS, PSM, PS
tSm  +  PS  = tS, tSM, PSM, PS
PSM + tri = tS, tSM
White + white = white
Wf + Wf  = non-Wf, Wf, white
Wf BM  +  tri-headed white = blue-headed white, tri-headed white, Wf tri, Wf BM
White  +  non white = Wf

Rough blue merle, photo courtesy of Jennifer Laik