This week, I would like to introduce you to Ryder. He is our one and only rough collie. His mother, Abby, is a smooth collie. Abby was bred to a rough collie, named Carson, which produced both rough and smooth puppies. Kori is one of Ryder’s littermates, and she is a smooth collie. Ryder and Kori were born right after Hurricane Sandy hit our town, and the story of their birth can be found here:
Ryder will be 2 years old on August 30, so he is still pretty young. Ryder is our largest collie, and is the only male since we lost Lad in September 2011. We didn’t intend to keep two puppies out of his litter, but after almost losing him, and watching his personality develop, we had to keep him. Ryder has the rough coat of his sire, but his expression and his personality are just like his mother’s. Ryder is incredibly sensitive, gentle and sweet. He is growing into a gorgeous boy too.
Ryder will let all the female collies walk all over him. When we give each of them a cow hoof, within in five minutes one of the girls will have stolen it from him. We always know when it happens, because he comes over to me and looks at me and cries. I will retrieve the stolen cow hoof, from either Scarlett or Kori, and return it to him. But five or ten minutes later, the same thing will happen all over again. When it is dinnertime, our cat, Pumpkin, will run over to his dog bowl and eat his kibble right alongside him. We have to stop her, because Ryder will not even nudge her away, he just tries to eat faster.
In the beginning, Ryder and Kori were inseparable. But once Scarlett turned four months old, Kori turned all her attention to her little sister. We are not sure if it is because Scarlett and Kori are both smooths, or if Scarlett is just more fun. (in Kori’s eyes) But now Kori and Scarlett sleep next to each other, play together and chase each other. And Ryder has shown that he now prefers the company of my daughter and I. All the collies get along, and they all play together, but they definitely have preferences. I wonder if that would change if we had another rough collie, if Ryder and a new rough would just naturally gravitate toward each other? Maybe someday we will get the chance to discover the answer to this question.
Ryder’s favorite thing to do is to go for a ride in the car. He has wonderful car manners too. It’s not something we had to teach him, he has always behaved in the car. He also loves to meet new people and dogs, and is a favorite among strangers on our hikes and walks. People see him and immediately start to smile. Every walk we have taken with him, without fail, results in at least one person stopping us by calling out “Lassie.” Most of the older people will fondly tell us how they had a collie as a child, and how they are the best dogs. And the young children, who are not familiar with the Lassie movies, will ask to pet him because he is so appealing and friendly. I have heard many children tell their parents, as we walked away, that they Ryder is a great dog, and they want a dog just like him. Many people mention how you never see collies anymore, and it’s true they aren’t as popular as they once were. I often wonder if any of those people consider getting a collie of their own, after meeting Ryder. In some ways, he is acting as a collie ambassador, and we are very proud of our boy!
When I first fell in love with collies, it was with the rough coated variety. I planned on having my own collie one day, and I always imagined that collie would be a rough However, my first collie, Lad, was a smooth boy instead. Then Abby and Holly joined our family, and I became addicted to smooths. But now, with Ryder, I finally have my rough collie, and he is a wonderful representation of the breed. We could not ask for a sweeter, more gentle collie. They are all so different, but each one of my collies has carved their own place in our lives and hearts, and they all have that amazing collie temperament that I strive so hard as a breeder to preserve. They are such wonderful companions and friends.
Want to "Meet" Abby and Holly? Their stories are here: