Over the 4th of July week we attended a 4 day dog show. We had Scarlett, who is already a champion, entered in Best of Variety so she could earn points towards her Grand Championship. She won Select Bitch two of the days, and Best of Variety another. The Best of Variety gave her a 2nd major towards her Grand Championship, she needs 3 majors all together. And we also had Maizie and Winter entered, as they are working towards their championships. They took turns winning, both winning Winner's Bitch and earning points. (I'm sure the other handlers weren't too happy with us winning four days in a row!) Usually my daughter handles our collies at shows, but with three girls entered, I had to step into the ring as well. And one of the days I won Winner's Bitch and then went on to win Best of Opposite Sex to Best of Variety with Maizie! I was pretty nervous, but it was exciting to show Maizie myself and watch her win from inside the ring instead of watching as a spectator outside the ring.
|Scarlett, proud of her Best of Variety ribbon|
|Scarlett, napping before going to the Herding Group|
Early this month we attended a Scottish Festival with Ryder, Scarlett and Winter. We were there with friends and their collies, to represent the collie breed. As collies originated in Scotland, you couldn't have a festival celebrating all things Scottish without them!
And this week I went to Washington DC, for the first time, for a work conference. I spent a few days there, and visited some of the historic sites. It was quite an experience and I think every American should get to visit at least once in their lifetimes.
This weekend was The Gathering at Sunnybank. Long time readers of our blog may remember my previous posts about Sunnybank, but if you haven't read them, then please check them out by clicking on the links below. Sunnybank is a very special place to us, and to collie lovers all around the world.
Books and movies for dog lovers
It's that time of year again
Sunnybank, Then and Now, Always Beloved
A collie named lassie, and a place called Sunnybank
The Gathering at Sunnybank
Ryder took his Therapy Dog test at Sunnybank two years ago, and has been doing a wonderful job ever since. I had decided to get one of our smooth collies tested this year, as so few people know about the smooth collie breed. I figured it would help the people we visit and it would also help educate the public about these special dogs. I signed up both Scarlett and Sophie for the Therapy dog test. Scarlett just loves people, and with her happy nature, people are drawn to her. So I knew she would be a good choice. She is beautiful, and greets people with not just a wagging tail, her entire butt wags in greeting! And Sophie is unlike any of our other collies, she lives for attention. All our collies are very sweet and love people, but Sophie takes it to a different level, in that she needs it more than food and water. If she is sitting next to me, it's not enough, she has to be touching me. If she is touching me, it's not enough, she has to be kissing me. And she makes prolonged eye contact with me and other family members. And when she stares at me, all the love in the world is shining in her eyes, she is so devoted! I couldn't decide which one to get tested, so I signed them both up. And yesterday, they both passed the test with ease, which shouldn't surprise me, as my collies are always willing to do whatever I ask of them. It's just one of the hundreds of things that make this breed so special.
|Scarlett, on her long down-stay, with her eyes on me the whole time.|
|Sweet Sophie, the day before the test, maybe dreaming about becoming a Therapy dog?|
Sophie's brother, Finn, also took the Therapy Dog test and the Canine Good Citizen Test, and he passed them both as well. I know his family was very excited when he passed the tests. It was a very proud day for me, as their breeder, to see three of my collies achieving their goals. Sophie and Finn aren't the only ones accomplishing their goals, their brother Nigel is well on his way to becoming a service dog, and their brother Gibbs has already earned herding titles on sheep. And of course Maizie is working hard towards her championship. This is a post that contains videos of Sophie and Finn, along with their litter mates, when they were just little pups. I worked hard to socialize and train them, and I think it's evident in all they have accomplished.
Today, Ryder and I visited our local Nursing home, and told all his friends that his sister and niece would be visiting Therapy dogs soon. They were so excited, but made me promise Ryder would continue to come visit them too. This summer has been bittersweet, with some very sad moments and some very happy ones. But I guess that pretty much describes life, and my collies make it a good one.