Who is in the photo at right?
This would be Tess and me, Diane Pagel. I have a day job as a Aerospace Engineer for the FAA: I certify large transport airplanes. My degree is EE. For my hobby I raise and train Border Collies for sheepdog and cowdog trials. I have been working with Border Collies for over 20 years and 17 years of that in the sheepdog venue. I have been doing USBCHA trials for 12 years.
Tess is almost 14 years old and my retired Open dog. She is the love of my life and the reason that I am in this sheepdog sport. I also have a sheep farm and raise sheep to train my dogs on and also for food.
In addition, I am a writer. I write for The Working Border Collie magazine and The Stockdog Journal. I am also writing material for a dog book. I also have a Border collie blog. The name of my kennel and training center is Deltabluez Stockdogs.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
I often go to Starbucks for coffee and take my dogs. Since we live in a small town, I can sit outside with them and have coffee. The local folks love them and give them treats. My dogs love going for coffee as they get quite spoiled by everyone.
My favorite coffee is Almond Latte Breve. I also drink a lot of tea. Green tea is my favorite.
Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?
My dogs always get treats. They sit nicely and as a result they get treats. They especially love my mother. When she visits, she will feed them a whole bag of treats while we drink coffee or tea.
How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?
DeltaBluez Tess is my retired Open dog and her nicknames are Tessie and Monkey. Monkey as she wraps her paws around your legs.
Nan is Beautiful and Nana-Banana.
Rainey [photo right] is Bug, Bunny or Petunia.
Maid is Maidie or Moo-Moo.
They all respond to “the girls.”
How were you and your dogs united?
We bought Tess when she was a pup to save her from being shot. The breeder was tired of the puppies and was going to shoot them as she was going on vacation. Next thing you know, she changed our lifestyle around and we got into sheepdog trialing. She made us learn to love life.
Nan was from a friend who had cancer and wanted her to have a good home. She wanted to make sure she would keep on trialing but have a good life.
Rainey is the daughter of Tess and when she was born, I knew she was going to stay.
I recently got Maid [photo left] as I needed another trial dog and had admired her for years. I never thought I would be able to get her but when the opportunity came up, I jumped at it.
Do your dogs have any non-canine pet-pals?
Well, Sarah the barn cat thinks the dogs are the best to rub against and then kick them out of their dog beds. They will often sit with her on the couch. Sarah grew up with the puppies so she rules them with an iron paw. They also adore Jeff “Getty” Freeman, who is my husband. He spoils them a lot and of course, my mother totally spoils them.
What is each dog's best quality?
Tess- the ability to carry me as I was learning how do the sheepdog trials and her capacity to love me.
Nan [photo right] - to teach me how to handle a dog and be calm.
Rainey- for showing me how to help a dog grow.
Maid- is showing me how to handle a strong dog and be a mentor.
All have the traits of love and forgiveness. They are my partners and after our sessions, they hold no grudges. I love them deeply. They all came in my life with a purpose and I have to honor that.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dogs could speak, which actors should do their voices?
Katherine Hepburn and Sophia Loren.
They would be more of the older classic style actresses.
If your dogs could change one thing about you, what would it be?
Probably not to get too excited on the trial field, stay calm and focus more. When that happens, it is like magic.
If your dogs could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?
What can I do to make your life better or happier?
Visit Diane Pagel's Border collie blog and the Deltabluez Stockdogs website.