Friday, May 25, 2012

Doniene & Bess, Pete, Tate and Liesl

Who is in the photo at right?

Hi, I'm Doniene and this is Bess and Pete, my young Border Collies - Bess is one year old and Pete is 9 months. I also have two other BCs - Tate who is four and Liesl who is 2 1/2.

I'm a rancher's wife and we live on a ranch in central Texas where we raise cattle, meat goats and horses. Due to the drought, our cattle numbers are down, but we have been able to keep a good number of goats. Hence, the need for the Border Collies, who are a great help to us.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Because Border Collies are working dogs (and will work any time, all the time!) they spend their time with out me in their dog runs. So coffee break time for us is "free play" time in the garden.

I love to sit in the swing seat under the tree, drinking my favorite brew, watching the dogs play!

[photo left: Tate on the trial field]

What's brewing?

I love any Gevalia coffee, but Hazelnut is my all time favorite! Brewed and with a touch of real cream. (I milk a cow, so always have the real stuff!)

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

No treats for the dogs - they are just happy to run and play!

How were you and your dogs united?

That's a long story, but the shortened version is: I raised Tate - he was one of a litter of 8 of which 7 died, so I became his "mama". His birth mama was our first BC to use here on the ranch and was a wonderful asset. Tate proved to be as good as his mama, and I have even ventured into Sheep Dog Trialing with Tate. We are still "Novices", but are learning a lot!

I received Liesl [photo right, checking out a grasshopper] as a birthday gift from my kids. Bess is a half sister to Liesl, and wanted another female. Bess and I are a perfect fit, and we are doing very well in our training, not only to be a ranch dog, but also a trial dog. Pete was "payment" for taking care of his mama when she whelped. Pete was one of five and I had so much fun taking care of that bunch! Pete comes from a line of Sheep Dog Trial Champions, so I am very excited about beginning his training!

What is each dog's best quality?

Tate - total devotion to me - if I ask him to do something - he will do it to his utmost ability!

Liesl - her joy for life - she is always happy!

Bess - her biddability - quickness to obey!

Pete [photo left] - so smart - learns things very quickly!

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

I like short names, and like different vowel sounds for all the dogs that I am working ie, each name needs to sound distinct - no rhyming names,and no names that start with the same sound. It makes it easier for us to "know" exactly who is being given a command!

Sometimes when working on the ranch, we will work more than one dog at a time.

Do your dogs make any contribution to your quilting?

None what so ever! But I'm passionate about both - and I think having diverse interests keeps me fresh in my thinking for both activities.

Do your dogs have a favorite place to go for an outing?

Anywhere there is sheep, goats or cattle to work!

Squirrel, postman, cat...?

As young dogs they all wanted to "work" anything that moved. But it is part of their training to ignore squirrels, cats, chickens...

If your dogs could speak in the movie about your life, who should do their voices?

Tate: Robert Redford

Liesl: Whoopie Goldberg

Bess [on the lookout, photo left]: Ellen DeGeneres

Pete: Kirk Cameron

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Because they are working dogs - no other animals like them!!

If your dogs could change one thing about you, what would it be?

That I would never do anything unless it is with them!

Visit Doniene's 365 Days and just border collies blogs.

--Marshal Zeringue