Friday, January 7, 2011

Ruth McCracken & Pip, Fly, Jack, Sheila, Kim, and Ben

Who is in the photo at right?

Me, Ruth McCracken, and Pip in the Land Rover while my dad's off checking up on the ewes. Took me an age to get that shot! I'm still in school, but it's my last year now, so I'll be off on study leave from mid-May. Whenever I'm not at school or blogging about my dogs, I'm outside helping my Dad with his work on the farm, looking after the sheep, silage, lambing etc.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

It's ten o'clock - everyone has some coffee at ten o'clock!

What's brewing?

Kenco instant cafe latte.... Mmmm foam!

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Galaxy chocolate.

Any treat for your dogs on this occasion?

They love Favour's biscuit bone treats.

How were you and your dogs united?

My family has always had dogs, because they were needed to herd the cows (or later on, sheep). Fly was here before I was, Jack was my granny's choice, Sheila was my dad's choice (but she ended up liking me better), Kim used to live with my cousin, but then the neighbours got some sheep and she kept escaping from the garden to go chase them, Ben was me. All me. I wanted a puppy so much, and by chance a man had just had a litter a few weeks ago, and we reserved one right away. Pip was the same really.

How did your dogs get their names? Do they have any nicknames?

Ben's nicknames are probably the oddest - one of his is "Ben Job", because, well, it just fits. I've never explained to myself why I call him that, because I have absolutely no idea. Another of his nicknames is "Paperweight," because sometimes I use him whenever there's cardboard in the wheelbarrow. He just sits there, while I wheel him around, and he stops it blowing away!

Squirrel, cat, postman...?

Squirrel, definitely. Though they would chase a cat just as quickly. It's a Collie thing.

Tennis ball, Frisbee, squeaky-toy...?

For Sheila it would be a tennis ball, but Ben, Jack, Pip and Kim would all love a good squeaky toy. Fly doesn't play, she thinks that she's above that.

Where is your dogs' favorite place for an outing?

Ben adores the beach. Loves it. But they all really enjoy a good old romp in the fields.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Ben's got a friend in a Bernese Mountain dog called Star. Sheila met her too, but Star didn't like her.

What is each dog's most endearing quality?

Pip's most endearing quality is her adorable eyes, and face markings. Ben's is his nature, he's just so quiet and relaxed about everything. He's like a big baby. Fly's has got to be her age. Because she's 18 and older than myself, I feel that she's got some sort of regalness about her, some sort of wisdom, like she know more about the world than me. It's a strange feeling.

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

Apart from shoving a camera in their face at every given opportunity? Sheila would probably tell me to stop getting more dogs. She's already fallen out with me a bit because she has to share me.

What is each dog's proudest moment? Most embarrassing?

Ben's proudest moment is when he went riding on a Bernese Mountain Dog's cart. That made me proud.

Visit The Dogs of Greenhill Farm blog and follow the Greenhill Farm Sheepdogs on Facebook.

--Marshal Zeringue