Thursday, March 3, 2011

Career Changes

As I'm sure you have noticed by now, not all of the border collie pups that are raised here at Alta-Pete Stockdogs become great herding dogs. However, being border collies, alot of them find different careers in their new homes.

For a herding washout, (relatively) Gyp is an over achiever. She does a little bit of everything. She still herds some and she excels in agility with many titles behind her name, but her most valuable talent must be as a therapy dog. Now that's a very good girl.

Bet doesn't believe she was supposed to be a border collie. She scorns herding but found a different job training Siberian husky puppies for the Iditarod.She started out as just a way to lure the pups back to their kennel after walks in the woods but she has ended up helping evaluate the future sled dogs. She teaches them to run out ahead of the training quad and shows them which direction "gee" and "haw" are. (see, if she was supposed to be a border collie, her directions would be "come bye" and "away to me")I don't think she was supposed to be a husky either. She is much too partial to living in the house, dining on waffles, and sleeping on big fluffy dog beds. If you ask her, she is a one of a kind and there's no need to get any more specific than that.

Gael is a super cute bundle of energy.I really loved her and when she didn't work out as a herding dog, I knew that agility would be her specialty. She spent too much time around here showing us how she could climb things - very fast.I didn't think her speed was going to be for beginners though and I was overjoyed when an agility instructor saw her potential and brought her into her home (and on to her bed!) - her new name is Pixie and I think it fits her perfectly.

Davey is our most recent career change dog. He wanted to please me. He really did, but he told me there was too much pressure in learning how to be a herding dog. I was really attached to him so I asked my friend Amanda who had helped me place Gyp, if she could find me another perfect home for Davey. She took him to her house for a while and taught him how to be a well mannered house dog. Then she found his new, perfect, home.
Davey has only been with his new owner for a few weeks and hasn't found his career yet. For right now, in addition to the important task of bone chewer, he has the job of being an "in-house therapy dog" and helping his loving owner get over the loss of her old dog. I hear he's very good at it.


Sarah said...

Oh Jenny, that made me teary seeing that!!!

Gyp IS amazing!! You are right, her Therapy dog work is probably her most rewarding thing we do ...

nevermind that she has won 2 Regional Agility Championships and been on the National Podium 3 times ... visiting the elderly and disabled is what really warms my heart. She is getting better and better at it as we do more.

The lady she is pictured with calls her "her dog". She doesn't remember alot, but she remembers Gyp.The first time we met her, Gyp jumped up on her bed without being asked and curled up with her. We all had tears in our eyes, she just knew that lady "Mae" was the biggest dog lover ever, and she used to have Border Collies too :) ... they just know.

manymuddypaws said...


Best post ever.

Herding washouts are the best. :)

thecrazysheeplady said...

Iris has done therapy work at several nursing homes and day care facilities. I think BCs are wonderful for this as they are so in tune with people. She makes every single person she visits with feel like they are the most special person in the world and that she must love them best.

Is Davey, Dave from last spring?

Cathy said...

All these dogs are so beautiful!

I just read "A Dog's Purpose", a novel by Bruce Cameron that is really about what you describe here...each dog finding what he is meant to do in life.

It's so nice that you get to stay "connected" to your dogs and that you know what everyone is up to!