Best
colliesonline.com
|
           

Performance Week 2012

Love the one you're with

by Michele Brane

In December, a friend lost her young dog to cancer. This dog had been her dream dog. She competed in agility with him, and he did well in some top-level competitions. Unfortunately, he developed cancer and a few days before Christmas 2011, she had to let him go. I'm sure you understand how she felt as she mourned the loss of her boy.

This spring, she obtained a new puppy of the same breed. She'd watched the puppies grow and had first pick of the four boys in the litter. We went with her to look at the puppies and were there the day she made her decision to take one of the mid-sized males. Although she was happy with her new puppy, she still (understandably) mourns the loss of her previous dog.

It is difficult when we lose that special collie – the one of "firsts": first MACH, first trial-level herding title, first UD or OTCH, first Champion – or the one with whom we had such a special connection.

The problem she's having is a common one. When the new puppy does things a puppy does, she laments that the 'old' dog didn't do that -- he was smarter at this age; he understood things better. The poor puppy has a hard time competing with the memory of her previous dog!

We sold a puppy to a man who had lost the collie he'd had for 14 years. He was excited about the new puppy, but later confessed that soon after taking the pup home, he was disillusioned with the new dog that was SO unlike the previous dog. Then, he said, he realized that this is a NEW dog, and that he needed to enjoy THIS dog, and stop comparing him to his predecessor. He now loves his new dog, and happily relates stories about the dog's antics and quirks and how much he enjoys him now that he's stopped making comparisons.

It is difficult when we lose that special collie – the one of "firsts": first MACH, first trial-level herding title, first UD or OTCH, first Champion – or the one with whom we had such a special connection. The excitement about getting that new puppy quickly dissipates when we find ourselves faced with starting over. Housebreaking. Chewed chair legs and rugs. Training all those basic things: sit, stay, wait, and down. We remember how great it was to have that perfect dog that was so easy to have around, and so much fun to take into that competition, and lament its loss.

The great thing about having a succession of dogs is that we have the opportunity to enjoy each dog as an individual. I have special memories about each dog I've owned, and though it's wonderful to remember them and what they did, I find that I don't want to compare the past dogs with the current dogs very much.

I've found I have a lot more fun with my dogs when I realize that each one is an individual. Though I see a lot of Claire, her grandmother, in my current girl, Minnie, she's not Claire all over again, nor do I want her to be. And though her sister, Joy, is very much like her mother, Lark, she's not a younger version of Lark -- though she DID inherit Lark's drive! She is somewhat like Lark, but she's Joy.

The great thing about having a succession of dogs is that we have the opportunity to enjoy each dog as an individual. I have special memories about each dog I've owned, and though it's wonderful to remember them and what they did, I find that I don't want to compare the past dogs with the current dogs very much. I don't want to put that burden on a new dog, because the new dog will nearly always fall short of what we remember about the dog that is gone or retired.


Three generations of our collies:
L (tri-color) – R: Joy, Claire (7/2000 – 3/2012), Lark, Minnie.


(Claire died unexpectedly two weeks after this picture was taken of
complications of aspiration pneumonia)


COLLIE QUOTE
The Collie presents an impressive, proud picture of true balance, each part being in harmonious proportion to every other part and to the whole.

– from the AKC Collie Breed Standard

Contact Us

colliesonline@
fastmail.us

Snail Mail
P.O. Box 416
Dunedin, FL 34697

 COLLIESONLINE.COM © 1999 - 2017 | CONTACT US at ColliesOnline@fastmail.us