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Border Collies and their People (are the best)

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It is coming up on 12 years since I discovered this wonderful site. At the time, I had a wild coyote of a puppy who was overwhelming me just a bit. I named him Quinn, as in The Mighty Quinn. He was a lot of work as a youngster, but a ton of fun and over time he grew into his name. I learned so much from both Quinn and this site. I came from the agility world and so all the Border Collies I knew were sports bred, as was Quinn. I didn’t understand the difference from a dog that is truly working bred and those that come from “working lines” until folks on these boards explained the difference to me. I admit it was difficult for me to understand at first, just as some of the advice I was given was hard to accept at times. But I do truly appreciate the sharing of experience, wisdom and knowledge by many members here. We may not always agree, but we love our dogs and this breed in a way that few people in our “real life” will ever get.

I lost my 14 year old Lhasa in November. I put off getting another dog because in January and March, I had knee replacement surgeries scheduled. Everything went extremely well. From walking with a cane, using handicapped parking and limiting my activity, I am now able to walk all day and best of all I am able to walk on the beach again, one of my favorite activities. I started to think about getting a second dog, but Quinn had some issues, mainly fatique and lack of endurance that concerned me. Visits to the vet seemed to indicate aging and I worried it might not be the right time introduce a new dog to the household. Most of all, I didn’t want my boy to see me taking the new dog off to adventures while he had to stay home.

In July, I lost Quinn with no warning. I never had to make a decision about putting a dog down so quickly before and continue to struggle with whether I made the right choice. It was a devastating experience. One of these days, when I lose a dog, I may find that I can’t keep giving my heart to these amazing creatures with their short lives.


Quinn and me on our first trip back to the beach in June. He was my best boy.

Two days after Quinn died, I met a friend and her Border Collie at the beach. On the way there, I found myself feeling rather low but then thought of how Quinn taught me to love the beach. Years ago, when my friend discovered a dog friendly beach, Quinn and I tagged along. He was five and had a very similar reaction on his first visit to Lake Michigan that he had to his first sighting of sheep. In short, he went nuts with excitement. When I threw a toy into the water, he leapt in and did a water retrieve as if he had been doing so his whole life. His joy was contagious. Eventually, on our long walks, I discovered beach combing. Going to the beach became one of our favorite things to do, until my knees became so bad I had to stop going.

On my drive that morning in July, I decided that Quinn and all my dogs have brought me great happiness. They made me laugh every day. And as much as I grieved their loss, life was too short and the world too stressful to deny myself the joy and laughter dogs provide. By the time I got to the beach, a 15 minute trip, I came to a resolution. When I got out of the car and accepted exuberant Border Collie hugs from my friend’s dog, I announced to her that I was going to adopt a rescue Border Collie.

In August, largely due to the same friend’s Border Collie like determination and assistance, I adopted a lovely girl. She is about 18 months old and was apparently neglected by her first owners until they surrendered her to a shelter, covered in over 100 ticks. The shelter in turn, contacted the rescue person who allowed me to adopt this incredibly sweet girl.


I named her Kit and by the time I was loading her in the car for the long drive home, I loved her. Like my other dogs, she makes me laugh every day. She is very different from Quinn. But he was 12 and had received nothing but attention, stimulation, training, play and kindness from the day he was born. Kit has a great desire to please but lacks maturity and wisdom. I decided she was like a 3 month old puppy and that helped me with expectations and precautions. Today, she feels more like a 5 month old pup and I try to remember what Quinn was like at that age.

At 5 months, he was still a real wild child and took constant management. At 6 months, he decided I was important to him and almost overnight he went from worst puppy I ever had to the easiest. But he was still high maintenance. This is the problem when so many years go by between new dogs. I think I won’t forget, but somehow I get used to the mature, fully trained dog. I loved the level of interaction I had with Quinn, that when I told him to put the tug back in the toy box and bring me a ball instead, he understood and did as I asked. Kit chewed up the box that held the toys the first week I had her. But in all honesty, that box wouldn’t have survived Quinn when he was 3 months old either.

So anyway, I wanted to share about the new dog in my life. Kit is the first rescue dog I have had in over 20 years. Getting a rescue dog is something I attribute to discussions I have read or participated in on these Boards over the years. Another benefit from being a member here.

So, from Quinny and now Kit, thank you for all the help, encouragement, and education you have provided their person. I had an obedience instructor friend who used to say we become better owners and trainers with each dog. The members on these Boards, along with my dogs, have done a lot help me improve my understanding and skills. If I am half the owner and trainer my sweet, gentle Kit deserves, I (and she) will owe much of that to all of you.

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Like everyone else who has commented, I am sorry to hear about Quinn.


I wish I could see your photos, but instead, there is a thing that says "Please update your photobucket account to enable third party hosting" and I don't know if that means me or you.


My Kit came to me exactly when I did not need another dog, and exactly when I needed her.

She is now almost 16, and I will lose her soon, I know.


They give us much more than we can give to them. The pain of losing one is great, but the love when they are here makes it worth it, over and over.


Congratulations on your new dog. Keep us posted.

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