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I knew this was coming, of course. But I still don't know what to do about it. Kit is gone and now, while I have two dogs, I don't have a border collie any more. Maybe some of you can understand this. I am a border collie person. Having border collies is sort of part of my identity. When someone would ask me what kind of dogs I had, there was always this little silly pride in being able to say, "I have border collies."

Well, now I have two small dogs: a terrier mix and a fluffy white dog, both in the 20-25 pound range. I didn't plan on having either one of them, but things happen and they are my dogs now. They are extremely well behaved, trained in canine freestyle, cute and affectionate and smart and lovable. Very enjoyable little guys -  everyone likes them -no complaints - I love them and cannot imagine my life without them. I feel as though I shouldn't want any more, but there's the fact that I don't have a border collie. It's not just that I am a BC person. It is also that these little dogs are such easy keepers that they are almost too easy. They don't demand much from me, and are simply grateful for what they get. For most people that is ideal, and yeah, it's great, but I am used to having border collies who demand my attention. With one or more border collie I don't get to say I am too tired today to go for a walk and to have a good long play session of tug or fetch.  I have to do it. I don't get to let the freestyle training go for 2 weeks because I got lazy; the dog needs the attention. I don't need to keep thinking up new things to teach the dog to keep the dog from getting bored. These small dogs will learn what I want to teach them just fine but there isn't the same drive, the same quick mind, the "Tell me what to do! I'll do it!!". I  miss that. And, it is good for me to have someone there who motivates me to go out and take a walk or a hike or play Right Now.

I go around and around in my mind about this. If I had no dog at all it would be a no brainer; I would be getting another border collie as soon as I found the right one. But I have a perfectly calm, integrated, settled little pack with the 2 small dogs and the cat. Bring in a young border collie and everything gets shaken up, relationships change, and you never know in what way. I have it easy for road trips now; two small dogs don't take up much room in the car; add a border collie and you add more than just one more dog. And so on. But. I don't have a border collie and that doesn't feel right.

Not looking for advice, since only I can make this decision, and I don't know what I will do. Right now I think I will simply go along not doing anything and see what happens. Perhaps if it is "meant to be", another border collie will simply come into my life. Or I will, as Rilke said, "live along some distant day into the answer". I just thought I would see what others have experienced along these lines. Have you ever found yourself not dogless but border collieless?

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When that happens for me, it will be a sad day because it will most likely be because I am no longer physically able to care for one. Until then, I wouldn't want anything else, even though there sure are other dogs that I like as individuals. It's just that there are none of them that I would pick for my own. That said, if something happened to one of the adult children and their dog(s) needed a home, we'd welcome the dog(s) into our home. 

You'll figure it out. I think keeping an open mind is wonderful! 

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Thanks, Sue. I am finding it hard to talk with anyone about this because it is not a readily understood issue, nor one that often occurs. I would never have chosen either of the two dogs I have now. One was left in my care and then abandoned, although by the time I realized the owner had abandoned him I loved him so I kept him.  I figured there'd be no problem having him and my border collies, and there wasn't. The other dog was my partner's dog, and he was a perfect dog for her. But she died, and I inherited him.  I love and wouldn't part with either of them. But every time I see even a photo of a border collie I long to have one. Never thought I would be in this position. 

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I've never been in your position, D'Elle, but from what you post, it seems painful to me. You have two beloved dogs, but neither one of them is your soul's dog. I don't know what is best for you, or your larger situation. Some folks need to 'rest' for a while and not bring in a new dog right away. Some go right out and get another as soon as they can. There's no right or wrong.

I hope your heart heals from this loss, and that you find peace. And perhaps another border collie.

Ruth & Gibbs

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On 1/26/2019 at 11:47 AM, D'Elle said:

Thanks, Sue. I am finding it hard to talk with anyone about this because it is not a readily understood issue, nor one that often occurs. I would never have chosen either of the two dogs I have now. One was left in my care and then abandoned, although by the time I realized the owner had abandoned him I loved him so I kept him.  I figured there'd be no problem having him and my border collies, and there wasn't. The other dog was my partner's dog, and he was a perfect dog for her. But she died, and I inherited him.  I love and wouldn't part with either of them. But every time I see even a photo of a border collie I long to have one. Never thought I would be in this position. 

I feel for you. You are a kind-hearted person who has opened your home and heart to these two dogs who, I am sure, bring you joy. The "right" dog may come along sooner or later, but I am sure that when he/she does, you will know it and so will the dog. You are one person that I would have no doubt entrusting any dog to if needed, including my Celt, and that's saying an awful lot about how I feel about you. 

I know people who call me a "dog lover" and yet I cringe when I hear that. I love the concept of "dog", the faithful companion, the goofy entertainer, the walking partner, the stranger alarm, etc. But I certainly don't like all kinds of dogs, not one bit - I don't like anything extreme, flat-faced, deformed, distorted, and so on, even though I may like individuals who are one of those things. And, I don't hold it against the dogs that they are born that way, I hold it against the humans that want those deformities and extremes, and the humans who breed for that market. But I sure wouldn't want one, no matter how much I might like an individual. 

I want a dog that, to me, is a *dog* and the Border Collie fits my criteria just right - I love black and white; I love rough coats; I love that they don't tend to be barky; I love looking into their eyes and seeing that there is that something special in their brain; I love their stoicism, enthusiasm, and focus on their person; I love their desire to be an active partner. I love the fact that they are built like a dog should be built, reasonable proportions, good snout, functional skin and coat, and, in sum, sort of like a wolf or village dog. 

I don't mean to offend anyone who loves anything else canine - this is what I love, and I understand totally how you feel a certain emptiness without one. They are special. They are unique. They are the right dog for people like you and me. 

I hope you and whomever that dog is find each other and you can feel that your pack is whole again. 

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No, I haven't been in the position of being Border Collieless.  It would be the same as Sue R.  If I don't have a Border, it would mean I'm no longer physically able to care for one.  I'm on my second pair and I've shared my life with a Border Collie for 25 years.  I can't imagine being without one although I love dogs in general.  I love my Borders and, God willing, will have one (or two) in my life for a long time yet.

     I really feel for you too.  I'm praying that the right Border Collie comes your way.

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D'Elle, I have not been in your position exactly,  but I do not know if I would be able to bear not having at least one BC. 

All I can say is to keep your heart and eyes open.  That was how our third BC came to us - as a give away puppy on an on-line classifieds website.

Another dog we re-homed was on the website for weeks because his advertisement was misspelled "boarder collie".  We searched for collie instead of border collie by mistake one day and he came up.

It may sound very woo-woo, but I do believe that dogs and people are destined to meet each other.  Your dog will come to you.

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17 hours ago, Lawgirl said:

D'Elle, I have not been in your position exactly,  but I do not know if I would be able to bear not having at least one BC. 

All I can say is to keep your heart and eyes open.  That was how our third BC came to us - as a give away puppy on an on-line classifieds website.

Another dog we re-homed was on the website for weeks because his advertisement was misspelled "boarder collie".  We searched for collie instead of border collie by mistake one day and he came up.

It may sound very woo-woo, but I do believe that dogs and people are destined to meet each other.  Your dog will come to you.

I think you are right. It does sound woo-woo and I am not at all a woo-woo person. But I have seen it happen a few times. ;) Most likely that is what will happen this time as well.

Thanks.

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