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Update on Vala and introducing Maldwyn

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I'm not sure if anyone will remember me, as I haven't been on these boards in quite a while. My beloved border collie rescue, Vala, passed away this summer from congestive heart failure. She was somewhere between 12 and 15. It's hard to say how old she was, because when we originally got her, the vet could only estimate that she was between 3-5. We had her for ten years and she was an amazing dog and excellent big sister to my daughter who is now nine. I'm attaching the last picture I ever took of her on our very last walk together.

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The whole family was devastated when she passed, so my daughter and I started volunteering at the local animal shelter. We ended up fostering, then adopting a huge terrier mix named "Rizzo"--he looks like a Yorkie, but he's 25 pounds--who showed up there with congestive heart failure; since we had already dealt with it with Vala, we thought we could make sure he had a good end-of-life. He is still with us--six months in. Here's a pic of him.
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Rizzo is helping me raise the newest addition to our household, our 9-week-old border collie puppy, Maldwyn. I got Maldwyn from a breeder up here in Michigan, where we live now. His mom is a very calm and loving pet who comes from working lines, and his dad does agility. (I got to meet them and they were both amazing animals.) I love Rizzo to death--he's a great dog, terriers are such wonderful staunch little creatures, steady as you go--but I nearly cried tonight when Maldwyn came into the living room, bumped me with his nose, and went to lie down. This is the first time he's ever done that--and I'm thinking it's probably because we did a couple hours of training today, working on "sit" and "down" and crate training, as well as a bunch of housetraining stuff and walking on leash. But I remembered how Vala used to do that, and my first BC mix, Pan, when things were going well. I absolutely love the way this breed is so present with you. I have really missed that.

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I thought I would sign in and share this update, because I googled the nose bump to see if it was a breed-specific thing and the first hit that came up was a 10-year-old thread on these forums where I posted a comment talking about Vala and Pan doing the nose bump. 

It is so good to be working with a BC again. <3

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Thank you for sharing.  I am sorry for your loss, and excited that you are sharing a new journey with your new puppy.  She is gorgeous by the way.

I lost my Oscar on 9/11 last year at seven years old to sepsis, so it was sudden and very unexpected.  About a month later, despite having other BCs, the hole demanded we fill it with a new BC, and we adopted a two year old from a local rescue, called Buddy. 

What melts my heart (and my eyes at times) is the way my new dog does things that only Oscar, out of our four BCs, used to do, like jump up on the bench next to the door while waiting to go outside, or sleep on the rug under the window in the bedroom, or demand cuddles and pats while simultaneously pushing you away with his paws.  Buddy is not Oscar, but there are times he is heartbreakingly similar, and I treasure those moments, because it keeps Oscar alive for me.

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Love the terrier. I have one who could be that dog's litter mate, and he is a magnificent little  22 pound dog. Not a border collie, and I fully intend to find another border collie when the time is right, but that little terrier of mine is truly a joy.

Your new pup is adorable. Of course.

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Thanks, everyone. Maldwyn is the best-behaved puppy I've ever met. He wants to please so bad and is sooo treat- and praise-motivated it's just so easy to train him. He doesn't chew on anything but toys and treats anymore in the house--granted, the floor is scattered with chew toys and bones at this point, because we had to buy a bunch of different textures to redirect him from eating the kitchen table, the coffee table, the throws on the couch, and our clothes--but he likes playing hide and seek with his toys, knows the names of his toys (Squeaker, Rope, Bottle, Squirrel, etc.), and his vocabulary is amazing for only 4 months (Are you hungry? Do you want to go for a ride in the car? Use the restroom outside? Upstairs, downstairs, off, out, sit, down, stay, shake, the list goes on). His recall is so solid after two months of practice at the local park that we went hiking today with him dragging a leash and he did perfectly fine, checking in visually with me every time he got about ten feet away from us and always coming to me when I whistled for him (I have a special super-serious recall whistle that always results in lots of praise and treats--it's the praise that matters to him most). He did lots of really fast running in circles at about a ten feet distance from us, like he was running an agility course over fallen trees and hills and the like, stopping and waiting for us to catch up before he ran off again. (We went to a really remote park to hike. We are in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and there was no one around, so social distancing or worrying about him running into a road wasn't an issue.) 

He is getting HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Does anyone else have any 50 lb+ male border collies?  What were their weights at 18 weeks? That's what he is now and he's 27 pounds. He was 25 pounds at his 4 month vet check, and unless he's growing really early and is going to plateau, according to the growth charts, he's going to hit 50#. His birthday, according to the breeder, is supposed to be January 5. The breeder says pups from these two parents usually reach adult size by 9 months instead of one year, and she wouldn't expect him to be 50 pounds since both his parents were only 35 pounds. 

But here is a recent pic for size comparison. He's HUGE! The terrier I'm holding is 25 pounds. This was 2 weeks ago. My last BC, Vala, was 27 pounds full grown? Maldwyn is the same size at her and no way he's finished growing at only 4 1/2 months... And he's already taller?
 

 

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Val is 52 pounds.

Picture below is him as a pup(4 months old) next to my female adult border collie who at the time was around 30 pounds. :lol::blink: Val was 26 pounds and 14 ounces at 4 months old.

My other border collie’s mom was 17” and his dad was 18” and they produced a 21” boy.

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50 lb. border collies aren't terribly unusual. There's an active thread right now where someone's asking about his 9 month old (IIRC) who's already a bit over 50 lbs.

Years ago I bred a litter. Male was 48 lbs., dam was 36. At one year old one of the pups was a very lean 70 lbs. Lost track of him after that but I'll bet he added a pound or 2 eventually.

There's not much you can do about it other than enjoy him no matter how big he gets. :wub:

 

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I have four BCs currently, three over 50lbs, one is 46.5lbs, none of them are overweight.

I remember that one of my larger puppies was about 11kgs (24lbs) at 12 weeks, and ended up being perfect weight at 25.5kgs (56lbs), and his brother was very similar.

I quite like the bigger dogs because I don't have to lean down to pat a head when they are sitting by my leg.

 

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Oh, I don't mind him being big at all, and I will love him no matter what for sure! I'm already completely smitten with him, and he with me. He's a really kind and beautiful dog--he walks like a jaguar with waggly hips--and he's whip smart and so eager to please. (During the past couple days he even seems to have finally grokked the idea of walking calmly on leash. I've been working with him on this since he was 2 months old, doing the whole stop and stand like a tree every time he pulled, but last week I taught him heel, and yesterday instead of getting overexcited and distracted when a leaf blows by and pulling, he proudly pranced at my side intermittently looking up at me as if to say, "See how good I'm being? I finally figured out what you want I'm so proud this is fun!") I love working with him, and we're very bonded. He's sleeping on my foot right now. 

I just wanted to know if 50 pounds is something that can happen with parents who are both about 35 pounds (I met them).  It's good to hear about others' similar experiences, especially the 70 pound dog with 48 lb and 36 lb parents. He's just going to be a big guy! :)

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The 70 lb. border collie was an aberration by anyone's standards. :lol: It's unlikely Maldwyn will grow that large.

I also realized I neglected to convey my condolences on the loss of Vala. It's so hard to lose a treasured friend.

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My sympathy on your loss of Vala.  My female Border, Ziva had a heart murmur at age 7.  By age 8 she was on Vetmedin.  This past February she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.  So far she is doing well on the additional medication but no doubt I'll be in your shoes at some point.  How long did Vala live after being diagnosed?

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Vala lived about two years with congestive heart failure. At the end she was on Enalipril Enacard and Lasix fluorosomide (sp?), and she had a heart attack before we could get her on the vetmedin. Our terrier is on that now in addition to the Enalapril and Lasix and Spiradosone (sp?); he was given six months to live when we got him; he is now on month nine.

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Thank you for your reply.  Please pray that I have Ziva another two years as she is now, I would still be sad to lose her, but thankful for additional years.

     Maldwyn is adorable and I love shaggy terriers too!  I'll pray that he has more years to go in his new home.

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