Herding Dog FAQ

For ten years I had a Retriever, RIP. People loved her so much they gave the city a tree, in her park, in her memory. No one will do this for Zoe, so it’s up to me to send a poem in her honor for her 10th birthday.

For ten years my husband and I have had a herder, he asked if I wanted to have kids and I said we had to get a dog first, to see how bad he was. He’s bad, spoils Zoe rotten so I’m the disciplinarian and food wench. We tried for kids, my fault.

Here goes:

1. They will set up a place (I put a dog bed there) where they can monitor the front door and any indoor activity.

2. They will stay no more than five feet from you at all times (in the kitchen it means sending her out to a rug where she can watch me in the “magic room.)”

3. If you have an armload of laundry to fold, they’ll serpentine in front of you and try to get you to trip.

4. As they get older they’ll let pups get close but let them know “I’m an old lady, don’t do that” with just a stare.

5. Their “mom” tries to protect them on the ice when all four legs go out and goes down as well, from a higher level and more bruises.

6. They sleep on your bed. Ours has no hips so I have to lift her 3X per night.

7. Visiting in-laws doesn’t mean a goat pen, or a crate indoors. She sleeps on the bed. Ranchers don’t get it, a dog living indoors, but have learned to love her and as a herder and talker, she’s never made a mess in the house. In fact, we didn’t bring her last Thanksgiving and my MIL was upset that she wouldn’t be around to pick up crumbs from the floor on our annual epic cook-fest.

8. Tumbling tumbleweeds will be your watchword as you fend off the undercoat fur with vacuum and other means.

9. They love to chase squirrels. Get a martingale collar. 2Hounds.com is for her next ten years, Asian silk. As in Men In Black, I call it the last collar she’ll ever wear.

10. Love them as they are only with us for a short time.

Thank you, Zoe, for coming into our lives ten years ago. Dee

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