Sunday, September 27, 2015


When people meet Gibson for the first time they often comment on how calm he is, and how they never met a Border Collie so gentle and reserved. Gibson has plenty of rocket power but around people (and when he is with me, in general) he is a mushy, lovable, calm dog. He is the only dog that is allowed to come to our Tae Kwon Do Dojang anytime he wants. Why? Because all he does is sleep in the waiting room and greet the UPS guy. He listens to me like a roommate, keeps me warm at night, hugs, adores, obeys, works his rump off. I couldn't ask for more in a farm dog. To wake up and know that the dog by your side is already watching the flock from the upstairs window, is at your hip as you greet the day, and if a ewe breaks through the electric fence and takes off for the chicken feeder - he is at her like a bolt of lightning. Just this morning Gibson got the new black Romney ewe back with the flock after her rogue antics. Then he came inside, and fell asleep at my feet while I wrote an essay for a magazine. He was silent and calm for hours while I earned some money for a winter issue of an upstate New York quarterly and only when I asked him to look out the window to check on the sheep did he stir. He is canine perfection. He even smells good. And every night he is curled beside me and lets me fall asleep holding him.

Friday, however...

Friday is heading towards six months old and is NOTHING like Gibson. She is faster, more violent, more erractic. She is constant energy. She is the total opposite of Gibson. If he is a rock she is the ocean. In a week she starts learning sheepwork under the mentorship of the wonderful Jim McCrae of Vermont. I am curious to see how she does with some gentle ewes because for all her brazen ways she is a total coward once anything gets slightly uncomfortable. Think of a trash talking softball player who doesn't actually want to fight because she is 5'2" and 90lbs... that is Friday. She's small and feisty but once something gets her nervous the tail goes between the legs. I found this out by doing everyday things like dragging the garbage cans to the road for the waste company. The rattle and fuss made her run to the front door. Same if I use the hand-pulled farm cart to move hay bales or feed sacks... she hightails it away from the noise. Yet if a car pulls into the drive she barks bloody murder...

Dogs, like us, are all different. Right now I have two opposites and I am learning to share my life with them. I share all this just in observation, as I don't want a second Gibson out of Friday. I want her to be her and teach me more about this breed and their crazy dance.


Blogger Katie said...

Your rowdy 5'2" 90lb softball player comment nailed it! Made me laugh. SO interesting how different dogs/cats/humans are from one another.

September 27, 2015 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger Mel Baker said...

Sounds like she is keeping you on your toes. I hope the sheepwork goes well.

September 28, 2015 at 12:35 AM  
Blogger Ohiofarmgirl said...

our Zander and Kai are completely different even tho they are brother and sister (from different litters). it's fun to see the differences and i use them for different things. Z is the brute squad and K is my killer. yay for Friday for being so bold! she'll get her feet under her soon enough and you'll be able to channel all that energy into a world class working dog. :-)

September 28, 2015 at 7:37 AM  

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