Hello all! I wasn’t sure if there was a specific forum to introduce oneself (or even if that’s the norm here), but this looks like as good a place as any!
I’m Kevin, and that hairy red lump under my desk is Shi. We live in the tiny village of Grafton, Ontario Canada, and we work in the town of Cobourg. Shi is 7 months old, and he’s been with me since he was 2 month old. It’s been an action-packed 5 months!
I haven’t had a dog since I was a child and dinosaurs roamed the earth, but I always knew that at some point in time my life would become less hectic and I’d have all kinds of time to devote to raising a Border Collie. Dream on - it ain’t ever gonna happen. So, I started looking to see if there might be a way I could incorporate a dog into my daily life, and the more I researched it, the more feasible it became.
I started interviewing rescue Border Collies about a year and a half ago, and quickly realized that it wasn’t going to be easy to find the right dog for me. After half a dozen interviews (and 2 bites!), I decided that I would at least consider a pup that I could train myself - so the search began for a small, black and white, female Border Collie. Since I didn’t want to buy from a backyard breeder or a pet store, there weren’t many to choose from, and I even turned down the chance to pick from 3 lovely little black and white female pups from a local breeder because none of them seemed to be quite what I was looking for.
One early morning in March I was visiting a local organic farm, and happened to meet a lady with a pudgy little red and white Border Collie pup. Obviously I started playing with him, and the conversation eventually came around to my search for a dog, and she mentioned that her pup’s brother might still be available. As it turns out, the litter was from a sheep farm just north of our house, and I knew the owners quite well. They’ve had Jock (a great big, handsome red and white male) for several years, and he pretty much ran things on his own when there were only 500 sheep on the farm, but when they expanded the herd to over 1,000 they brought in Sheeda (a sleek little black and white female) to help him out. As Jock was getting older, and they wanted to preserve the line, they bred the pair and Sheeda had a litter of 6 pups. One of the pups was born with an overbite and couldn’t be used for breeding, and that’s the little guy that was left.
I “borrowed” the pup for a couple of days, and then had him for a “sleep-over” before agreeing to take him for a week to see how things went. Obviously things went well, and he’s still with me.
So how do I keep a growing Border Collie happy and entertained while I’m working? He comes with me. Yep, every morning we get up early and walk 5 kilometres – well, I walk 5 kilometres, he’s off-lead for most of it, and does a lot of “toing and froing” along the way. We come home, have breakfast and then head to the office. (Shi loves riding in the passenger seat of my pick-up truck!) I’m the President of the local Chamber of Commerce, and was fortunate enough to have a “Pet Friendly Workplace Policy” approved by my Board of Directors – we’re the first Chamber of Commerce in Canada to have an official policy in place!
Shi naps under my desk until early afternoon, then we go for a walk downtown so he can meet people and dogs and get used to traffic and noise. He naps and visits with everyone in the office until 4:30 or so, and then we head to a local dog park for about an hour on the way home. Evenings are spent training, playing and cuddling.
I had Shi neutered at 6 months, and we have an appointment in September with a canine orthodontist to get his overbite fixed up. His lower canines are actually piercing his upper palate, so we’re having them shortened and capped. Don’t even ask what that’s going to cost me!
So, that in a nutshell is who Kevin and Shi are. I’m looking forward to meeting other BC owners and learning from their experiences, and sharing some of our successes along the way.