With all of Holly’s pups settled in their new homes, the next part of our story unfolds - with four rough collies living in the house!
And Then There Were Four!
By the time a litter of pups has reached six or seven weeks, the ‘fun’ really starts as they become more and more adventurous. By eight weeks, you can start to have too much of a good thing. So it was at the time when Ben, Rimmer, Micha, Ivy, Skye and Summer were going off to their new homes. We missed them, but we appreciated the slower pace of life that followed. To help keep the memories alive we have created the “Away From Home” pages on the site so we had somewhere to show the photos that came in from their new owners.
We kept two pups from the litter - we’d never had a boy before, so in addition to a bitch, Connor stayed. Choosing a bitch seemed to be an impossible task, until it became clear that it was one of those decisions where you let the heart rule the head, as Kerry was the first born in the litter we just couldn’t bear the the thought of letting her go. So she stayed.
Regarding keeping a boy out of the litter, one thing that puzzled us was all the comments from ‘people who know about such things.’ They would say things like “...boys are different, you know” and “...you’ll soon understand” ...and as time went by, we did understand ! Many of the things that seem to be par for the course for boys led to Connor getting his alternative, affectionately chosen name of “Bloke.” If you want to know more about the boy things that Bloke got up to, you had better ask!
Raising Pups Again.
When we had Tess as a pup, we thought we were lucky when it came to house training. But when Holly came to live with us she was just as good. And so we started to wonder if it was a collie thing. It must be. Kerry and Connor were true to form and were an absolute delight too. And so it was that things smoothly took their course: going out socialising, trips in the car, making new friends, seeing the beach for the first time and so on.
Into the Show Ring.
When they reached 6 months of age, Kerry and Connor were entered into a few open shows, just to see how they handled the experience.. We were delighted how well they did, both in handling the experience of being in the showring as well as being rewarded with best puppiy in breed rosettes! Of course, we had to pick the shows carefully, as our lines are built on a preference for a good, sturdy traditional rough collie.Some of the show critiques may be found here for Kerry and here for Connor.
Soon our thoughts turned to the goal of getting Kerry and Connor qualified for Crufts. Our mission was accomplished however, when both Kerry and Connor gained the necessary placings to qualify them for Crufts 2009: Connor qualified at SKC and Kerry earned her qualification at National Working and Pastoral.
P.A.T. Dogs and Good Citizens
The gentle, even temperament of a rough collie is very well suited to being a visiting PAT (Pets as Therapy) dog. Because of the success that Holly and Tess have had in this regard, we decided to try Kerry and Connor with the PAT dog assesment. We were delighted that both passed first time and now they share duties with mum and aunt.
We have also been keen on the KC Good Citizen Scheme, and so whilst at a fun day event organised by the Rough and Smooth Collie Training Association we found we had the chance to put the two youngsters in for the Bronze Awaerd test. After a quick bit of practicing and reading up on the test questions (the handler as well as the dog gets tested!) we began the test, with Sandra handling Kerry and John handling Connor. And, we’re pleased to report, they both passed!
A Holiday in Scotland and a Day Out at SKC
In 2008 we decided to combine a trip to the Scottish Kennel Club show with a weeks holiday in Dumfies and Galloway. As previously mentioned, we tend to pick our show judges carefully - you have to these days as the breed becomes split between the true rough collie that we know and love (referred to as a traditional type) and the modern interpretation of the breed standard.
Well the trip was most certainly worth it, as Tess was awarded a 3rd place in Open Bitch and gained her ‘stud book number’ meaning that she is now qualified for life to enter Crufts! In fact she repeated the achievement again at the Blackpool show, but SKC is the one we’ll remember! Thank you Eleanor.
Holly the Agility Dog
Whilst at the RSCTA fun day, we had the chance to try out the agility course. Holly went on to the course, and although a little cautious, she made it round the circuit as she experenced each obstacle. She soon understood, and was instantly in her element, tackling every obstacle in the course with great delight. She had so much fun that she (and Sandra) enrolled at a local agility class.
The Continuing Journey
In their first year, Kerry and Connor have absolutely delighted us, becoming visiting PAT dogs, qualifying for Crufts and gaining their Good Citizen Bronze awards!