Border Collie Days

I’m becoming increasingly concerned about terror. No, not the kind of physical terror practiced by various Christian and Islamic groups across the world like bombing abortion clinics or secular hotels and restaurants, death in the name of God, or even the environmental and ideological terror practiced by George Bush and his lunatic sect, No, this is something far more personal, if not quite as deadly. You see, we have a new puppy in our house. Not a cuddly little Labrador Retriever, or one of those silly, designer Poo dogs that are currently the rage among soccer and lacrosse moms. No. You see, we have a Border Collie puppy.

I know, I know, the first thing people think when they see a little puppy, Border Collies included, romping and playing is, “Oh, how adorable!” Right. That’s just what they want you to think. It’s all part of their nefarious plot. You see, Border Collies are the anarchists of Puppy-dom, dedicated to the total destruction of all you hold dear… antique furniture, sleep, shoes, Persian carpets, you name it. Their weapons are varied and unexpected. Of course there are teeth and claws, the usual implements of destruction. Add to that IED’s (Improvised Excretory Devices) and biological urine based sneak attacks that make body armor such as shoes an absolute necessity at all times. You can never, ever let your guard down.

Border Collies are not dogs for the faint of heart. You can’t just buy one, house train it and head off to work. They’re just too smart for that. It’s a working dog and needs training and a job to do. If they don’t have the proper stimulation they’ll just become one of those crazed dogs you find in the pound waiting to be adopted or destroyed.

I don’t know if this is a specifically Border Collie thing, since we’ve had several Shelties and German Shepherds and they never did it, but suddenly, after a period of relative sanity the little hellion just explodes in a an uncontrollable orgy of running rolling barking biting growling grabbing leaping licking crawling capering. This usually happens in the evening
just as every one else is starting to settle down for the night. It can last up to two hours and is a thing to watch, I’ll tell you. It reminds me of stories of Norse Berserkers in days of old. They made it to Scotland, didn’t they? Maybe they mated with Lassie.

So now my day starts at about six in the morning. Actually, my day always started at six in the morning, but now, instead of writing, I’m taking the dog out and trying to keep it from waking my wife up. After the first trip outside with my sleepy nine year old Shelties stumbling behind for her to do her thing, there’s then an hour or so of the total wackiness as described before, then breakfast and the inevitable crash that eerily imitates deep coma. Once she regains consciousness again the real day begins. Training, play, training, play, training and more play.

It’s a battle, no, it’s a war. Right now, as I write this, the little mug is tearing a paper bag to shreds. But it looks so cute, it’s hard to yell at her. Fortunately though, this war, unlike Mr. Bush’s other war, will hopefully have an ending. In six months or so, if we’re still alive, the puppy will be trained; indeed there are signs we’re already making progress. Down, sit, outside, have all become viable terms. By the time she’s finished she’ll be teaching me non-Euclidian geometry. I’d tell you more, but it’s 12:30 am and she’s running up and down the stairs with a sneaker in her mouth. God, I can barely keep my eyes open.