"What Kind of Dog is That?"

It's a question I'm used to hearing. From the day Oberon arrived at our home it became a daily question from passer's by on the street or the dog park. Once the litter arrived and we moved into such a pedestrian busy home it's asked even more. How do  you describe it without going into a mantra on the history of the collie dog? I've finally found a short way to explain it, but people will still walk away with scratching their heads.  In many ways I feel special because of the admiration these dogs always get, and when someone doesn't stop to say, "beautiful dog" I actually get a bit of a let-down I have to admit.

To me, these are the perfect dogs. Dogs that once were considered the common man's dog are now hard to come by.. Even my vets have said they very rarely see them and at our current vet, the entire clinic stops whenever I bring the litter down for their shots and checkups. Everyone wants to see them, and they all have had their favorites.  To me the  best part about our dogs, is that every one of them is a beautiful dog in their own standing, and yet each one stands out in their own 'category' of OTSC. 

So much has happened since my last post. It's been a raucous summer and fall has dropped on me like a closing act curtain. It's hard to believe we are now looking at pups that are 4 months old.  While I was committed to placing the pups as close as possible, we ended up placing 5 of them out of state.  Angus has gone to Maine, Violet to Maryland, Charlie to Oregon, Trouble  to Missouri and now Sarge is going to Washington state on Thursday. 

I'm not exactly sure how we are going to do it, but we decided to keep Dash and Bingo ourselves, which gives us 3 dogs. John just fell in love with Dash and wouldn't let him go, while at the same time not willing to give up Bingo. Having 3 intact male dogs is going to be a major challenge for me and I'm just going to have to come up to the challenge. Both of them will be significantly larger than Oberon and even Jenny.   We're even going to have to get a bigger car, as neither our little two-seater 4x4 nor our Toyota Toaster will not fit those three fully grown.  I'm expecting Dash to end up weighing in at about 60lbs with Bingo at 50, and that is after switching to large  breed puppy food for them!

In the future I want to begin working on documenting my research into the collie dog so that I can really have some empirical evidence showing why it is that our lines are so extremely special. I've  never done anything like this before so it's going to be a steep learning curve. My goal is to begin work on it in Jan/Feb. While I've been researching the dogs intensively on my own for the last 3 years, it never occurred to me to document what I'd learned until the litter came along and I had to do so  much explaining about what kind of dog they are, and why it's a big deal  My biggest joy has been becoming involved  with this project and I look forward to being involved with documenting and 'proving' these dogs in the decades to come.

From a shear stroke of fortune, the amazing Linda Rorem is going to do herding evaluations on the last 4 pups this week. Living in the same town has given me an extra special blessing (mainly because it's harder to hide from me-hehe) and I really can't believe I have this opportunity for my humble little pups. It will be an extra special opportunity to see in person how pups are evaluated for herding instincts. I  especially want to see how Heidi's instincts are,  because my own inexperienced gut makes me think she will shine like a superstar..but..we'll see. Maybe she'll just have to be an agility dog for some lucky person rather than a working dog. I'll videotape all the evaluations and hope I can get them posted up soon for fun.  Linda has been a bit of an idol of mine, and influenced me a great deal to continue my work in researching and developing a deeper understanding of herding dogs and the history of collies. It took me quite awhile to get the nerve to even introduce myself!

The litter is now 17 weeks old. With Sarge going to his real home on Thursday,  Heidi is my last baby.  Our big ole' Dash needs to be called "Jethro Bodine" and I am wondering if he got into the Miracle Gro! While Heidi is a petite 12lbs Dash is a whopping 28lbs as of last Thursday, with Bingo/Sarge being 19/18lbs. Each day I am fascinated by this litter!  Heads, ears, legs, everything is changing every time I turn around.  At one point I was sure Bingo would look like an Aussie, with his thick full coat and short muzzle, high stop and with a stocky body...but Linda's vast experience shines through. It took one minute and she commented on how much he looked like a collie pup, telling me that he will become a black sable rather than a tri-color. Lo and behold, within a few weeks his legs sprouted, his ears popped up, his muzzle grew and now we have a dog who will never be confused with an Aussie, having the lithe body of his mother. He has also taken on black sable coloring just like Linda predicted as well. Although he has more white, he is going to be the same color as his mother. having a perfect black saddle with lots of sabling.
Top Hill's Just Jenny at about 5 months ...before her sabling began really moving up her legs. You  can see her Amber eyes her as well.   
Jenny  a few days before giving birth showing her how the sabling moved up and she has a black saddle now. She is just getting ready to go after the ball here, even while filled with NINE pups!

Now that we'll be able to think straight here at the Carsey Clan I will be turning toward keeping up with the pups as they grow, and as each family sends in their pup-dated pics. I already have a few I need to post-- so hang in there. Lots more lovely pics to come!

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