Yes, I heard myself say when asked if we had the six collies in the picture. Then, No, uhmm, we have seven now, I admitted, somewhat surprised to hear myself. Really?
Yup, or perhaps yipes, seven of the mangy critters on the farm I added, besides me and Jackie that is. A scruffy lot, the picture makes one and all look pretty. In fact the seventh diggedy doggie still looks groomed and combed, without the usual assortment of burrs, cedar twigs and leaf debris that regularly ordain our wee pack.
I felt a need to explain further, how it was that we are so lucky to be living in the company of grandmother, mother, uncle and aunt, plus the two – now three pups. Uhhm, there’s lots of room on the farm for ‘em, I offered, eliciting a rather curious nod in return. I hastily added detail, fluffing up the rather lame explanation …they roam the fields and along the creek and ponds, into the woods. They really like it, I added, really.
Another nod; polite and ho-hum.
We started with Eva I said, no turning back now, a beautiful blue merle who was with us until a couple of years ago. But she got bored with Jackie and me always working on the farm, more inclined to hammer nails than to sit down and give her a scratch behind the ears, whisper sweet nothings in her ear and appreciate her beauty and devotion. So we got the grandmother, Dusty, to keep Eva company. I was starting to ramble, but forged onwards nevertheless.
Dusty was a Canadian champion show-dog, and since she came pregnant we decided to register as breeders, so the pups could be certified – and in case we wanted to show them ourselves, y’know, in dog shows. A glazed look told me I was quickly going down the rabbit hole so I skipped to quirky collie characteristics.
Dusty barks at me when I take off my pants I blurted out, to a rather incredulous look. Well not really barks, but yeah, she huffs and chuffs while I’m jumping around trying to get my leg out or socks off, until I jump into bed. Sometimes I have to put my pants back on to get her to stop. It’s really kind of funny, I said, kind of, a statement on my bony knees Jackie says.
I bet she’d do it if you tried. Uhh, No, No, I didn’t mean take off your pants, just uhh, that Dusty probably doesn’t just bark at my knobby knees. Uhh no, I didn’t mean you have ugly knees or legs, uhhm.
And there’s Peppy I pointed, our older male dog, the uncle, a garrulous behemoth, whose formal certified name I’d long forgotten. He’ll get up from a dead sleep, or stop whatever he’s doing to come over and comfort you, if you sneeze. I’d changed the subject successfully, then, decided to risk a re-visit. Yeah, go ahead, try it, sneeze and see if he’ll come to you. Pepper’s over there. Uhh, no, eh. Wanna take off yer pants. No, just kidding.
Moving right along then ….there’s Pearl too, she’s the pack leader, auntie Pearlie, just don’t trim your fingernails around her. Clip, clip, clip and she’ll be in there like a dirty shirt, protecting you from manicures and deadly pedicures, fingers and big toes alike. Don’t even think it.
And the others have their doggie ways too. But clan collie is just one big family, y’know. They all get along, chase the stick and steal my shoes, sniff to high heaven, watch out for each other and roll in the grass, all that dog stuff. And they love kids, or feeble minded folk – like Jackie, I pointed as she walked in. That got a smile, but not from Jackie – who’s kind of used to me taking cheap shots by now.
But it’s starting to snow I see, and they love their holiday outings, so let’s go for a walk my friend.
Maybe the ice is hard enough and we can slide across the pond, or jump in the pile of leaves out by the lane. You’ll see, a bit of a romp and roll with our furry beasties and sooner than you can say Chrissie Collie Kringle the joy and good tidings of all creatures, great and small, will be yours throughout the seasons.
So, you might be interested in getting a pup you say?
Laurie Gourlay and Jackie Moad are living the dream, surrounded by nature’s nobility and unconditional love …revitalized for community campaigns, organic farming, and the quest for local solutions to global challenges!