Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Just Because.....

Maybe I'm just having to much fun with my camera lately, but I just loved this pic of Lex so much, I just had to post it.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Jack is Back!


My Ram Jack is back home today after being away for a few weeks to visit with some new girlfriends. I honestly cant say that anyone even missed him with the exception of myself. He was gone 2 weeks before Kyle even knew he was missing, and then it was only because I made the statement in front of him that no one appeared to miss his presence but me. To with he says to me: "Is Jack gone?" This coming from a boy who goes out on the pasture every night among the sheep to feed his dog (our guardian livestock dog) and didn't even notice??!!
Its a sad state of affairs to know that if Jack keeled over dead tomorrow, not dog, sheep or human would mourn his passing but me, and some would probably not even notice!
Jack and I have a very special relationship, and I know of not many folks that harbor rams that can (or will) say that. Some folks think me strange when I go on about Jack, he is unique I suppose, only to me, as I know him as no one else will.
From the day he hit the ground, I couldn't keep my hands off of him. He was perfect. Jack was planned for, hoped for and waited for with great expectation. He was cuddled and held, hand fed goodies and just outright spoiled from day one.

You would think that a lamb treated as such would grow to be a disrespectful and untrustworthy ram, and I had been warned of such things when well meaning friends and stock men saw the manner with which I raised him. Some went so far as to say he would turn on me by the age of two, especially if he was used for breeding, and when ewes were cycling. Not Jack. He has been nothing but a gentleman from day one. Mind you, Jack is not a pet. He does not meet me at the pasture gate when I walk outside, he does not run to me when I go out on pasture. He only comes to me when he is invited. He knows what he is and he knows his place. Two qualities that endear him to me even more. Jack is in my eyes a very handsome ram. Size, build, temperament, head, hair...everything about him exudes the type of sheep he is, and a damn fine specimen of a St, Croix ram. Do I sound like a doting mother? Perhaps, just a little....OK. Yes, I do. But in my own defense, Ive had many sheep, and cared for them, fed them and bred them. Lambed them, and bottled fed some. Tended to them when they were ill or hurt, and done the humane thing when all else failed, but none have ever stolen my heart the way Jack has.

From a young lamb, till he was close to a year old, Jack lived with my mare, a kind and nurturing horse. They formed a special relationship/bond that still is strong today. While out living with her, he had one of his testicles stepped on accidentally by the horse. Imagine my horror to find him in such a state one morning. The cut was long and deep, and there is still a formidable and visible scar. He had to endure a many a patch job, as I medicated and cleaned and fussed over my prize rams misfortune for the months it took to heal. He was a model patient. ( note: Jack never won any prizes, he is prized only by me as I have never shown him)
I was devastated, thinking he would be so damaged that he would never be able to produce because of this hideous injury. I guess I could have taken him to a vet and had a sperm count or some thing done, but I opted to just let him cover the ewes and see what happened. He was the only ram I had, so if we got all ewes in lamb, Id be doing the happy dance, as the ewes I had for him to breed, were all first time ewes, and that was his first season breeding. As it turned out, Jack retained a strong libido and sperm count, covered all the ewes and we had a nice crop of healthy, pretty little lambs with some singles,twins, and one set of trips. A daughter of his is a special favorite of mine, as she is her fathers daughter, and so much like Jack in every way, that she too has earned more than a special place in my heart.

When I moved from Utah to NC. I did some thing many folks looked at as silly and maybe even stupid. A frivolous waste of money. Maybe it was, but I can be an impulsive person, as well as rather over protective when it comes to my animals, and a darn sight stubborn too and I wasn't selling or leaving Jack. I wasn't leaving my horse, and I wasn't leaving my Llama (at the time my guardian livestock animal) and decided to put a large amount of money into shipping them, and well, since they were coming, why not just fill the trailer up and bring 19 more of my best sheep too! And so 20 head of sheep, one horse and one Llama made the 2600 mile trip from Utah to NC. As far as I was, and still am concerned, it was a good decision and investment. The right decision for me.
I'm not quite sure to what extent of a relationship a shepherdess should or shouldn't have with her flock, I know Ive had sheep in the past that I cared for, but didn't care about, if that makes sense, and I'm sure what I'm saying may perplex some, but it is what it is. I make no excuses or defenses in my favor. They are sheep, but they are my sheep, and if I want to be head over heels in love with a certain few, well then, I guess I will just grin and bear it.
Id never had a ram before, Jack is my first. I always borrowed a ram for breeding, as I had heard so many horror stories about the difficulties of keeping rams, and how dangerous they can be.
So when Jack came home last night, I wondered how he would behave after his absence. Would we still be friends? Would he be wary of me? Would our relationship still be intact after several weeks of non communication and contact? Did it take continued daily contact for us to retain our bond? Questions that would have to go unanswered until he had a little time to settle back in and regroup with his ewes, but questions that would be answered soon enough. I think I would be slightly devastated if my Jack were to give me the cold shoulder and start to behave like a normal ram. As it is, I am very pleased to say, (admit) that my Jack is as sweet and kind and gentle today as the day he hit the ground and I scooped him up and vigorously wiped him off and looked between his legs to see what he was. Some folks will claim that sheep are stupid. That rams don't form personal bonds with people. I beg to differ. This morning, when I went out to run dogs, and fill waters and check everyone out, there stood Jack in all his magnificence. He stepped out from his ewes, and watched me as I went about my chores. I was very aware of his steady inquisitive gaze, as it is some thing I have grown accustomed to over the last 3 years and I rather enjoy his attentions. He has always quietly watched me. In my mind, Ive always liked to think, waiting for the invitation to come over and get his head scratched and a jaw rubbed. I missed him overseeing my daily rounds while he was gone. I missed his presence, and missed not being able to watch him as he strode proudly among his small flock of ewes. What a sappy girl eh? Oh well, laugh if you will, I feel no shame, only pride in my Jack, and I feel that none will ever match his quiet, gentle strong presence or take his place in my heart.
So this morning, I entered the pasture after getting the chores done, with a pocket full of bread and a handful of grain and here comes Jack as soon as I call him up. Happy for scratches and rubs, he even gave me one back in the form of a head rub on my thigh, which he has never done and the reunion welled me up and gave me pause to think that maybe I was in fact just a wee little bit silly over this guy. But I kinda think he feels the same way about me. Which truly brings home the saying, you have to give, to receive, and the other that reminds us, that we get back in life, as good as we give. I have always treated Jack with kindness and respect, and he has in turn, always given the same back to me. I am glad he is back home. I have no qualms with loaning him out, I am proud and happy to do so, and hope that he will leave a little of himself in his lambs so others can understand better how Jack with his easy layed back ways and kind and trusting temperament can effect a person to the point of silly sheep adoration. Welcome home Jack!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

What better way to spend Christmas Day....Than Working Dogs!

And these guys looked like they could use a little exercise anyway.

So I asked Chris to bring them up for me.

She was really on her game today, and keeping a nice pace and distance.

And was really focused.

I could watch this little dog work all day. She is so stylish and intense.

She was looking pretty satisfied with herself afterwards, I was pretty satisfied with her too.

Next up was Bear. He was quite happy to oblige.

He is starting to do a little driving now, and coming along nicely.

Lex wondered if she could have a go too.

And she got right to work.

The ole' girl was in good form.

Ive got a little ram lamb that likes to test the dogs, but Lex gave him what for and put him back in his place. She is generally kind to her stock, but she doesnt take any guff either, and that lamb was just asking for it. In the end, he learned his lesson and fell back in line and behaved. I dont think she gave him much choice.

I dare you to try that again....

I gave Hank a go today as well. Though it was hard to get many shots while trying to keep some semblance of order on the field with a keen young pup. He still isnt ready for any formal training from what I saw today, still just a big goofy pup. But he is interested and had a fun time. Right now, thats all that matters is that we keep it fun and interesting.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Christmas Chris

Tonight on this Holy night, not only do we celebrate the birth of Christ Our Lord, but we also celebrate the birth of Chris.
Born, not unlike the Christ child, Chis was born in a shanty barn surrounded by a motley crew of farm animals,in a feed manger on a bed of straw, and a wise man came.
A special pup was born on this special night, and the magic of the Christmas Star blessed this pup with Peace and Joy.
Happy Birthday my little Chris.

And A Merry Christmas To All
From me, the Birthday girl Chris and the Crew @
That'll Do Border Collie Farm
And A Happy New Year Too!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Do you really think anyone is going to take me seriously looking like this???

What better way to spend a cold day indoors,then allowing all the dogs free roam of my living quarters and hunting them down with my camera? The problem with having them all out at once,is that there is no where left to sit. So I had to send in the enforcer. He put a stop to all the fun. Poor Cain. He has been having some coat and skin issues recently, and my vacuum has been having some issues with his coat. So, I pulled him into the the shop the other day,and gave him a buzz. He was feeling pretty naked, so I gave him a tee shirt. Doesn't he just look thrilled?

Did I just see the bed covers moving??

Can't a guy get some privacy around here?

Whos Chair is it......really?

Oh, did you want to sit here?

Chris needs to know.....

Is this really the proper place for a working dog!?
Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 15, 2008

Work Day @ Willows Rest

Sunday a bunch of us gals gathered at Julie's farm for a lesson day with Robin. I always look forward to these days, not just for the dog work and learning experience, but for the camaraderie too. There were a couple of new faces and dogs, and I really enjoyed watching their dogs, and meeting them. Nice gals, and nice dogs too! I brought Chris, but after I brought her out, we all agreed, she was still favoring her hind quarters from a hit she took last week from Bear and thought it best to give her a bit more time to convalesce. Poor Chris had to sit in the truck all day and watch everyone else having fun. :(
I took Hank too, just as a back up because I wanted to hear what others thought about working Chris, and if the general consensus was that we not work her yet, I had planned to use her lesson time for Hank. Nope, not ready yet. He was quite afraid of Robin's spaghetti noodle and had no intention of doing anything as long as that lady had that big wonky long thingy in there with him. He wanted to get to the sheep, but not that bad! So I just worked Bear, who is swiftly becoming a major favorite dog of mine. Reminds me I really need to get in touch with Dee and thank her again for giving me such a nice dog and getting her up to snuff on his progress.
First we worked Bear in the round pen, and I fell flat on my fanny. That quick walking backwards thing on the slick mud and sheep doo...well I knew it was gonna happen. Id already felt myself slip a couple of times, so when I started to go down I was sorta prepared and rolled with it. Oh how I wish I was a weeble. Weebles wobble but they don't fall down. Lucky I had my coveralls on and so my clothes didn't get all wet and muddy. What was priceless was the look on Bears face. When Robin helped me up and I looked to see where my dog was he had a look of confusion and concern, like he wanted to come over to me and see if I was alright, but wasn't sure if leaving the sheep and moving off balance was an acceptable thing for him to do. Luckily, I may not be a weeble, but more like a bumble. You know the kind on the Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer classic. Bumbles bounce! And so I was not effected by the fall and surprisingly am not suffering from it today as I had feared either. You know those falls, when you feel OK when it happens, but ya just know your gonna feel it the next day.
Anyway, working with Bear is a lot of fun, He is such a nice dog and really wants to do the right thing. He has a lot of really nice qualities, He is pretty awesome, and I feel so lucky to have him.
It appears to be quickly becoming a ritual when we have lesson day, that we all load up in my truck, which could be a humorous post within itself some days. (if my truck isn't trying to dump some one out, by the door flying open while going down the road, its trying to lock folks in and not let them out! ) and went to lunch at a restaurant that I am at a loss at the moment to remember the name of, but they have some of the best burgers this side of the Mason Dixon line! And the chips! Well....they are most days a reason all by their self to go. Yesterdays chips weren't their best effort, but the burgers well and made up for that. Yum!
Laura's poor Nick had to sit this one out too, as he tweaked himself at a trail last weekend, and so is on light duty too. I got there to late to get to see Linc working, but I hear is is coming on well, and ready to start. Yea Linc! The weather was fair, we got about a spit of sprinkles, and the sun tried to come out once. All in all, it was just a fun day with plenty of dog work and laughs. I'm sure there would have been more laughs if everyone had seen me flat out on the ground, but I wasn't about to do an instant replay for those that missed it. Sorry gals. Maybe next time! LOL

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What are you listening to?

Actually,contrary to my last post,I really do have something to talk about. More over a request. My daughter cant keep a secret to save her life, and has already told me what she is getting her brother Kyle and I for Christmas. That's OK. I'm a bit old for surprises anyway. What she has gotten me is a 30 dollar gift certificate for ITunes music.I rarely listen to music on the radio. Mostly I listen to my ipod and CD's. So I have no idea whats hot and whats not any more in music. I have no real specific tastes in music, I listen to whatever sounds good, be it classical, rock, country, alternative, folk, Celtic and the list goes on. I enjoy most types of music though I'm not overly fond of rap or heavy metal. Most ipod songs are .99 cents a song, and while 30 songs doesn't sound like many, to go looking with no idea what I'm looking for, well, the prospect to me is a bit daunting. So I'm looking for suggestions as to what might be enjoyable to down load to my ipod. Here's just sampling of the artists I already have,just to give you an idea of of where my tastes lie.
Government Mule
John Denver
Little Big Town
Tracy Chapman
Elton John ( Don't laugh! )
Bob Seger
James Taylor
Pink Floyd
Rascal Flats
Kenny Chesney
Christina Aguilera
Sara McLaughlin
Who ever the gal is that put out the album Jagged Pill
And another gal that is a....oh how do I be politically correct in this, a....lesbian? But not the butch one.
Classic Celtic
The Wicked Tinkers
Phil Collins
Well, I wont go on,you get the picture. Suggestions please. What are you all listening to?

Tag, Im it

I was invited by Carolyn Of BCxFour to follow through with a "meme" quest, in where you go to your pictures, pull the 6th picture from the 6th file, and write about the pic. Im game, besides, I didnt have anything else to talk about at the moment.
Of all the pictures of my Border Collies I have, this would have been the last picture Id have thunk could have shown up. Carma I reckon.
Folks, meet "Diablo" While he was here, I called him Masi,(pronounced Mass Eye) but he didn't stay long.
A bunch of years ago, I took a dog in for training, A German Shepherd. He was a beautiful, and brilliant dog, and I enjoyed the year he stayed with me. I was able to get a BA on him and a Sch1. When it came time to give him back to his owner, I tried hard to buy him, but to no avail. The owner knew if I wanted him, he must be a keeper. (as I'm pretty particular about the Shepherds I keep) So I then contacted the dogs breeder and asked if they ever made the same breeding again, if he would put me on the list for a pup. Just two days before I am packing it all in to make the move from Utah to NC I get a phone call from the breeder. Mind you, this is 3 yrs later. He tells me he has 5 pups left, 6 weeks old and was I still interested in one. My head went to spinning. Well, Yes! I wanted one. Was I in a position to get one? I already had 11 dogs I was bringing with me to NC. Well hell, whats one more, lets just make it an even dozen. So I traveled 500 miles round trip the next day to go pick up Cree. A beautiful male pup. I kept and worked with Cree for a yr and a half, and as lovely a dog as he was, he was the biggest chicken dog I think Id ever met. He wasn't like his brother in temperament. As I had purchased him to train for a specific sport, and he was proving daily that he wasn't going to be a dog that could take the training, nor did he have the temperament to do the bite work, but he was a tremendous and loyal companion, and was very stable. He'd make some one a very nice OB dog and family companion. I sold Cree to a family that had long admired him with 4 daughters ranging in age from a pair of twins, ages 8 yrs old, to an 11 and a 13 yr old. Cree was in his element when it came to the little girls, and was a perfect fit for their household. Although I had cautioned them that I didnt ever think he would never make a competition dog, they had decided to try their hand with him anyway. True to my warnings, they found out that I was right, but had gotten a taste of the sport and decided this was the road they wanted to travel, and so decided to drop a good wad of money on a black 2 yr old Chec bitch, and had her Imported. She is a magnificent,tremendous dog. I wish I could have bought her, but alas, Ive not got 1,800 hundred dollars plus shipping to drop on a dog.
Well, I hadn't had Cree neutered, he was a fine specimen of the breed, just lacked the temperament to complete the rigors of training, and at a yr and a half old, I felt he was still developing physically and I wanted to see if he'd fill out as he got older. So he was sold unneutered. Well, Cree and Red ( the chec bitch) decided to get together, I'll never know for sure if it was an accident or not, but that was what I was told. Masi was a product of that breeding. When they came and told me they were expecting pups, I was.....intrigued. But declined a pup. Two of the pups ended up at the store I work in at 5 months old, a trade for a horse for their daughters. It bugged me that they were there, well, OK it pissed me off for many reasons. After watching and interacting with them both for a week, I talked to the owners and asked to take one of them home for a few days to see if this chec bitch had contributed anything to giving the pups a tougher temperament than their sire had. Masi was a fun, smart, good looking pup. Very loyal and willing. A typical 5 month old German Shepherd pup, and into everything. Masi proved to be a carbon copy of his sire, except in that he had taken on the black sable coat color from his dams breeding. This picture doesn't do him justice,but he was a handsome guy. Needless to say, I took him back to the store,and he was eventually sold. I don't know where he is now, or who bought him, but I really hope they are enjoying him. He was a neat pup. Very vocal, but a neat pup.

Oops, I forgot I as suppose to tag 6 people myself now, As small as our little blogger community is, it looks like as Ive been trolling around, most everyone I know already has been tagged. I guess I'll just kick back and see what everyone else comes up with. Thanks Carolyn, it was fun going back to some of my older pics.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The scent, and a Woman

This is to funny not to share. Last week, I made a notation in the Movie Maybe post about my son when he came out of the shower smelling....well, less than pleasant from splashing cheap cologne on himself. Well, this past weekend, I aimed to correct that. I had a hard time sitting next to him through the whole drive to and from the movie, and we don't even want to recall the torture for me of how it was sitting next to him throughout the whole movie. Needless to say, I didn't eat my popcorn, I just kept my face buried in it, happy to and much more preferable, inhaling the smell of buttered popcorn as opposed to that stink he had on him. Drinking my soda was a bit difficult trying to get the straw around the popcorn bag, so I just poked a hole in the bag and pushed the straw through the bag and I managed. (just kidding) But don't think the thought didn't cross my mind!
Anyway, the next day I threw that bottle of Aqua Velva away, far, far away, and then this past weekend I took Kyle to the store to give him a lesson in "What Women Like." We smelled cologne after cologne, to the point where Id thought I was going to have to burn the smells out of my nostrils with a lighted match. What the hell is wrong with just smelling clean? Why all the erotic names with exotic odors? What an assault to the senses!
Kyle likes some of the scents that Axe makes, and has body wash, (what ever happened to just calling soap, soap?)and deodorant made by Axe, so after we ran out of colognes to permanently damage our ole factory senses with, we then found and concentrated our efforts on smelling men's body sprays. I laughed when I saw that men now have "Body spray" like women! How sissy is that!? Perfume for men! I had a good time ribbing him about that! At any rate, we sampled, (yes we are some of those folks that spray scent in the air before we buy it, sorry but I'm not buying "Chaps" cologne before smelling it.) Just the name evokes ideas of dirty smelly leather cowboy chaps after a weekend of roping and branding and the long haul riding the drags behind a hundred plus head of cattle. I'm not paying 18.50 to have my son smelling like that!
Anyway, he was jazzed to find and get to sample the newest "body spray" made by Axe called Dark Temptation. I have seen the TV commercials on this, and if you have too, they are kind of humorous. It is suppose to smell like chocolate. What girl doesn't enjoy the sweet smell of chocolate!?
As it turned out, It has a light chocolaty odor to it, but its light and smells pretty good. He liked it, I could live with it, and it was only 5.00 dollars.
When we got to the register to pay for our purchases, the check out boy, and I do mean boy, he couldn't have been a day over 17 yrs old. Well, he picked up the Axe, and looked at it and said to Kyle and I: "Ive been meaning to check this out, do you like the smell?" I told him I thought it was nice, and then laughed, thinking about the TV commercial, and added: "it smells so yummy, I would be tempted to bite a man on the ass that was wearing the stuff myself!"
(thats one of the things that happens to the chocolate man in the TV commercial)
Well, that must have made some kind of impression on the 17 year old cashier, and his equally young friend the bag boy, as they both gave each other that all knowing smile, like hey! We gotta get us some of that if its gonna make girls want to bite us on the butt!
Well, day before yesterday, I had to stop in that same store for a few things, and guess who got to ring me up? I recognized the scent immediately, as my son has liberally sprayed himself daily since getting his can O girls are gonna bite me on the butt body spray, and low and behold, little check out Chucky and Billy the bag boy are as chocolaty odoriferous as can be! I guess they believed me and decided they wanted to be eaten alive by the girls too! As I walked out of the store, I just couldn't help but giggle.
As a side note, I asked Kyle if he has noticed a difference in the girls approach to him at school since wearing the "body spray"
He told me, and I quote, " One threatened to hit me with her belt and another said she wanted to sit on me and squish me into my seat."
The scent obviously turns young teen aged girls into vicious bullies, and old ladies into dirty old hags that like to say outrageous and totally uncalled for way to explicit things young boys.
I feel so ashamed...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Best guess anyone?


Check this out.I cropped this pic of Bear so you could see up close what I'm curious about. Below is the original pic. I know dogs can have pretty long tongues, but this is just crazy! Is that Bear's tongue between his ears on top of his head? And if so, how the hell is that possible!?
Posted by Picasa

Bear didn't have anything in his mouth, and was in fact, heading to try to take the ball from Chris. I just find it very hard to believe that is his tongue up there between his eyes on the top of his head! But, what else could it be?? What do you think?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Hank is a goof ball

Since I'm not contributing to Hanks blog at the moment, I thought I would just post a bit about him here. The title pretty much says it all though. At 7 months, Hank is the happiest goofiest dog Ive ever met. He has ants in his pants and pogo sticks for legs. Is it any wonder I cotton to female dogs more so than males. Is there anything you can do with a 7 month old male Border Collie pup, but stand back, (way back) and just watch, laugh, and shake your head. He is all over the place! Don't blink! Here one minuet, gone the next. Zoom, and back again. I swear, he has super powers! All he needs now is a cape, and I can see him having his own show, er....,well, I think it would be more like a Saturday morning cartoon. I have always said that Andy was my comic relief, and did the silliest things to entertain me, but I'm having some serious second thoughts at the moment, like every time I am around Hank. What a guy, and every dogs friend. Of course, he doesn't do the things he does to entertain me, he is all about himself at the moment, as many a teenager is. He is like an ADHD kid! At the moment, he is having a love affair with the water hose, and while he knows better than to touch it, he refuses to leave its side when its turned on to fill up the stock tank. He guards it like one of the Queens guards, stoic at his post and refuses to leave it even for play with the other dogs as long as it is turned on, and when I turn it off and lay it back on the ground, he has to inspect it, for what I don't know, and then will reluctantly leave it only when it sadly appears to not want to return his attentive affections. Recently, he has started following Lex around and trying to emulate his mother. Everything Lex does, he is right behind her and trying to do the same things. (except when he is busy hanging with the garden hose) She has a routine she has made up that she follows rigidly every day, and he follows and does the same things. I put this to the test several times now, to see if he was actually just following her, or if he has taken Lex's routine on for himself. Instead of letting Lex out of her crate first, and then Hank, I let him out first and go see what he'll do. I find him, just as I do his mom, over on the back side of the field, wandering around, doing his thing and waiting for Lex. As soon as I let her out, she runs down to where she always goes, and there is Hank waiting for her. Once his greetings are over with, he high tails it at top speed back to where me and the other dogs are. He is getting use to his long gangly legs, but the word coordination and Hank just don't quite go together as of yet. His brain is always two steps ahead of his legs, and to watch his legs trying to catch up to his mind, can be scary and hilarious all at once. Will he make that sharp turn at the corner post, or will he face plant it at a high rate of speed and end up with a mouthful of grass and sand. He has no self consciousness at all, and when he does do a face plant, he more than anyone thinks its pretty funny, and gets right up and attempts it all over again with a "What the hey! It was good for a laugh the first time!" attitude. Any training for the moment, has been put on hold, as he has the attention span of a fish. He is so consumed with the world around him, that he doesn't have time to worry about such things. His recall is still relatively intact, it just might take twice to get his attention, but when ya do, guard your shins,cause he is coming in full bore. So happy and proud of himself that he remembered what That'll Do means. All this happy go lucky, is what he is at home. Take him out of his element however, and he is a changed dog. Recently, he has developed a fear of strangers. This is mind boggling to me, as he has been extensively socialized as a pup, and was for all intensive practical purposes, a regular Wal Mart greeter. Now, when he meets some one he is unfamiliar with, he runs and hides behind my legs while bravely barking at them from behind my knees. I am hoping he grows out of this, and its just a phase he is going through. His half brother Roy went through a phase very similar to this and thankfully it only lasted a few months and he was back to normal. So, about once a week, I take him out, and gauge how he is doing. So far he has gone from hiding and barking, to allowing some one to pet him though he is stretched out sniffing them first, once close enough, he then becomes their new best friend, so progress is in the making. I wont push him, I find a willing subject, and let him make up his own mind as to what he thinks is safe for him. He seems to be be applying good judgement as time goes by, the quirky butthead. And I say that in the most affectionate of terms. He is growing by leaps and bounds, (literally!) and is the biggest collie on the place. Once he grows into himself, the way he is built, I think he will be lithe and graceful. But for now, he is just a gangly, goofy, happy go lucky kinda guy in love with a water hose, and life, and all that goes with it.