Monday, March 6, 2017

Keeping tabs

We didn't have a clue what we were getting into. About a month before Casey - actually "Quantum Leap Bob" to the breeder - arrived at Seatac Airport, something just didn't seem right. I mean the idea that here it was summer and this little guy still hadn't been snatched up. Ten months old and no forever home. It was unsettling.


Before Victoria and I had even stopped grieving over the loss of Molly, our first Border Collie, I had been scouring the internet for an occasional puppy fix. To this day I don't remember how I found the website of a Border Collie breeder in the middle of Minnesota but one day it just popped up, and there was that face. Bob, the runt of the litter, should have been totally forgettable. He was sporting a nose that had way more than his share of pink and a partial blue left iris, both products of the Merle Gene from the sire, Bubba. Show dog material, unlikely, but that face was lure enough. I had to keep checking on him.

In a week or so I phoned the breeder to see how Bob was doing. "No takers yet. He just sort of hangs back," said a less than enthusiastic rancher. "The runt of a litter of seven and more submissive than most folks are lookin' for."

"Well, someone will take him home..he'll be perfect for some kid. Come on. He's a cute kid."

"Interested? Money back guarantee." Of course, she had no way of knowing that we didn't have the time to invest in another Border Collie so soon after losing our irreplaceable Molly to cancer. No way of knowing for sure, but she had to be sensing I'd be calling back.


  1. I'm enjoying the story! Callie, too, was the runt of her litter. Picked on by her bigger brothers and passed over by potential owners. Her mother was merle, but her dad was a red. She shows none of her mother's blue characteristics. She's still a little neurotic from her early weeks, but lovably so. She's ten years old now and we're actually visiting a breeder next week for a second dog, this time a Shetland. I don't know if we're ready for two in the house, but we may do it.

    1. Thanks, Walt. It continues to be therapeutic for me.

      I think I would always recommend the runt of any litter, but Casey sure paid for it. No one on a working farm in the "Heartland" was looking for a beta herder. As it turned out he is our gold-standard, and we've cared for some amazing dogs. Callie might really benefit from some puppy stimulation, and no doubt the newbie will need her mentoring. A total win-win.

      We're also considering a puppy...gulp...another BC. Can't imagine our lives without the steady dose of canine laughter, Frisbee slobber and even the shedding much longer.