So the pack grew once again and I don’t think I have ever agonised over the decision as much as this time. I didn’t really feel like getting another dog because the existing ones keep me busy and although I suddenly became “agilitydogless” (due to Joey’s back problem + Che, Roo and Lin getting old(er)) it didn’t really bother me, because my drive to do anything dog sport related was pretty much as low as it can be.
But than we moved and settled, started to enjoy the nature around us. Suddenly everything felt easier and I started to flirt with the idea of getting another dog after all. First I had to fight off the idea of getting 10 more malinois, a German shepherd and/or a giant schnauzer, because… well… one Baxus and his IGP training is already a handful and let’s say I have enough crazy for a while. For the same reason I stayed away from getting another mudi or a Croatian sheepdog. With a heavy heart I also had to let go the idea of getting a papillon – I really really really want to get one some day, but I am just terrified of all the possible ways my existing pack can break it without even noticing it. So finally it all came down to a border collie. I have gone through my most intense agility years without ever even coming close to wanting one, because although agility was a huge part of my life, I never felt like I could prioritise dog’s agility skills over what I like in dogs in general. However I always greatly admired farm border collies and their insane ability to work the flock.
Since I can remember I have been immensely fascinated with any dog activity that required more than just a skilful trainer. Herding, hunting, protection work, livestock guardian… Nothing more thrilling to see than a 2 month old puppy instantly doing what he was born to do without a single drop of training. Centuries of selective breeding in their blood, something that no training can replace. It is both humbling and thrilling to train a dog for such an activity, as you are not creating artificial behaviours out of nothing – you are embracing the knowledge and skill your dog was born with and hopefully develop it into successful partnership.
It is where dog training still gives me chills even after all those years. It is where I am truly and wholeheartedly proud on my dogs. It is where I admire and respect them the most. So out of all the struggle, finally getting a border collie felt like the right thing to do. I didn’t just want to get another dog, because I have enough of them as it is. I didn’t feel good about buying an agility dog, because I don’t feel like doing agility every weekend for the rest of my life.
But I know for a fact that farming with Jimmy (and Joey and Che) will give me lots of satisfaction. I am really looking forward to dig deeper into the herding world, to learn and grow as a trainer, to feel grounded and excited at the same time. And it is also a chance for me to stay connected with the agility world and all the great friends from all over the world whom I acquired over the years. So welcome home Jimmy. And what a cool little puppy he is. Probably the easiest I have ever had, happy, curious, independent, playful, goofy and just the right amount of naughty as well. He will play like a piranha and sleep like a bear. From day one he would find a way to entertain himself when being left alone, or just sleep through it. He will play with whoever is willing to play with him, but stay away from the grumpy ones. In his little moments of madness, he would attack my ankles like a little malinois and man that little dog can bite! So here is to all our future adventures little Danger Mouse, may the health be with us!