Friday, March 18, 2011

You Can Take the ranchdog out of the country....

Old pic of kell, but this pic says "ranchdog" to me :)

But you can’t take the country out of the ranch dog.

I had some business in the big city this week, so I took the dogs with me as we have a sheepdog trial this weekend.

I am blessed to have some very good friends in P town and I usually stay with my dear friend Barb. I was in town for several days, so the dogs got some long walks in the big city.

My dogs are used to traveling for trials and they were unfazed by that part of the trip. Taking long walks in the city was another story.

I have my dogs Nellie and Mint with me. Both dogs are used to a leash, but they have never really been for a long walk with one on. At home I run on the ranch in the am and the dogs come with me, not on a leash. At trials they are on a leash, but they are looking up the field for sheep, or sitting watching with me.

We start out on the walk and I see both dogs are scanning for sheep. After several blocks they stop doing that, and notice the world is alive with squirrels and cats on porches. They know I would not tolerate pulling or misbehaving, so they just stare….as only a collie can.

This is a nice neighborhood, and apparently the breed of choice is a golden retriever. My dogs have seen 99.9 % Border Collies their whole life, and they seemed to regard these body wagging happy dogs with some mistrust, if not out right disdain.  I like goldens fine btw.

Many dogs had backpacks, and carried their own poop bags( i may be a collie snob but i have respect for OPP...other people's propery and do pick up my dogs poop.) I have to wonder what the dogs thought of that. I do now know what they think of big dogs who wear clothing.

It was raining lightly….ok it rains lightly in pdx for about ¾ of the year. We had seen construction workers with huge saws tearing up the street and plenty of cars and city noises. We were just settling into all this when i saw a well built man in a snazzy outfit run towards us. This was not odd, but his lovely golden retriever had on a rain coat, complete with a hat piece that came over the dogs head. Now this was not a lil lap dog with no fur. I admit my 6 lb Chi has a coat for the car on cold days…….. This was a beautiful hunting dog with a thick coat.

Both dogs stopped dead and Mint stood there with her mouth open like a person in shock. Every hair on Nellie’s body was standing straight up and she had a low rumble in her chest I have never heard before. The man seemed oblivious to our state of shock, and embarrassment. Then again if you are a 6’2 man running with a dog in a full rain coat, even in Portland you must be used to staring…and probably laughing.

We continued on, but Nell looked over her shoulder every few blocks and gave a low warning growl.

Yesterday we went to our friend Julie and Bob’s farm outside of the city. The second we got out of the truck the dogs and I both took a deep breath, and just enjoyed the freedom. The rain had stopped and we worked sheep in a lovely green field. I had major green grass envy, as it is still winter at our house.

The dogs were so happy to work and to be free of their leash. After we worked dogs, Julie made us a wonderful homemade meal. It was a lovely day, now one more city run this am and off to the sheepdog trial!

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