Border Collies in the Rain

I have four border collies waiting for me to start the day; they don’t care if it’s raining.

Here they are waiting for me in their 4-wheel drive kennel to entertain them. Waiting for me to get going.

We used to have our own sheep, but that’s another story. Now, when I feel sorry for them I take them over to Judy’s to herd sheep. That’s Bret and Flint with the sheep: You can read about our adventures at Judy’s in Are Border Collies the Smartest Dog?

Border collies are like having a 10-year old kid in a dog suit. You don’t get one, let alone four, unless you have four hours a day with nothing else to do.

I had lots of free time before I developed a bad case of Obsessive Compulsive Writing Disorder (OCWD). Now, the dogs have to wait until intermission. When it isn’t raining, I play a four-man Frisbee game on the canine playground next door. After Frisbee, we head to the corner bakery for breakfast.

I put them on their own chairs and leave them off-leash, while I go in and order my breakfast. Here’s Bret holding my number, waiting for my order to be delivered.

I attract a crowd when they see me leave four-dogs off leash while I go in and order breakfast with the command, “You stay, and don’t you dare move from that spot or else.”

When I return, there are always a few onlookers whispering, “How did he do that? They didn’t move…I couldn’t get my kids to do that.”

Invariably, someone comes up and wants me to train their dog. “WOW, that was something, I watched you go in and bet my husband those dogs wouldn’t stay there. How did you get them to do it? I bet you’re a dog trainer, can you train my dog?”

My response: “Well yes, but I’m really a dog communicator. They don’t think they’re human, they think I’m a dog. Why don’t I come to your house and give you a free evaluation to see if I can help you? Here is my card, call me.”

To date, I have given out about 50 cards. Guess how many people have called me for that free evaluation?

Zero.

I still don’t have a good explanation for why no one has called, do you?

Anyway, when it’s raining we humans can get our entertainment inside by reading or watching TV.

Bart can read but the others can’t and there aren’t that many books written for dogs, so what should I do to entertain them?

Animal Planet or the dog whisperer won’t work because the dog’s dominant sense is smell not sight. Which is why when they walk past a mirror they either bark at it or ignore it.

What I need to do is create the equivalent of television for dogs. It’s not that hard, I can just go someplace they have never been and follow local dogs and gather up the brush, leaves and dirt where they urinate and defecate.

When your dog is sniffing the sidewalk, the fire hydrant and other dogs they are taking in a wealth of information says Bash Dibra, noted animal behaviorist and author of DogSpeak:

“Dogs smell each other and their secretions to monitor physiological and emotional changes,” says, “It’s like getting the morning paper or a hot-off-the-press tabloid.”I realize that gathering up items soiled by the elimination of dogs sounds disgusting, but that’s because we live in houses with indoor plumbing and use toilet paper.

Robert Singer

Robert Singer is a retired information technology professional and an environmental activist living in Southern California. In 1995 he and his cousin Adam D. Singer founded IPC The Hospitalist Company, Inc., where he served as chief technology officer. Today the company manages more than 130 practice groups, providing care in some 300 medical facilities in 18 states. Prior to that he was president of Useful Software, a developer and publisher of business and consumer software for the personal computing industry.

Other articles by Robert Singere here.

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Comments

  1. Lee Rowan says

    LOL! I’d be leery of bringing home the “entertainment center” because I don’t know if all those other dogs are healthy. My dog actually does watch Dog Whisperer, for the sound. She’s an Aussie/Husky mix and she picks things up so fast its scary.. but I’d never dare leave her offlead–she was a rescue, I’ve only had her a year and that ‘rover’ instinct is too strong.

    As to why people don’t call you… Cesar Millan–and lots of other trainers–have made it pretty clear that most ‘dog’ problems are really ‘people’ problems… and they don’t want to be told that to change the dog’s behavior, they might have to change their own. Easier to blame the dog.

    Congratulations on a gorgeous pack! You brightened my day.

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