Monday, January 11, 2010

Twice the fun, twice the work

   I received an interesting phone call from my wife on Saturday informing me that we may be bringing home 6-month-old twins. Twins is not something I thought we would ever have, nor is it something we have ever aspired too.
   The two brothers, she informed me, were rambunctious and playing in the holding room while their parents filled out paperwork to put them up for adoption. My wife knew from the moment she saw the young boys they would be coming home with us — at least as fosters.
   Because of the processing and paperwork involved, the pair were not available at all Saturday. This gave us a day or so to prepare for their arrival and think of new names to call them, as they didn’t seem to respond to the names they had been given.
   Sunday evening my wife pulled into the driveway, and I went out to meet her. The boys were in their car carriers in the back seat and I couldn’t wait to see them.
   I opened the door, and their eyes lit up with excitement. A smile could be seen on both their faces as their tongues licked excitedly and their tails began to wag. One gave a quick bark of hello and was rapidly followed by the other also yipping hello.
   The border collie brothers are adorable. With more black on their faces than traditional black and white border collies, and a good think coat of hair already, the little fuzzballs bounded out of the back of our Jeep to explore the yard — at the end of the leash I had managed to slip around their necks as they were exiting, of course.
   I sat on the frozen ground that has been our yard for the last few days and both bounded over to me and clamored for attention by climbing in my lap and licking me, their tails wagging at a speed that approached blinding.
   We decided to take the fun party to the backyard where we could let the pair run, play, tumble and discover new things without being bound by a leash. This would also give me a good glimpse into what each of the brothers personalities might be like.
   Having evaluated hundreds of litters of puppies, I have learned many things and can usually tell within a few minutes what personality a puppy may have. With pups 5-6 months old, it is usually easier because their personalty is normally set by then and traits are easier to pick out.
   One of the pups, Tripp, is more adventurous than his brother, and was probably one of the first in the litter. He is the more dominant of the two. Roadie is the more laid back — at least as laid back as a border collie can be — and is a bit of a “love bug,” preferring to walk, play and discover things from next to a person. Both are sound and will make excellent dogs for an active owner or family.
   Our pool, was something they may not have seen before. In went both pair of front feet onto the first step in the shallow end. Out came both pair of feet.
   A small bowl we use as an additional water bowl had a large piece of ice floating in it, and the boys had great fun trying to bob for it while getting a drink.
   Puppies are fun because you get to see them grow and explore. Border collie pups are sometimes too much for most people to handle as they are really just a bundle of energy wrapped in a fur suit. To take on twins, I was told, we must be crazy.
   But, it’s all part of what I do as part of my life outside of newspapers. Border collies are smart, high-drive dogs that need a special kind of owner. Sure, it may be a lot of work, but by fostering dogs through Border Collie Rescue Texas, we help get dogs to a great forever home, and get to enjoy special moments, like bringing home the twins, in the process.

Blake Ovard is a professional dog trainer and a top-three finalist in the Extreme Mutt Makeover. He can be reached via e-mail at

No comments:

Post a Comment