Friday, August 27, 2010

Jock and Strap

OK! It's their turn! (I've promised them I would give them equal time--I also know that if I sit with them, they will sit patiently and listen while I read this to them--that's the kind of great guys they are!) I'm of course talking about Jock and Strap, our two border collies. (I promise to attach photos to these blogs--they are just on another computer--long story..)

Anyway, Jock entered our life first- we went to pick him up from his family's property, a working property where his grandfather, his father and his mother were all registered and great working dogs. We chose Jock, because he basically chose us--He was a ball of black and white fur and gave great kisses. So we paid our money, were promised our registration papers, and took him home.

We chose the name Jock, as this had been a name linked to his grandfather's lineage. We could picture ourselves walking across the paddocks with our great border collie, Jock, a massive, strong, brave border collie, running in front of us, the fresh air blowing and all would be right with the world. Yeah, well...Jock is handsome--very handsome. We think now that his good looks may have been the downfall of him...perhaps he looked in his water dish one day and realised that with his looks, he should never have to work too hard! So, he didn't.

It's not that we wanted a working dog--but a physically active dog would have been good - in his early days he humoured us, and besides being somewhat obedient, he also allowed us to play with him, and would occasionally fake us out, and let us think he would play catch...he would excitedly chase the ball or the empty plastic bottle (one of his favourite toys), but would return it to a point where we would also have to fetch--Jock wasn't raised a dumb lineage animal--he knew his place in society, we just couldn't figure out where we fit in!

We shared a few 'fitting-in' problems with Jock initially, including teaching him not to eat the plants in the 'botannical' gardens surrounding our home, and especially not to eat the Jacaranda trees- but eventually a healthy respect and love developed between Jock and our family. He is a very gentle and loving dog. (He knows he's on a good thing, and will never have to chase or round up anything, unless he really wants to--and he would much rather relax, and be pampered by his humans, than physically achieve anything.)

Well, about this time, Maddie and I introduced Strap - first to Chris, (This little border collie at the pet store had won the hearts of Maddie and I, and we sure did hope that Chris would crumble too when he saw him). Chris didn't crumble much, but just enough, so we brought Strap home--(I'll let you work out how he got his name--didn't have much to do with his lineage, as in Jock's case..more with humour I think!)

Now about this time Jock was about 4 years old- 28 years old in human years--he had been a much pampered and looked after young gentleman dog, who suddenly was introduced to a responsibility. The first and most important responsibility of his life - a puppy! We have never seen an animal adjust so quickly to the task, but who also matured at an amazing pace--Jock exchanged his virginal playboy ways for that of (somewhat enforced) but patient maturity. He became a great role model, a teacher, and a scolder---Strap both feared and loved him...we interfered with Jock's training mechanisms, when we had to, but watched with great interest as Jock showed Strap how to behave. How to sit before eating, how to obey commands, and how to try to understand the humans and be gentle with them at all times.

So, for the last ten years we have had the pleasure of constantly sharing our lives with these two very different characters--Jock is still a gentelman's gentleman. He still loves smelling my flower bouquets, and checking out my latest purchases before I can get them into the house, and Strap would rather play soccer with you than breathe--they are so opposite--but love each other dearly--and of course, we don't know what we would do without them. Our boys!

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