Thursday, August 28, 2008

Must Love Dogs

You probably don't know this about me but here goes......I'm dog crazy. Ever since I was a kid I've been dog crazy. I remember my dad saying to me that once I had a baby I'd put my animals into perspective. Wrong. I gave birth to a boy that said, "Dogs are my life."

And one has never been enough. We currently have four dogs and I'm trying hard to stick to that. When I was showing and breeding Shelties we have had up to 12. Yikes, that was too much but most were puppies that went on to fantastic homes. People have asked how I give all those dogs attention. Dogs are pack animals. They don't care if they are in a pack.

I have been involved in the sport of dogs all my life. I started showing dogs when I was a kid and have shown in obedience, conformation, hunt tests and 4H. I have taught clicker training and do private lessons now and then. The older I get though the less I like the training and grooming it takes to compete in dog shows so I am content to just sit around and pet my dogs, preferably with a good book. I can't imagine a walk without a dog and even like to travel with my portable dog, Solomon. Occasionally I still judge at the county fair even though I tell them I don't want to anymore. It's the crying child thing. No matter how nice I am I still succeed in making at least one child cry. And one parent question my decision.

So with that, let me introduce my dogs.

Miles is a 10 year old Shetland Sheepdog. Bought for my son's 4H dog, I took over his training when my son got older and didn't have time. Miles is the most fun to train. Show him something three times and he's got it. He has a few obedience titles and entertains guests with his bag of tricks. Miles is a gentleman.

Grace is a 6 year old Shetland Sheepdog in the Blue Merle coloring. She is the sweetest dog that ever lived. People always say, "Grace really likes me." I always agree even though she treats everyone the same. Before you know what happened she is up licking your neck. I have a list of people that want her if anything happens to me.

Stormy is a 5 year old field-bred Black Lab. My dad bought her and asked me to raise her and start her training. She was then professionally trained as a hunting dog and competed in hunt tests. The trainer called her a once in a lifetime dog. That may be but we pulled her from training when it got too intense for her, or us, I'm not sure which. She came home with me and my dad gave Hubby a shotgun. Hubby has never been a hunter but he took her out and Stormy taught him how to hunt pheasants. Now he's hooked. There is something about walking the fields with your best friend and bringing home dinner. Frankly I don't get it. I'd rather walk the field with my best friend and not bring home dinner but they love it. Grouse season starts in a couple of days. Wonder what that tastes like?

Solomon is a 2 year old Chihuahua. I have wanted a Chihuahua for years but it had to be the right one. I found this one on Craiglist. His family had just had a baby and they wanted to find him a home. We lucked out with this one. Impeccably housebroken! He is a black Lab in a tiny body. I have never had such an athletic dog. He loves everyone and everyone loves him. I don't know how many times I've heard that he has changed people's minds about Chihuahuas. What a little ambassador.
Then there is Faith. When my son went off to college I wouldn't let him take one of the dogs. I mean what college kid needs a dog? So what does he do? Goes out and gets another one. Faith is a Blue Merle Shetland Sheepdog, bought at a pet store, straight from the puppy mill, and one of the best dogs I've ever been around. She has more frequent flyer miles than most people. Small enough to fit under the seat she goes everywhere with him.

And what about Chloe? Chloe is the lucky little girl that was bought by a young man and given to his lovely girl because he knew she would love her. Lucky Chloe.

We were walking one day when my, then, four year old son asked me about who he should marry and I talked to him about finding someone that was moral and had a good sense of humor. I described all the traits that would make a good wife.
He said, "Yeah, but she HAS to love dogs."


Anonymous said...

I didn't used to love dogs but I do now, we have 4 too ( 2 are Great Pyrenees and 2 are Lab mixes ) but we might be getting my brother's boston terrier/beagle mix though, my sister has the sister of the boston terrier/beagle mix male.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Your dogs are all so beautiful/handsome. My neighbor has a miniature shetland sheepdog and I'm always so impressed with how well trained and intelligent she is, but also kind with children and calm.

Solomon is so cute. I've never been a huge fan of Chis, but I bet Solomon would probably change that :)

I've usually had a dog most of my life growing up, just one at a time. But I don't think I could call myself dog-crazy. I appreciate dogs and enjoy having them around, but I think I lean toward more independant animals.

You'll probably think I'm nutty, but I'd take my llamas for a walk before I'd take our dog. :)

Ranchman John adopted a female GSD puppy 8 months ago, and I've never had a puppy before. What a handful. She's been to one training class and she could use a few more.
She is very sweet and loving, though, when she's not hyper and jumping on us.

Since you're a dog trainer, do you have any tips of advice on training a dog not to jump up on people and not coming when called?

Tracey said...

I do love Dogs...and I love this post! Thanks so much for intoducing us to your dogs!
Each one is so cute!
Does Stormy still act like a puppy? We have a yellow Lab and a Bassett Hound. Our Lab is over 8 now and still has loads of energy!

Anonymous said...

I've always been a cat person. As was my daughter. For some reason, she got the bug to get a dog. Sassy has changed my life! How do they DO that??? I'm now a dog person. Love reading about your dogs!

@JDHealingTimeOnEarth said...

Beautiful dogs, Wendy! I like other people's dogs, and appreciate them when I'm with them.

goatgirl said...

Yep twinville I can help you with that but maybe you should email me at because it could get lengthy. I have a website called but have not got it up and running. Maybe I should.

Tracey, Stormy does still act like a pup. We call her turbo dog because she does everything full tilt. She just wants to be loved.

Pamela said...

I'm definitely a dog person. Can't really remember a time in my life I haven't had one. Right now we have three. Our old girl, Bessie (11 year old Rottie) is...well, she's getting old. So sad to see her coat getting tatty when it used to just sparkle. She may turn out to be my once-in-a-lifetime dog. (Lifetime not over so can't tell yet) We've done so much...She got her CD (first title for me--didn't go further because I didn't care for the jumping), performed tricks for nursing homes (registered therapy dog) and then helped with physical therapy for stroke victims, had a bit of a go at flyball, was the "example" dog for the puppy classes I taught at the dog club, did some herding and tried our hand at tracking. A real do-it-all gem! Very difficult to see her getting older and knowing there's not much time left.

And you do CLICKER TRAINING, too! Love clicker training! That's what I've used on Maa-Maat (the little hand-reared 4-month old Tunis ewe lamb). She took to it really quickly. Problem is, I'm pretty stumped as what to do next. She touches my hand of course, jumps up on whatever I tell her, jumps through a hoop, and she kneels down.

Anyone have any suggestions for another trick? Makes for a very, very short "Maa-Maat Show".

goatgirl said...

Pamela, Wow I would love a clicker trained lamb. Here's a challenge for you. Teach the lamb to heel:) And you could do agility obstacles with her. I love clicker training. It is fun to watch them figure it out.

Unknown said...

I think I picked up your blog from Pam's of whom I just picked up from I don't remember BUT it doesn't matter cuz I loved both your blogs! I am a total blue merle fan as I have a blue merle cardigan corgis I show! Your Shelties are beautiful...glad you said your not breeding cuz I might have to seriously think about that:) I don't think I have ever had less than 3 dogs at a time in my house...the most was my 3 Newfies & 2 beagles! Beautiful Nigerians! I have a small herd which hopefully will be bigger this spring as I just flew in a buck from Texas in April....yeah what else does a single woman need to do with $600?? I totally laughed at your entry on fences because I am a "freak" about fence lines. Would you mind if I added your blog to mine so I can come back for some good humor & perspective?

goatgirl said...

Welcome Kristi, Sure you can add me to your blog. I saw your beautiful Corgi. A blue merle Corgi...what's not to love about that??

Gone2theDawgs said...

Great dog pics! I have been a dog lover since before I could crawl. :) Couldn't imagine life without them. That will be one lucky lady that marries your son!

Anonymous said...

I've always wanted a Sheltie, but I'll have to wait. Right now we have two border collies and a heeler.

They are beautiful.


Marigold said...

This is an impressive line up of dogs. Eventhough I am a goat I can appreciate how nice they look. I do hope, however, that they do not (shudder) herd.

frugalmom said...

Was there any specific reason that your son chose the American Eskimo? Or just cuteness factor?!!

goatgirl said...

Nope Marigold, there is no herding going on here. The dogs are a bit afraid of the it should be.

frugalmom, I'm sure it was just the cute factor. Although he did have some good experiences with them in the past.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Beautiful Dogs! Especially the Shelties, we used to have four of them, all with their own unique personality. Now we just have one Border Collie, I miss the Shelties so much:)

FoxMeadowsFarmgirl said...

After very nearly two years living halfway around the world from my farm, I'm finally cracking and getting a dog! I couldn't be more elated about it! I'm getting a 4 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (a girl, new name TBA) from a woman who is leaving the Czech Republic and can't take her dog back with her. She's darling, and I can't WAIT to bring her home in July and show her off! =) Add another family pet to the Frequent Flyer Program! ;)

goatgirl said...

Yeah MB. Send me a picture!