A Look of Maturity and Sensitivity


But Don't Believe it

Joni is now 2 years old and this photograph appears to portray a dog that is calm and mature and even sensitive. The true story, however, is somewhat different. As I type this, Steven is outside on a ladder in the pouring (and freezing) rain clearing leaves from the gutters in preparation for the snow expected tomorrow. He has trudged back and forth carrying a heavy long ladder all around the house with a wet, bedraggled Joni at his heels. Each time he stops and puts the ladder down to set it in place, Joni drops the Frisbee at his feet ready for him to play. Does that show sensitivity? Maturity? I think not.

Even this photograph, where she is lying apparently peacefully on a rug disguises her real state, which is closer to that of a coiled spring. She is watching us working around the kitchen, gauging where she should drop her blue ball so that we might see it and start a game. It took me several frames to get one this sharp as all the others were blurred by her sudden movements.

She is only 2 years old, still a youngster, so the playfulness and excitement is completely understandable. And she is a border collie, so the focus will never lessen, at least not for several years. But she could show a little understanding and sensitivity to the situation and not ask a busy man on a freezing roof to play Frisbee. Give him a break, Joni!

My posts are all on my blog: www.elliekennard.ca .

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54 Responses

  1. +Brian sobotta as in running around you in circles? Of course. It's how they herd sheep, so she is just doing what comes naturally. She will drop her ball and then make a big circle to come back to me. I like to call it her lap of honour.

  2. +Jonathan Caulder one of the biggest lessons we learned (yes, it was also for us to learn) was that the level of calm or tension that we gave off directly had an effect on Joni. If we began to feel tense or agitated we would make a conscious effort to calm ourselves down as this would make her very excited. And we would always wait calmly for her to calm down. She learned that she always had to wait, sitting quietly (though she was obviously keen to go) for us to open the door and go out first; that she had to sit in her bed and wait while her meals were prepared for her and not to come for them until she was called. We had to ask visitors or people we passed on our walks not to touch, look at or talk to her until she had calmed down completely. It took a while (even the visitors had trouble with that one) but it worked a treat.

  3. I have never had a male dog, +Jonathan Caulder – but I suspect that the males might be easier (don't ask me why). This one gave us a hard time, but we watched lots and lots of Youtube videos of the Dog Whisperer and applied plenty of exercise, discipline and love in that order, plenty of patience, and it came right in the end. She learned to trust, and be obedient and saw that we also trusted her. Her breeder suggested using a Gentle Leader type collar to help gently control her (which it does, and she walks right into it when we hold it out to her now) and the pack also made a huge difference as she seemed to 'get it' that her walks, too, were a kind of a 'work' for her. They need to feel that they are working. The ones that are harder to train are the most gratifying when perseverance pays off.

  4. I have a couple of questions for you folks are the males easier to train than the females or are the females better? I have a friend that has a female and she's having a very difficult time?

  5. +Danica Macanga grooming takes patience and care, but Border Collies need brushing like any others and they do look so lovely. Thanks!

    I understand completely +Jonathan Caulder – we thought we weren't going to get another after the loss of our last one. But we missed her so badly we couldn't stand it in the end and got this girl 4 months later. She brings us so much laughter and love with her natural joy!

    Thank you so much +CindyLouise Bartholomew

  6. You know her well, +Linda Jess – I knew this wouldn't fool you!

    Thank you very much +Sandra Nesbit and I love the thought balloon. It's perfect!

    +Ursula Klepper – I never want her to lose her enthusiasm and love for play, just as Mira has not. 😀 Thank you. And I know what you mean about the rushing around and ignoring our legs! Especially when she is wearing her pack on a walk she misjudges her width!

    +Renee McDaniel do not worry! No one resists her, no one wants to. And she is actually happy although appearing almost dignified. Her tail is telling another story from her eyes. 😀 She can chase after the wind Frisbee any time, we always indulge her (even Steven did on his gutter cleaning duties yesterday!)

    +Christina Lihani thank you. They have similar traits, for sure, ones that are specific to the breed. But this Joni is much more toy oriented. The last Joni would find a stick and bring it to chew and toss around, which this one also does. And she loved to catch a frisbee, but this one is more playful I think. The last one was less work where this one took a lot of love and patience to let her know that we could cuddle and brush her and she should let us. She was a handful (not always pleasant, if the truth be told) until she finally got it. Now she is very loving. The last one was loving right from the start.The last one spoke the word 'Hello' very clearly. This one doesn't see the point in it.

    +HQSP Animals and +Shannon Adelson thank you very much for the reshare!

    Thank you +Sumit Sen – I have so many of her at a bit of a distance I wanted a portrait this time, I'm glad you like it.

    Thanks a lot +Beena R she is very loveable.

    She can be a baby/youngster as long as she wants, +Childa Santrucek – thank you!

  7. Chasing after the wind.. Frisbee style. She is like a child asking over and over for a toy. She knows eventually she will get her way. How can you resist? She doesn't look happy.. . Gorgeous gold eyes

  8. However she is beautiful! And I don't want to take away your hope, but Mira is almost 13 and not showing maturity when it's about playing… :o) she does also not care about that my feet are in her way when she wants to get to her meal, she seems to think they are made out of air.

  9. Fantastic, insightful and enjoyable story, Ellie. You not only write well, your heart sees beautifully. I do, however, have an alternative thought balloon to put over Joni's head as she sat at the foot of the ladder….may not be true…but it's sweet. It reads:

    "You know…playing with this is MUCH more fun. You really should listen to your dog, it's why dogs are here, after all."

  10. She's just pointing out that your priorities are skewed. 🙂

    I can relate, though. My BC, at 5 years old, still hasn't slowed down any – looking for any opportunity to play. And I also relate to the picture taking – the best way I know to keep out the blurries is to only try taking pictures of her when she's "in position". I know you know what I mean. 🙂

  11. Perhaps she just understands the principle of what the writer of Ecclesiastes said: "Better is a handful of rest than two handfuls of hard work and chasing after the wind," and she's just trying to drop a hint that maybe y'all need to take a break. 🙂

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