Thursday, July 2, 2009

Say Hello to Joe

Let me tell you a story about a dog.  A little and lovely dog who we discovered a tattoo on when he was getting his pre-neuter hair cut.  A lot of speculation surrounded this dog.  Where did he come from?  What's his breeding?  What happened to shape his behavior?  Why is he so skittish around people?  And now I know.  I know Gunner's story.  Except his name isn't Gunner.  His name is Joe.  And I have the Canadian Border Collie Association papers to prove it.

For the first five years of his life Joe (Gunner) lived with a family.  He mostly lived in a dog run to keep the other dogs safe (from pregnancy) but he got to help the rancher's wife do chores.  He'd ride in the box of the truck or run beside the mule (like a quad) and when they got to where the cattle were penned, he (with virtually no training) would help her by doing things like moving the bulls off the troughs so she could fill them.  He was a good dog who played with the family's kids and occasionally got into trouble for killing kittens.

When this family heard of a local rancher and hired hand was out a dog and needed something to help him move cattle, they gave Joe away, with the belief that Joe would work well for this person.  Eventually they heard that the rancher didn't like Joe and Joe was no longer there.  When one night a breeding client dropped off a mare and they got to talking about Border Collies.  Can you see where this story is going?

You guessed it.  I have Joe.  When I described some of his quirks they were shocked.  The Joe they know didn't act like that!  So - it wasn't Joe's previous owners that wrecked him.  It was the one I got him from.  You remember - the one who was going to shoot him because he wouldn't even look at a cow.  The one who said some rancher dropped off for him to try.  Not even close!  He went and picked up the dog.  

So Brad and I, as best as we can figure, think that Grant did something nasty to Joe.  After all, what else would cause a keen dog to stop working stock?  And have some serious trust issues with humans?  You do the math - I sure did!

On an interesting side note - Joe is related to Tessa.  Joe's mother is Tessa's maternal grandmother, and his father is a litter mate to her maternal grandfather.  Pretty cool what a small world it is.

1 comment:

The Canadian said...

Joe is lucky you found him, you are Joe's Angel!!!