ALL ABOUT SOPHIE

This Web site is both a whimsical look at life with a border collie as well as an informative one. My husband and I have a 6 year old border collie named Sophie, who has brought us great joy and plenty of entertainment but most of all she continually astounds us with her intelligence and focus. The following is Sophie's resume, the good and the bad.

WARNING: THIS BREED IS NOT FOR EVERYONE!!


BACKGROUND

Sophie was born on a farm in Revelstoke, BC on July 30,1996. She was one in a litter of 10. Her mother and father were both working dogs, sheep herders, and this instinct is obvious in Sophie.

It was actually my sister's family that bought her, getting totally caught up in the movie "Babe" and their intelligence level, never really considering what life with a border collie would be like or require. I stood by for 2 months watching her being neglected, not intentionally, but because of lack of time and commitment on the part of the family. It got so bad that I started secretly walking and training her when they were at work and school. I finally gave them the ultimatum! Give me that dog now before it's too late. She was 4 months by this time and luckily for all of us the family was reasonable and compassionate enough to make the right decision and let her go.

WELCOME TO OUR FAMILY SOPHIE!!


EDUCATION

  • Beginner Obedience: She couldn't wait to go to school. She told me so... She passed with flying colors. 10 weeks.
  • Advanced Obedience: All off leash work and again she excelled. 10 weeks.
  • Beginner Retrieval: It was pathetic. Dropped out after 4 weeks. A retriever she is not!!
  • Agility: Fastest in the class and loved it. 8 weeks.
  • Flyball: She was running the jumps and getting the ball before the other 3 dogs in the class could figure out how to release the ball! 8 weeks.

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WORK HISTORY

  • Herding: Anything that moves. That includes toys,people, cats and of course other dogs. She hasn't had the opportunity to herd sheep or cattle but I can tell she would be a natural.

There is Sophie pictured on the right after a very hard day of herding and swimming at the cottage.


HOBBIES AND SPORTS
  • Swimming, Synchronized swimming
  • Soccer: Sophie has stopped traffic many times as people want to watch her catch the ball in the air, do headers, and work the ball back to you with her front paws. This was all self taught.
  • Dog walks with her many friends, hiking and in winter, cross country skiing.
  • Reading: Sophie has formed a book club. Unfortunately, there is only one other member, Holden, her lab cross boyfriend. I don't think she minds though, she gets him all to herself. The round table bark is quite limited with only 2 opinions. They are presently reading Lassie Come Home.

The top right picture shows Sophie on a piece of agility equipment with her first place ribbon on. Bottom right is the book club and left is another one of Sophie's amazing jumps while playing soccer.


PET PEEVES
  • Loud noises such as thunder, nail guns, whistles and beeps.
  • Commercial dog food. I make her food. Does she sound spoiled or do I sound like a woman who has too much time on her hands?
  • Dogs that don't like to be herded,which are many.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Sophie might not have been our breed of choice had we deliberately set out to buy a dog, as border collies need alot of work or they could easily become neurotic or develope behavioral problems. Luckily we have the time to devote to her and we certainly reap the benefits. She is loving,friendly,smart,obedient,funny and devoted. Who could ask for anything more? We wouldn't trade her for anything.

The history of the breed answers a few questions about their appearance and personality. The Border collie was born in the British Isles and grew to maturity in the border country of England and Scotland. There are several theories surrounding the derivation of the "collie " portion of their name but no doubt as to their purpose in life. Some historians claim that"colley"derives from a Gaelic word meaning something useful, some say it comes from "coalie",a word meaning black, and a third source trace the meaning from the name of a breed of Scottish sheep. But few would disagree that the Border Collie is the finest sheepherding dog, a marvelous competition dog, and a suitable if somewhat hyperactive pet for lively households.

If you would like more information on Border Collies and our personal experiences, E-mail your comments to us at bkemerer@telus.net.

We hope you enjoyed visiting our Web site. I sure had fun creating it!!

Barb and Ward Kemerer

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