Monday, September 12, 2016

This is Zip

This is Zip. Her dad is Batman, possibly the best dog ever. Brisbane hated intact males, except Batman. Everybody loves Batman.
High drive working border collie

Batman's owner is my boss out at the sheep ranch. She breeds really amazing working border collies. Zip was originally placed as a puppy in a home that didn't work out. Though her owner had signed a contract agreeing to return her to her breeder if things didn't work out, she was sold or loaned to someone else for a while. At some point she jumped or fell out of the back of a pickup truck, and was quite possibly running loose for as long as a month before someone else found her and located her breeder. The person that found her originally wanted to keep her because, lets be honest, Zip is a fabulous dog. After a while they changed their mind, and Zip finally landed safely back with her breeder after two years of weirdness.

That's the cool thing about good breeders. It's tough to be totally anti-breeder when you know that the dogs they produce don't end up burdening the shelter system. I've known breeders to take back their dogs after a decade, to fly across the country or drive nonstop for days to retrieve them. A lot of rescues work the same way, but I suspect they adopted the concept from the most responsible of dog breeders.
post-fetch smiles
Ears stand up for sheep and tennis balls.

Zip came back to the ranch not long after I quit doggy daycare in favor of sheep. I needed a dog that could move stock in close quarters without biting them, and Zip needed a job to do. For a while she lived at the ranch, and then she started escaping in her off hours. I lost Brisbane a little over a month ago, and never had the heart to pare down my dog setup. Everything, from the crates in the bedroom to the car full of agility gear, was still set up for two dogs.

So Zip has come home with me. When she's not herding sheep, she gets to chase tennis balls and sleep on the bed, and join me and the crew for all our adventures. Like Sis, she'll do anything for a tennis ball. Zip LOOOOOVES toys. She's still trying to figure out what to do with all of them. I am rapidly learning the difference between random-bred dogs, and dogs produced through very careful and deliberate breeding. Zip is amazing, her parents and siblings and aunts and uncles are all amazing. I now have a border collie, I've gone to the light side. (Cattledogs are undoubtedly the dark side.)


  1. how cute! In my dream world I'd love to have one, but I know that's super not realistic for my lifestyle.

    1. I think it was Patricia McConnell that said "A border collie is a great pet, if you're willing to provide a sheep farm rather than some cheaper toy."

  2. The best of both worlds (light and dark!) We love our herding dogs, whether they have been working or pet quality (okay, Gabe, border collie who loves all people).