Getting Along With Others

This is Missy, our Border Collie Brittany/Spaniel Mix. Isn’t she a darling?

Butter would not melt in her mouth and there isn’t a bad bone in her body — is what they’ve promised us at the animal welfare center.  😉

2016-03-15 Portrait.JPG

But don’t you be fooled by that picture! Sometimes she transforms into…

2017-01-14 Missy Monster Chewing Bone 3

Missy the Monster!

Her barking will make you cringe. She’ll hear something — anything — and she’ll bark like crazy. Oh, that can really get on my nerves sometimes. Why can’t she just keep her little mouth shut then?

God has a plan and purpose for our lives, I know. Still, I wonder why on earth He’s brought Missy into my life. Could she really be part of the plan? Sometimes it takes so much effort to stay calm while training her. Other times I want to give up on teaching her certain things because I think She’ll never get it! It would be so much easier if she would … 

One of my problems is that, too often, I’ll compare her to Rapsy. 😦 He is a very different kind of dog with a totally different kind of nature, though. Another problem is that by doing that I’ll treat her like Rapsy and I’ll expect her to behave like him. They are both dogs. I’m “speaking” the same language to them but one will understand whole sentences while the other needs precise, short commands to do what she has been told. Each one of them is a unique, special dog — according to its breed, age and given gifts.

Here is a good example:

Missy Rapsy Sticks.JPG

Missy (left) will not focus on the object but will keep her eyes on me until I’ll say: “Okay!” Rapsy, on the other hand, will concentrate on the object until I’ll give him the okay or tell him to do something else.

It is so much easier since she is … since I’m focusing on her needs and no longer on what I want her to be like. This is something I choose to do, meaning, I’ll have to remind myself daily to know and treat her like Missy and not like Rapsy and not like the dog I wished she would be.

By the way, there is a lovely little book out there called Lessons from a Sheep Dog by Phillip Keller you might enjoy reading this summer.

EDIT/Follow up: Getting Along With Others — Part Two


4 thoughts on “Getting Along With Others

  1. Missy’s poor start to life and coming to you from rescue is almost certainly the reason for her incessant barking that drives you nuts. Believe it or not it probably drives her nuts just as much because all that noise isn’t what she wants, likes or enjoys but she may not be able to help it or know how to stop.

    Collies and Springers are both quite highly strung to start with but collies are so unlike any other breed of dog they may as well be their own species. Cannot stress that enough because one of the biggest mistakes people make is misunderstanding this incredible breed and approaching everything as though they would any other dog. Missy is anything but ordinary. She’s absolutely exceptional in more ways than most people will ever understand.

    What I would recommend is reading “Border Collie Psychology” by Carol Price which will help you understand the reason behind her infuriating behaviours and why she does so much of what she does. Also linking to a website that specialises in Border Collie Rescue in the UK and has a wealth of information about the breed and all its quirks, traits and behaviours.

    Following your blog to keep up to speed and read on Missy’s progress 🙂

    1. Thank you for your input, Auntysocial. From dog lover to dog lover: I hear your heart speak for dogs and especially for Border Collies. So please do not misunderstand the following. Thank you!

      My goal for this blog is to write about and for Christian women. It’s not about dogs. I’m using my two companions for illustration purposes here.

      Please reread this post to see that I’m tempted to treat Missy like Rapsy but perfectly understand their different backgrounds and characters 😉 Rest assure that I did my homework way back in 2008 and following before getting a Border Collie in 2010 and a Collie mix in 2015.

      I do leave your recommendation of the book, even though I haven’t read it nor looked into it. I leave it up to the readers of this blog to decide whether they would like to get it or not.

      I did delete the link, though — as I’m convinced there are better websites out there that truly bring the full potential of this wonderful breed and its perfect capability to be companions (yes, even pet dogs) across. Rapsy is a purebred, from a working line and the most gentle and balanced dog that I have ever met — so you know where I’m coming from.

      You are more than welcome to follow the blog and I’ll throw in a “Missy update” treat now and then. 😉

      1. OK no problem. Your post does have a certain tone and feel of frustration, anxiety and exasperation about her issues that suggested you might not be coping too well though. That was all I read and why I replied. Take care and I wish the very best for your little Missy and indeed everyone else!

      2. Yes, and that’s why I appreciated your input even the more!

        My tone was intentionally one of frustration because that’s how I have felt at the beginning of the dog training and because that’s how we humans often feel when facing people who are so different, people we do not get along with…

        Thank you for your wishes. Blessings to you and your family, too!

        PS: Don’t just go away but come by every now and then. 😉 You are always welcome here.

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