Lilly went home, we have had Lilly since she was a young pup a Border/Heeler that I traded a local Team Roper a Pocket Knife for. She was the first female that we acquired when we arrived here in Iowa, she also produced many nice pups for us mated to Indy, our Australian Cattle Dog. Lilly was the first dog that Wayne trialed, I guess you could say that it is her fault that we got the trialling bug. Prior we were just happy with a simple farm/ranch dog.
Over the past couple of years I came to the conclusion that we had grown beyond Lilly. Lilly was no longer the goto dog when it was time to do chores. Lilly was spending more time in the kennel then she was in the house, she loved being in the house but really was not great about accepting anyone new into the household, which happens around here on a regular bases. We always have a young pup coming in to learn house manners, Lilly just was not patient enough and would tend to make the pups fearful to do anythng, she was the Queen.
A couple weeks ago we were visited by a prospective new owner for Lilly, Lilly would be their first working dog. They are in the process of building a large flock and they also have cattle. After demonstrating Lilly's abilities and showing many of our other dogs Lilly was choosen to be the Queen of a new domain. I made a follow up call a couple of days after Lilly went to her new home, things were not going great, the sheep were undog broke, Lilly was uncertain and was showing little desire to get her paws dirty. My advice was to help show her what you want, support her and don't let her escape, also reminding them that they are dealing with stock that is undog broke, in some cases raised as bottle babies so they may need to help Lilly teach the stock to move off. This e-mail arrived yesterday, it made me smile:
Lilly is a wonderful dog. She is working for us now, herding sheep and ducks. She wants to work the cows but our fences aren't the best if they would get worked up it could be a bad situation.
She loves to ride in the vehicles with us and even jumps up into the tractor with me. She doesn't like baths but she is getting used to the fact that she will get one at least every week or henever she rolls in a rotten egg. Speaking of which she is an egg thief. She finds the duck eggs in the yard and helps herself. Have to say she does have a shiny coat though.
We really love her. Thanks for the opportunity. When things get a little better ecconically we may be back for another registered dog.
As hard as it is to let the dogs go that we have outgrown and no longer fit in our breeding program, we gain so much reward in knowing that someone is enjoying them and that they are now doing what they were at minimum bred to do, ultimately be a good old farm/ranch dog.