Monday, 23 March 2009

Roo & Rusty

Our collies were getting rather old and seemed to have decided to retire from farm life, so we decided to look for another younger collie. (Jun 2007)

The local Animal Rescue Centre had a lovely looking little collie to re home, but, sadly, she was not to go to a home with young children. In the next pen was this little tri coloured chap. He looked at me and I looked at him. It was the moment I knew Roo would come home with me. Dear Roo, he has helped me so much, my soul mate.

I had never heard of the breed before, Roo is from a Collie mother by a Kelpie dog. So once it was confirmed he would come to us, I searched with Google to learn more. Roo will be three in April 2009.

Roo arrived at a time when life was big struggle, family members seriously ill, my own health not good, but Roo got me walking and the time we have together out in the lovely country side around here has restored me.Roo is such a sensitive boy, we were at a funereal and as it was far from home we took the dog with us, while giving him a break from the car he sought out the daughter of the bereaved family and sat with her the rest of the day, amazing.

Roo has settled in with us so well, bless him. In November 2008 dear old Sam our much loved collie died, he was having fits and the vet treated him, but sadly he did not recover, we lost a dear friend. We hand reared him so he meant a great deal to us. Poor Colin, my hubby, it was hard for him. Sam went every where with him, in the lorry, truck or tractor.On the UK Kelpie forum I found a local dog put up for re homing, and Rusty came to the farm. (Nov 2009)

Rusty is about 17 months old, (Mar 2009) he came from a farm on Dartmoor, he was put up to be re homed because he would not work the sheep away from his shepherd, he was happier to stay by the ATV. The farmer was struggling to get him to work on the Moors, here the dogs have to go off and bring the sheep back to the lowlands, but Rusty would not do this. And therefore not what the farm required. I picked him up on the Monday and we found him to be a dear little dog, rather thin, with a very kind temperament.

The next day I walked the dogs across the fields and poor, poor Rusty touched the electric fence we use to make paddocks for the pigs. He bolted, he was untagged and unchipped, the search lasted two days, two horrid days of terrible worry. We went around the area with posters, knocked on doors talked to all the local farmers, had chums all on the look out for him. He was found by a lovely couple who spotted him in the corner of their garage, they took him in and fed him, the next day the local farmer stopped for a chat and she asked him if he knew of anyone looking for a dog, and he did, so it was all soon resolved.

The two dogs love to sleep by the fire, wake up for a mad dash around the garden every hour or so, barking at nothing, back to sleep again, until I take them for a walk!!!! Colin often tries to take Rusty with him, but he usually gets out of the vehicle and is soon back by the fire again!!! Roo is fine on his own and not too bad with the sheep, but as we have not had our own sheep on the farm this winter I have stayed away from them, but when he and Rusty start to run in the sheep they split and tumble them over, and with the river along the edge of the meadow, the lambs could easily drown. When Colin gets the weaned lambs up in a separate field away from the river I will see how we go. Roo, on his own listens to me and will stop, but both together just go loopy!!! Rusty, won’t work the sheep at all, and given the chance will run home, that was when we first had him, so now the better weather is here, I must get out with him and see if we can make any progress. I can see why he was sacked from his Dartmoor home!!

Reading more about the breed it is the general consensus that they do not fully mature until the age of three, so Rusty has time to prove himself. We will not rush him, just give him time to gain confidence and enjoy being out and about. He seems to have a dislike of open space.

Searching on Google, I find that many of the photos of Kelpie like dogs are not given the breed name, they seem to be just Shepherd or Doberman cross. It is the same here in the UK, the breed is taking a long time to get recognition. The thing that worries me is how many are coming up for re homing, as folk find them just too full on and hard work. When walking out with Roo folk often think he is an Alsatian or Rottweiler pup.

Since having Roo I have notice how many breeds of dogs have the black and tan markings all in the same places, would be interesting to learn more about this.

It must be taken on board that this is a working breed and will not sit happily at home waiting for the keeper to come back from work, I am lucky here, the back door is open all day and the dogs can come and go around the farmyard. If you take on a Kelpie or a cross you will have the most wonderful loyal dog, and also a hurricane!!

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