The Lighter Side of Border Collies

Reader Contribution by Mary Powell and Barnyard Weed Warrior
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Miss Allie is not happy about her bath and she kept turning her head away from the camera, so I know she is guilty!

Miss Allie has always been overly intelligent and it has been a real treat for me to watch her behave in silly ways, to entertain me or others.  Her real intention is to get attention and sometimes that is good, then there are times she can be a real stinker and cause trouble for not only the other dogs but also herself.  But I still love her and am amazed at her sneaky tricks to get the other dogs in trouble.

Allie and I have had a little over 11 years together.  She has always loved attention and will behave in silly ways to get attention from me.  As the pups came along, she lost that single dog attention and had to share with her daughters and now granddaughter.  She is jealous and will often try her tricks, to get that attention.

When she first came to live with me, Allie was shy but that didn’t last long!  She learned that I was her person and it was all about her.  It was also about her getting food.  She resorted to silliness, just to get a piece of cheese.  She would snort, raise her paw and even smile for food.  I figured I could teach her to smile on command for her food and that has always been one of her trademark tricks to entertain folks who visit us.  She smiles a full smile, baring all her teeth in hopes of food or attention and she usually gets it.  She also drops to the ground when I point at her and say, “bang!”, although sometimes it takes several times before she ‘falls down’ and I have to say she is a hard kill.  This is how Allie gets attention but she is also a good one for getting the other dogs in the family in trouble.

On more than one occasion, she will start doing something and the other dogs fall in line with her.  She knows better and then gets the other dogs in trouble.  She has taught Joy to turn over the trash can and climb on the counter.  Yes, I saw her teaching Joy this trick, when Joy was about six months old!

More recently, Allie’s granddaughter, Fly, fell victim to Allie’s naughtiness.  Or, perhaps it is just a rite of passage that Fly had to learn the hard way but Allie was the one who got Fly into the situation because I had seen her do this to her own two daughters, Jinx and Joy.

My mom’s trailer house has something living under it, perhaps a rat but we also know, since the Sunday Morning Incident, that we also have a black and white striped stinky kitty that lives there.  Yes, we have a skunk, and Allie felt obliged to introduce Fly to the benefits of skunk hunting.

Mom and I were a half hour from leaving for church when there was a commotion under the trailer deck that resulted in a foul smell.  I knew immediately the dogs had cornered a skunk.  I stepped out on the deck to see poor Fly, my one-year-old pup, frothing at the mouth and rolling in the dirt.  Immediately, I grabbed some rubber gloves and the Dawn dish soap and rubbed it on her face, carefully avoiding her eyes and mucus membranes. I also rubbed her body down and left it on her until we returned from church.  I checked Jinx and Joy for the smell and they were clear.  Since Allie had only been sprayed once since I knew her, and she wasn’t acting funny, I presumed she was fine and we left for church.

Upon returning home, I promptly gave Fly a bath and she was free of the smell.  Then Mom screamed that Allie smelled and had just jumped on the couch.  I grabbed the old dog and dragged her to the bathroom, to try and get the stink off, but it was too late, the oil dried on her, so it will take time to get her smelling better.  As I washed her, I realized that Allie had set Fly up.  She knew that skunk was under the house and it was a matter of time before they saw the skunk and Fly would learn the hard way (Jinx and Joy have never been hit hard with skunk spray but they were downwind).  But in trying to teach Fly about skunks, Allie’s plan had backfired and she was hit worse than Fly.  That silly dog, she is a real STINKER! Gotta love those border collies!

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