This is Jed and I comparing to see who has the whitest teether. OK, actually this is Jed making me laugh with his winning smile. When he is really happy, this funny pup wrinkles up his nose, shakes his head from side to side, and bares his teeth in a huge puppy grin that conveys more personality and joy than I could ever describe. This pup is as engaging as he is intelligent, and this morning he gave me a showing of his good breeding.
Jed has been raised around sheep, and has always taken them in stride. That is until today. There have been 2 previous experiences where he became a bit interested in the big woolies, but it was only in passing before he toddled off to explore something, and he called right off both times.
This morning, while I was feeding, I left a gate open into the sheep pen, and Jed ran through to follow me. All of a sudden 200 years of selectivity slapped him upside the head, and his instinct took over. Little Jed turned on to sheep this morning in a big way. He circled them at first shortly turning the circling into a chase. One ewe dodged off by herself, and he was on her like flies on a popsicle. Having one all to himself was way too much fun, but the ewe soon realized there was safety in numbers, flew back to the others, and the chasing began again.
It took a good 5 minutes of calling and grabbing before I finally collared Jed around the neck on one speedy pass by me. I threw my arm under his belly and swung him into the air more or less balancing him over my shouder while he tried to climb down my back to get at them again. Jedi weighs almost 30 pounds now, so this must have looked comical, but I don't think anybody caught our act. I carried him off praising like crazy, and he settled down once all the excitement was over and we were around the corner.
The moment a Border Collie puppy realizes his heritage for the first time is always amazing to me. It's like catching lightening in a bottle. One minute they are simply the funny puppy at your feet, the next a purely instinctual creature that will never be the same again.
Now the real fun begins, for me at least. Don't get me wrong, I love puppies, love almost everything about them, and Jed is proving to be my kind of guy. He is extremely smart, learns quickly, and as a result is very obedient and was easy to train that way. He is a pleasure to be around. No jumping, no barking, comes when he is called (most of the time,) crates and kennels and travels very well. And now he's shown me his sheepdog side as well.
I will not do anything with this new found talent for a while yet. I let my puppies be puppies for as long as I can. In another couple months I will give him a go in the round pen to determine whether he is mature enough to take some training. Either way, it is fine by me. He has shown me the fire in his belly. Now it's up to me to craft a sheepdog.