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Lassie, Hit the Road

January 17, 2014

In just a few days we will be heading away from the northeast towards parts unknown.The only thing we are sure of is that wherever we go, it will at least be warmer than 6° below zero. It's been joyous to spend the past two months with family and friends, but I'm ready for a lonely ocean beach somewhere, a place where I can do my version of contemplative thinking. The big thoughts, like should I keep on hi-lighting my hair with purple? Should I stop eating red meat? Is Hugh Jackman as nice on the inside as he is on the out?

In search of a collie

Most importantly, should we get a second dog?

When Frida died in early 2010, we decided to travel with just one collie. The camper is a small space, and collies are big and hairy with heavy power shedding abilities.

Recently, however, we have found ourselves longing to be four again.

We have gone through our usual soul searching. Should we rescue or should we go with another collie?

Nobody does collies quite as well as we do we argued... we're too old to change we reasoned... collies are so loyal, thrifty, wise and brave... They meet people well and happily enjoy the attention of strangers. Plus, they make great road dogs.

In search of a collie

Carefully coiffed and waiting to enter the ring.

So, in the predawn hours last Sunday, we traveled to Point of Rocks, Maryland to attend a regional collie breeder's show. Our mission was to check out potential parents for our new baby.

In search of a collie

Brushing on the proper Hair tone.

We entered the crowded benching area expecting to hear the barking of the over 65 collies entered in the show, but instead were greeted with only some hoarse coughing sounds. It seems that most of these show dogs have had their "barkers" removed. WHaaat? No barking and Barking? What will become of their joie de vivre?

In search of a collie

Brown collies, black collies, gray collies - all being groomed and made-up at once. Collies on tables, collies in crates, collies running around the show ring... Runway models and collies have nothing on each other when it comes to hair, make-up and strutting their stuff. Every hair and pore has been attended to.

Beauty rest before the puppy trials

Beauty rest before the puppy trials.

In search of a collie

I'm ready for my close-up.

Paul Mitchell Sculpting Cream, Clairol Moisturizing Hair Color, tooth whitening toothpastes, Altoid Breath Mints, Tresseme Extra Firm Hold Mousse, spritzer bottles, assorted brushes, white chalks, scissors and Brush-on Conceal and Correct skin make-up all filled the various grooming tool boxes for each dog.

Overwhelming. These dogs were slightly different, smaller more pointy and with smaller eyes... Still beautiful, but weighing more like sixty pounds than the 80+ pounds that we are used to. We prefer our collies large, staunch, with the look of eagles in their eyes.

There was a female we did like and she has a 6 month old half brother with an undescended testicle that may be available. The dog, not the testicle. We are waiting to hear and to see pictures.

 I'm more than thrilled to hear you speak of heading south. Hint; Pensacola was gorgeous. It is where we were able to "hold" the beach ball water tower in our hands. I'm only four hours away and wouldn't hesitate visiting. Through homeschooling I've learned that i enjoy the tranquility of winter vacations while the crowds are little and hotels are cheap.... I think Sully would enjoy another four legged sibling, not that he doesn't enjoy his four legged parents (adding all legs together), I just feel that he could communicate better with another one like himself. I love Collie's ever since growing up with them. I rescued a Golden Retriever exactly 2 years ago and have been blessed with a very good dog however there are a few down sides to a rescue. I bought a Labrador almost as a tiny baby 9 months ago and she is an amazing dog. Being able to raise and train her my way truly makes a huge difference when devoting around 10-15 to a four legged child. I love them both the same however this Labrador is ready to swim, train, play, hunt, etc.. all the time. I hope to see y'all soon and be careful on your hunt :) :)


You two are brave people to want a puppy. Who picks up the spills that she will make before she is camper trained?  I like dogs if they belong to someone else. I never had time to take care of a dog after Jack passed away.


Why, why, WHY???? Surely there is no reason to alter the bark!

You two are the ideal candidates for another family member! (of any breed).,Hugs all around!

Bob and Jimmy

I've heard about this surgery on dogs, which I think is horrible even though for years I lived next to a neglected Doberman who barked all day and all night.I wouldn't have even wished this disgusting procedure on this Nonstop Barker.

On another topic, you probably should give up red meat but I can't imagine that you will. LOL.


Decisions, decisions.... Good luck!


Hey you three. So glad to hear you're coming out of the cold intact! We're buried in Cedar pollen here, so wait until Valentine's Day to head this way (HINT!). When I first met you, I was shocked you had ONE big dog with you, and amazed that you had started with TWO as your space is so limited.

Don't let others decide for you; you two humans have done great things on your own choices, and I am sure will make the best decision ahead. I met a guy who lived on a 17 foot sailboat once, an impossibly small space, but he was ever so happy and ever so friendly. He would invite people aboard for drinks, but with just three people in the cockpit, water would back up the drains and cover your shoes. Compared to that space, you've got plenty!


We've been rescued by dogs for years...we find it very rewarding....the dogs seem to agree!

Blue Merrills are your strong suit! And as you say above, collies are, "thrifty..."

XXOO, Good welcome wishes to the new addition.,


Why, why, WHY??? What possible reason can there be to do that to these beautiful animals?

On the lighter side, you two are the best people to on the planet for welcoming in a new family member!


Surgically made to be barkless? Say it isn't so!! How sad. and the change in the breed conformation? Have you considered looking into someone who breeds WORKING collies? That is where you may get the "true to the breed" look that you love.

Mary and Bridget

Jump on in! The water is fine! We voted against getting a second female boxer and lo and behold, a co-worker has a male that she was already considering giving up. Since we do not want to go through the training process again, we were wanting an older one and this little boy is 8 years old and at full grown only weighs what our 9 month old puppy weighs now. We go to meet him this afternoon and I'm hoping we bring him home for the weekend at least. The owner said we could do a trial run! Good luck with your decision and as we always say, "If it's meant to be, it will happen!"

Sheila & Dave

If I were one of these dogs I'd much prefer being on the road with the three of you...


Good luck in your search for a new member of your family! Safe travels.

Tim and Rosie

Say it aint so that owners remove the dog's voicebox?? congrats on your new doggie!


COULD YOU ADOPT ME. That sounds pretty cool.


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