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FARMCOLLIE  July 1997

FARMCOLLIE July 1997

Subject:

Re: Owd Bob, comparisons, rescue

From:

"Carole L. Presberg" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Farm Collie Breed Conservancy and Restoration <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 23 Jul 1997 09:59:36 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (100 lines)

>I thought the 1896 one

Here's the problem with many of the editions of Bob, Son of Battle: they
only list the first publication date, which is 1896 by Doubleday. Many of
the later editions list the "current" publisher on the title page, without
a date, and then on the back of that page, where the copyright material
would be, list only the 1896 date. So it's difficult to tell what you've
got there.

>I thought he was just identified as "the last of the grey dogs of
>Kenmiur" and that was it.

You're right, of course. He is listed only as "the last of the grey dogs of
Kenmuir". But people I've spoken to in Britain believe him to be a Welsh
Grey. Since the story doesn't really take place in Wales, and the names are
Scottish, I'm not sure why people would assume that! I'm sorry, I
shouldn't have stated that so strongly. Afterall, he is only a ficticious
character. He could be any sort of dog used for herding. The other dogs in
the book, like Red Wull, sound like a pretty motly crew. I've seen
descriptions of other old trials where dogs of just about every description
were entered, as long as they could work sheep. In those days, people used
whatever worked best for them, usually a collie of some sort, but not
necessarily. I once saw a lurcher which was a BC-Airdale cross and looked
more like the airdale, and she had eye and spent all day herding chickens
and ducks.

>I was aiming for "most comon" when i
>modified that picture but with BC's I don't even know if there is a most
>common. I think 10 years from now as the show BCs enter the "common" gene
>pool my "most common" BC will be much closer to reality. I see an awfullot
>of BCs with ears that are almost pendant though so who knows where "most
>common" will go with ears.

Well, you've got that right! I've seen registered BCs with almost any type
of ear imaginable. The only "standard" there ever was (until now) was
"erect" or "semi-erect", aka "prick" and "not-prick". Not-prick is more
common than prick, and every stage of not-prick from almost-prick to nearly
spaniel ears are found. According to Kelley (Sheep Dogs, Their Breeding,
Maintenance and Training by R. B. Kelley, D.V.Sc. (Animal Geneticist,
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research; Officer-in-Charge, The F.
D. McMaster Field Station; Past President, N.S.W. Working Sheep Dog
Society),1942, Angus and Robertson, Sydney (Australia))
if you cross a prick-eared dog with a not-prick-eared dog, you can get
either, and everything inbetween, in the same litter.

> I came up with the chart for Shelter and rescue workers. Many dogs
>who end up in shelters get mis-labeled - they don't look or act like normal
>representatives of their breed - they are thin, dirty, scruffy, freaked out
>or terrfied; and if any rescue gets called at all it may be the wrong one.
>I personally will try to help any of these breeds and want to work with
>Aussie and BC rescue to try to save all these dogs. But I know this isn't
>necessarily the case with all rescue people. Some rescue folks only work
>with their breed and they have a very narrow definition of their breed and
>if the dog in question doesn't fall within that defined area they have no
>problem walking away. Some rescue people just aren't very well informed. I
>know there are aussie people who really and truely believe that the Bernese
>Mountain Aussies are what all aussies are supposed to look like, people who
>have never seen a real working aussie, the little wiry guys with the thin
>coats. Some rescue folks are breed snobs, some are uninformed, and shelter
>workers are just overwhelmed.

Many of the people doing rescue who only take their own breed will also
only take dogs that have some proof of where they came from (like papers,
even if the shelter won't give them out). In some sense I'm wondering if
giving them descriptions of the three different breeds isn't just going to
perpetuate that attitude. Afterall, now they can look at a dog and say,
"hm, this looks more like an ES than a BC, so I won't take it". The
shelters are too busy to really care. Case in point, on Friday, Linda Rorem
and I drove 3 hours to pick up a dog at an SPCA shelter. This dog was part
of a puppy mill bust, and there were over 100 dogs in the bust, but only a
small number of BCs. The shelter tries -- afterall, it called BC rescue
when the dogs were ready to be released. But the place was a zoo when we
got there. I overheard them tell someone on the phone that they took in 45
dogs that morning! The dogs were in noisy metal cases, stacked 3 high, and
many barking at once. There were people all over the place trying to adopt
a dog. The phone kept ringing. I had brought some paperwork with me for
them to fill out to try and give me a background on the dog, but all I
managed to do was sign their paperwork, get the dog, and get out. On Monday
and Tuesday I tried to find out more background on this dog by calling that
shelter, the shelter where he was born, the person who fostered him, etc. I
got nowhere. When I got hold of the shelter where he was born (his dam had
been taken in pregnant) the only information I was able to get was his
birthdate for which I was grateful. When I asked about the mother, I was
told "we don't keep information like that. She was just another dog to us."
At least they kept track that these were BCs they were handling. The
shelter in my own town can just as easily label a male, blue merle Aussie
with a tail, as a "female spotted dalmation cross", and has. That's why I
think hardcopy photographs of each of the breeds in several iterations of
types and looks, and posted in the shelters, would be better than a verbal
description. Even better would be if rescue people would visit their local
shelters frequently and identify the dogs there. Shelter folks *are*
overwhelmed and really can't be expected to take the kind of interest in
particular breeds as the breed rescues can.

Oh, man! It's beginning to look like my soapbox speech of the day! So sorry
about that. It's hard when you're a fanatic.

Carole Presberg
[log in to unmask]

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