Krakens (Collies) Observations

By Jason Burek


On the differences between dogs: whenever we let Coco out at the end of the night, she had a typical pattern. She would make her way around the yard, smelling things and checking to make sure everything was in order. Some nights she would take longer than others, but for the most part you could let her out then go brush your teeth and get ready for bed and be pretty sure that she’d return by the time you were ready to hop in bed. Not with the collies. I started my normal end-of-night routine and as I entered the bedroom to put my phone on the charger, I looked out the window to see them sleeping on the front porch. Apparently waiting for them to return is not a good idea.

On rain: the collies do not like rain. At least, not real rain. Typical Northwest rain is a more like a mist. It is even joked that only tourists carry umbrellas because you can literally walk a mile in the rain and not really be that wet. That kind of rain does not phase the collies, but on Tuesday we got real rain – like “I’m not even sure I want to walk the ten feet to make sure the gate is still latched” kind of rain. The collies did not approve of this. They stuck their heads out from underneath the porch and decided that that was plenty. They enjoyed licking the rain off of the sidewalk, but only if the rest of their bodies remained covered. Raven eventually decided that he was willing to brave a quick jaunt around the front yard for a pee. Clover decided she was fine with holding it for now.

On the hazards of the garden paths: It’s becoming increasingly dangerous to walk down to the hot tub at night. Every day a new stick appears in the middle of the pathway. During the day you can see well enough to avoid them but at night it is too dark. It is especially dangerous with sandals or bare feet. They like to leave them on the steps to the lower yard as well which is even worse. Hopefully we survive the next few weeks.

On the mysteries of windows: I was sitting in the corner couch by the window sipping my morning coffee and looking out into the yard at the fountain in case any wildlife showed up. The dogs were out romping through the yard. At some point Raven came over to the fountain for a drink and spotted me in the window and started barking at me. I tried to convince him that it was just me and he had to have been able to hear me (it’s only single-pane glass) but he was having none of it.

On herding dogs: Dan had a doctor’s appointment downtown, so we walked the collies down to the light rail for their morning walk. Dan departed to hop on the light rail and I took both of the dogs and started the return trip home. Raven, in particular, was not happy about this situation. One should not leave a man behind.

On play dates: Our neighbors have a seven-month-old Glenn of Imaal Terrier named Chisme. We run into each other regularly on walks and he suggested we bring the puppies over for a play date. It sounded like a good way to get some energy out, so we brought the dogs over and let them run free. They had a fabulous time. Chisme has short stubby little legs so he’s much smaller than the collies but he’s got agility on them. He had a ton of fun running around the yard making them chase him. Clover has no fear of heights since she was jumping off of 3-4 foot rock walls to try to catch him. Other than the collies being particularly vocal during play, it was a great time.

On beautiful dogs: We ran into a woman on one of our walks who loved the coloring on the dogs. She grew up with collies but said she had never seen coloring like theirs. She asked if she could take a picture to send to her father.

On differences in behavior: We had to take a trip over to the peninsula so instead of leaving the dogs all day, we brought them with us and dropped them off at the Bremerton house while we ran some errands. They were clearly thrilled to be home. The moment they came through the door they started running around with house playing. I went downstairs to unlock the doggy door for them, and they nearly bowled me over trying to get down there. Later, we took a walk around the neighborhood, and they were both more obnoxious than they normally are (Raven, in particular, was incredibly vocal). Dan and I both agreed that we couldn’t wait to get back home. They are both still clearly puppies and have a ton of energy but there was something different about them being home. I suspect it is because the house has more room. Our layout is really narrow, so it is hard for them to really get going while inside.

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