Mainline Border
Collie Centre
Golcar Farm
Spring Lane
Bingley
West Yorkshire
BD16 3AU
01274 564163
Meg
Meg - 1979 – 1992
Nine National trials
English team 1983
The first of our Main Line of dogs
and the inspiration for MBCC
Corporate Collies
Freedom of Spirit Trust for Border Collies
Keeping Calm
Dogs pick up on the slightest change in our mood or our thoughts and sometimes that is all a deaf dog has to go on

I've never been one to travel either light or dogless so when visiting my son and family in July, for an overnight stay, four dogs accompanied me, Digby (deaf), Bug(collie x terrier) Tessi and Megan - quite a mixture!
It was my eldest grandson's birthday and, as he has reached the grand old age of seven, it seemed pretty reasonable to me to spend an evening relaxing with family, followed by a serious glass of wine before bedtime. However the relaxing bit followed only after a very traumatic and scary few moments - which of course called for an even more serious drop of wine.
Football practice filled the first part of the evening as my son is a coach and both grandsons are in junior teams, so it was left to Caroline and myself to drink coffee, chat and cheer them on - not difficult at all. But as the evening drew on we decided on a plan of action, leave the boys to it while Caroline went for fish and chips and I took the dogs for walk, then we could all meet back at base.
I found a lovely country lane at the back of their home, parked the van and began sorting out leads and dogs. Digby has a little purple jacket declaring his deafness and with a phone number - just in case, but in this instance as it was just a quick run and wee time I saw no need to put it on. He has two collars - just in case, and is always on a lead or a ten metre training line. So with long line attached to his two collars out he went while I turned my attention to the next dog. But something didn't seem quite right and I suddenly realised that the long line wasn't uncoiling. When I turned I saw Digby loping along on the lane and not attached to anything - the catch had come off the line! I check leads and lines thoroughly, he has two collars and he has a jacket but because I was rushing one stupid oversight put him in danger. I had put the first line I came across on him instead of his usual one, (the line I had used was an old one that had been on top of the lead box for ages waiting to be thrown out). The next few minutes seemed like a lifetime as my mind raced, 'get in the van and follow him, no I'll scare him - run after him, don't be daft even if I could keep up I would scare him when he finally saw me'. But careful training and consistent rules really paid off, I never let my dogs get to the end of any lead or line and in Digby's case, due to him being deaf, I give a tiny tug just before the gets to the end of it. As he loped on the country lane - and he was loping he wasn't running or racing he was pacing himself - at the same distance from me that he would expect to be checked he stopped and turned to me. At that point I gave him his recall signal and he came running back to me. That should have been the end of it but I was stupid enough to panic and think, 'what if he doesn't stop, what if he runs past me?' At that point my little deaf Digby ran in the grass and cowered not knowing what to do. I quickly came to my senses, stood up, took a huge deep breath, grinned at him and beckoned him to me. Digby came out of the grass like a rocket and launched himself on me as if we'd been apart for weeks not a few minutes. Dogs pick up on the slightest change in our mood or our thoughts. Digby picked up a change in me that had gone from relief to panic and fear, and not knowing why or even if he was the cause of it he panicked and kept his distance from me. As soon as I realised and gathered myself together, not only calming down but relaxing and openly welcoming him, did he feel that maybe he wasn't the cause of the upset after all and came running up for his hug.
Is there a day goes by when we can't all learn a little something and take something positive into the evening and the next day.
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