Monthly Archives: February 2016

Fleed Boarder Collys, Yourksher

It is now 4 years since my beautiful Border Collie died, just a few weeks from her seventeenth birthday.

Sheehan in her prime

We have since spent many happy days and weeks baby-sitting friends’ dogs; spoiling them a little with long walks, scrummy doggy dinners, cuddles and play.

Mr PinQ would have gladly had another dog several times over but it wasn’t time. Practically speaking, we couldn’t really commit to another dog because of the hours that we were working but it wasn’t that, I simply wasn’t ready.

Ironically, I am now but we can’t make the financial commitment unless I get a little more work!

Most of our animals are rescues and would take in a rescue as happily as we would a puppy so I have a look once a week but I am getting just a little annoyed at some of the adverts.

The post title is a mix of some of the dreadful spelling that I keep seeing – I can’t bring myself to trust a breeder/seller who is unable to spell “Border Collie”, especially when they could have easily looked at a few of the other adverts on the same website that they have posted on!

I’m also struggling with the adverts for dogs that are only a year or two old but the owner clearly didn’t do any research into the breed and as a result, the dogs are displaying behaviours that they can’t cope with.  A 4 month old “not fully house trained”, a 1 year old who “reacts to other dogs when he is on the lead”, a 1 year old that “a half an hour walk is not enough”, an 18 month old that “must go to a home where there is no children” [sic] – all issues that have either been created by/made worse by the owners.  The worst of that is that they then have the audacity to charge for these dogs!  They all say that it is a difficult decision and that the dog is very loving etc. but the price is fixed, no ONO or OVNO suffix, none that are “free to good home”.  I don’t doubt that they would say that the price is to ensure that the dog does go to a good home but if that were truly the case, why are they asking for about half of the cost of a pup?

There were a few times in my life when things were very difficult and I thought that I would have to rehome my baby-girl but I wouldn’t have dreamt of asking to be paid!  She had no behavioural issues, was extremely well-trained, loving, supremely fit and a stunning example of her breed but I only considered giving her up for HER welfare.  If I had given her up, it would have been to a home where she would have been loved and cared for.

How can these people take on a dog, raise it with problems that they can’t even be bothered to find out how to fix and then try to sell it?


Border Collies are great dogs but you _must_ understand them and raise them accordingly:  they need about 30 miles a day – I achieved this with my girl by walking 10 miles a day and throwing a ball/frisbee when she was a youngster, sometimes that was split into 4 separate walks, sometimes 1; they are prone to separation anxiety (and will chew your house to bits in a very short space of time or chew at themselves until they are raw) – they are a working breed and are highly intelligent, you HAVE TO keep them occupied and tire them out; as with any dog, they will pick up up on your feelings so if you are anxious, it makes them anxious which can display as nervous or nasty; they are very loving but can become possessive of you – when you come home and they jump up, ignore them, walk past, hang your coat/bag, make a cuppa, sit down and THEN give them a love on your terms.  I trained mine purely with my voice, not treats, not punishment, just MY VOICE.

They are an amazing breed: loyal, intelligent, agile, sweet, loving and everything that you could possibly want in a dog but YOU have to put the effort in.  Too many people have heard that Border Collies are a great dog to have and get one, no research.  I saw a young woman being dragged up the street by a young Border who was setting cars and choking himself on his lead.  When I guessed his age, she asked me at what age they calm down and I said, “Oh about 10”, I thought that she was going to faint.  My baby-girl challenged us intellectually every single day of her life, even after she had calmed down.  A great Border Collie is hard frippin work but worth every second!



I am currently working part-time for a large Third Sector organisation as a Project Assistant (Youth), basically, I am an Outreach Youth Worker.  That means that I spend 3 evenings a week walking around specific locations with another Youth Worker looking for Young People.  When we see them, we talk to them, see if there is anything that they need and offer support/advice as appropriate.

This is the South of England in the winter.  It is dark, wet and cold.  Young People are largely in hibernation.

I recall my first summer in the South when I skipped to the market in a vest top, linen skirt and strappy high-heels on a warm but drizzly summer’s day; only to find the town deserted.  I was chatting to a stall-holder about how quiet it was and asked if he knew why.  His response was that it was raining.  I almost choked to death on laughter, retorting that if we didn’t do anything Up North because it was raining, we’d never do anything!

As a result, I usually come home feeling exhausted from trekking around for several hours in the mud, rain and cold with a heavy “outreach bag” searching for the elusive creature, the Teenager.

The “outreach bag” is stocked up with my woolly hat and gloves, a torch, a first aid kit, playing cards, a frisbee, spikeys (nifty little gadgets that prevent your drinks being spiked, pictured below), information on stopping smoking and condoms in every size, flavour and colour imaginable.  There is also a plastic phallus which is to be used to demonstrate how to put a condom on.  I hadn’t expected to find it in my bag so it was something of a shock when I discovered it!


My contract was to run from January until March (with the potential of further employment dependent on funding) but started late due to my last employer not providing a reference in time.

That was also disappointing.  I realise that the HR Department was likely to be stretched with the redundancy process that was going on and were included in those redundancies but surely, when the Company asks you to leave, they then have a duty of care and should at least have the decency to provide references promptly?  The delay to my start date meant a loss of earnings and unnecessary anxiety over not knowing when my start date would be.

Now, the part-time salary won’t stretch very far, despite my financial wizardry, so I have also been applying for part-time work during the day and last week, applied for the perfect role.  An administrator position on a job-share basis, working for another charity, a mere 5 minute cycle from home.  Imagine, two roles in my new field that would still give me the flexibility to study, do the DIY and gardening etc – what joy!

Interviews were to be held this week and the closing date was 12:00 noon on Friday 12th Feb.  I was only made aware of the advertisement on Thursday afternoon so on Friday morning, knowing that I had a kitten to take to see the vet for a follow-up appointment part-way through the morning, I got up early and cracked on with my application.  It was completed before I had to leave with Snowdrop in her sexy little sports bag:
Cat Bag

When I returned, I printed the documents that needed to be signed and then scanned them in ready to send.  I was a little disheartened that I hadn’t been called to interview but assumed that I had been sifted out when I discovered that interviews were underway today and that my application had not even been seen by the Manager conducting the sift!  I forwarded my original email to the aforementioned Manager at her request which she promptly forwarded to the relevant HR bod.

Then came the biggest disappointment.

As the error was not mine, I would have expected no less than an apology with an offer of a short-notice interview but I got a drippy little email apologising for the admin error with the suggestion that my application be retained for a possible future role.

Gee thanks.