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Departed Friends: Kyla's last summer, 2001

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The tails are both functional re balance etc. but are great communication devices too! Meara is especially vocal with hers, lol! ;-D


I can understand that with sheep...after reading the James Herriot books they do seem a susceptible lot.
I just don't see it for dogs...particularly for "showing"...I think it warps their personality. A woman I worked with eons ago bred dobermans...a breed I'm not fond of...but she refused to alter the ears and her dogs were happy, friendly, and real dogs. When we adopted Coffee someone had docked her tail too short...and as she was THE happiest dog I have ever known in my entire life...I can't help but think how much exercise her full tail would have received. And for our little shi tzu...her tail was her flag! :)))


I am glad that I didn't alienate you with my proselytizing!

There are times when it is necessary, Faye, but not with dogs as we use them today. In the bygone times, it was protection for the hunting dog from the quarry. Harder to damage the dog if you can't get a grab on the tail or ears. Who needs to do that nowadays?

Re tail docking, it is necessary with sheep that you are keeping (as opposed to going to slaughter). My aunt is a sheep farmer (shepherd) and has found out the hard way that is is necessary for the health of the animal. She doesn't dock as short as most, but unfortunately, sheep are victims to the horrible flies that like to lay their eggs in that nice, warm, moist area. That is not only uncomfortable for the sheep but dangerous to their health. Ergo, tail docking. (She lets the ones she knows are going to be shipped keep theirs; for the few months that they are around, it is not an issue.) She considers herself to be "natural" as opposed to "organic". She doesn't spray her fields or give the animals antibiotics as a general rule, except that she does give the mom's a shot of specific antibiotics at shearing time (when they are very close to giving birth) since it protects the lambs from a disease that is prevalent and will kill at least 1/3 of the stock born and make many of them very ill. (A friend of hers tried to do without and it was tragic.) She does believe in medicating if an animal is ill...she treats her stock as if they were all her pets. They all have names and she knows their individual personalities. Her "girls"... lol.


I agree with you totally...and feel the same way about tail docking and ear "cutting"...cruel and unnatural.


Kyla was known as a "split face" in Border Collie terminology. (Bonnie is one and so is JiggyBelle Jan's Maggie.) Kyla's dark side is showing her age in this shot and the fact that she had been living with megaesophagus for several years (she was very black in her youth there). Border Collies are typically portrayed by the media as black and white rough coats. Darcy is the photo perfect stereotype for this. However, Meara is a tri-smooth coat and is also a registered purebred dog too. You see them in reds, tri-reds, whites and less common are the yellows and the blue merles. There are a number of dogs who have quite a lot of body white too. My aunt's dog who just passed in October had a lot of white and her face was all white with one blue eye. Her prior dog was a white face too...with a little black thumbprint on her forehead. She also had one blue eye but on the opposite side. They had different bloodlines. One blue eye is, again, not really rare in this breed either.

ooops, got to the bottom and realized that I got on my high on with fair warning, if you want.

In Canada, there is only one official registry for Border Collies and that is the Canadian Border Collie Association. (Our federal rules allow for only one registering body for any purebred animal. Sadly, American regs allow for more than one.) The CKC has tried, unsuccessfully, to try to take over the CBCA registry but we fight vehemently against that. You probably won't see another purebred dog breed with such variety in looks, sizes and shapes. This is because most Border Collie people here are opposed to breeding for conformation (which is what you get with CKC and AKC rules and regs.) The most important characteristics for this breed are intelligence and working ability and that can easily be bred out if you start breeding for looks. Too many dog breeds have been harmed that way. (Witness the American German Shepherd that has been bred to have a crouched position while standing upright...which was only a working attitude and not supposed to be part of the breed standard. The poor dogs have such severe problems now with cruciate ligaments, etc. Such a shame, they are a beautiful dog. If I was going to get one, I'd go for European breeding...they still have the proper upright position. The people who own the farm across the road from my aunt, and who are dear friends, have had German Shepherds for years. Usually two at a time. After the problems and the surgeries, she has sworn she will never have another American bred one. It hurt to see the dogs suffer so...and they were such lovely dogs.)

Mini lecture over... I don't have any passion about that, do I? :-)


She's a beauty! I don't recall ever seeing "white" so predominately before. :)


You can see why I love my split-faces so much, JB. Even though she is older here and the black had a lot of white in it at that point. Kisses, hugs and belly "scritches" to Maggie!


I almost can't bear to look at this beautiful dog. Kyla obviously was a most loved family member! Thank you for sharing her with us!


Apologies that I made a title error...a likely "freudian" slip. This was actually the summer of 2001 (She passed away Feb 2002).

Thank you, Priegeltje. Though we have other Border Collies in our lives now that we love greatly, Kyla was our first. She was exceptionally bright (even for her breed) and was teaching her "flock" (our family) new games virtually right to the end of her life. We all still miss her.


What a dear friend !