My Dog of the Week is the Collie (Rough Collie). I recently had a customer ask if I had a Collie design, but I sadly had to say “no”. I have made Collie items in the past, when I was hand painting all of my designs, so I do have a place to start. And I’m surprised I have not added them yet, since I am already making gifts with the Collie’s cousin, the Sheltie, and my Sheltie gifts have been very popular. Further, as you’ll read below, I have a very personal reason for loving this breed. So I’m very happy to be adding the Collie to my line-up.
The Collie is known for its elegant good looks. They were a favorite breed of Queen Victoria. Then later, Hollywood discovered the breed and produced Lassie, resulting in the breed’s international recognition and popularity. Most Collies today come from lines that have not been required to work for generations, but many still display ability and inclination for herding. Collies often compete in AKC sanctioned herding trials with Shetland Sheepdogs, Welsh Corgis, German Shepherds and the other herding breeds that are not often used in farm fields today. And, the American Working Collie Association promotes the use of Collies for herding, carting, and a multitude of other uses. Collies of today perform other types of work stemming from their gentleness and sweet temperament – they make excellent therapy dogs, companions for the handicapped, and search and rescue dogs. Collies are easy to train, safe with, and extremely protective of, children, and make good watchdogs.
My own childhood experience with them was one of acceptance and kindness. During a visit to my Grandparent’s house, my brother, who was 1 year older and, during the middle school years, not always nice to me, was picking on me for some reason that I don’t remember (thankfully we’re very close now). What I do remember is that I was angry at him. On that particular day, I couldn’t find anywhere to go in my grandparent’s house or yard that offered enough escape from my brother. So I hurled myself over the wall into the neighbor’s yard, where I knew two Collies lived. I didn’t give any thought to the fact I was entering their yard uninvited, or whether the people were home. I landed and was greeted by two gentle giants that soothed my frazzled mind. I just sat with them, stroking their long fur, and absorbing all of the understanding that they offered. I stayed as long as I could and regained enough peace of mind to go back to my grandparents house. “Cuddled up with the Collies” is a good place to go in my mind, even now if things get tough. I look forward to sharing my Collie design later this week.