Ok, so this post is two weeks late and a little misleading. The lateness stems from a big pottery project I’m working on and a recent vacation. The misleading part is that my title suggests that I am adding Shetland Sheepdogs to my list of dog breeds, but really I completed an update to my current design. For years I have had Shelties in my line-up and have been making Sheltie Gifts. I love this breed as it was the dog of my childhood – there were three in my parents home over the years. The artwork I did of this breed years ago has been popular, and I get many orders for it. But a request came in to capture the breed standard a little bit better. This brings up a point that comes up over an over again. There are dogs within a breed that are just lovely, but that aren’t the breed standard. Our Shelties were a little too large compared with the standard but they were awesome. My art tries to reflect the breed standard, especially my more current additions. In the past, I would find a reference picture that looked good to me and go from there, and this was the case with my original Sheltie design. I saw a picture that looked like the dogs I grew up with and drew my design based on it. My new design has less height in the body and the legs and a slightly larger head. I also added a bi-black version and bi-blue (no tan). I will be changing the options on my website to include the new design and will remove the old design, though I will keep it in my files for customers who request it.
I’ve made some revisions to my original Collie design. The Collie Gifts category has been added to my website and has some items in it, but I have yet to decorate and fire a Collie item, as I still have color testing to do (same for the new Sheltie designs below).
I also added a couple different coat colors to my Sheltie design line-up. I added a blue merle Sheltie (2nd from the left) and a black and white Sheltie (far right). The new Shetland Sheepdog coat options have been added to all of the items on the Sheltie Gifts page of my website and can now be ordered.
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.
If you are beginning to think about your holiday shopping, and are looking for a unique gift for the dog lover in your life, I may have the answer for you. I have added my dog breed sugar bowls to my website, www.shepherds-grove.com, and have been busy making my blank stoneware pieces to keep up with demand. This is a really great piece to use daily. The sugar bowl will obviously hold sugar but it’s also a nice size for cotton balls, q-tips, change, hard candies, and other small items.
The dog breed sugar bowls can be decorated with any of the dog breeds I offer. There are over 30 AKC dog breeds to choose from and the list is always growing depending on what breeds my customers want to see. So, if you’re looking for a breed that I do not have, then feel free to request it. The current dog breeds are: Australian Shepherd , Basset Hound, Beagle, Boston Terrier, Boxer Dog, Bull Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Chihuahua, Cocker Spaniel, Corgi, Dachshund, Doberman, French Bulldog, Golden Retriever, Great Dane, Greyhound, German Shepherd, German Shorthaired Pointer, Husky, Irish Setter, Labrador Retriever, Maltese, Mastiff, Norwegian Elkhound, Norwich Terrier, Papillon, Pitbull, Pomeranian, Poodle, Pug, Rottweiler, Sheltie, Shih Tzu, Smooth Collie, Vizsla, Weimaraner, Yorkshire Terrier.
With the Holidays just around the bend, I have found myself busy (and thankfully so) filling orders from my website and Etsy shop. But I have also taken some time to add several new dog breed designs, and color variations of existing dogs, to my line-up. And so far, they’ve been enthusiastically received. The new dogs that I have added are:
- Shih Tzu with puppy cut – white with grey
- Yorkshire Terrier with puppy cut;
- Pomeranian – red, black
- Papillon – red and white, black and white;
- Pug – black, fawn
- French Bulldog – fawn with mask and solid fawn
- Siberian Husky
- Dachshund – red smooth
- Boston Terrier – black and white
- Australian Shepherd – tricolor
- German Shepherd – black
- Doberman Pinsher – red and rust
- Greyhound – black color
- Mastiff – fawn color
- Great Dane – fawn, harlequin
- Poodle with show cut – black, white
- Shetland Sheepdog – sable
- Pit Bull – brown and white
The above dog breeds are available on wine stoppers and mugs, though I have a little work to do to get all of my items listed on my website. Currently all dog wine stoppers are listed and most of the dog breed mugs. I will be making mugs with my new dog breeds and color variations in the next week and so will have all of the above listed breeds and colors photographed and listed very soon. If you are looking for one of the above listed breeds/colors but don’t see on my website, contact me and I’ll be happy to help you out.