The Border Collie Chronicles

Observations from (arguably) the World's Smartest Dogs;
(but, without question, the bestest friends!)
or, Life As We Understand It, as told from dad's shop.

Posted February 9, 2017

So What If I’m White?

By Merritt


Dad says that I am a BC (he says something after that … can’t really catch all of it – I looked it up and Merriam’s describes it as "someone who delays", or "is tardy in doing something" … but that doesn’t make sense at all since I am the most “Johnny on the spot” dog around here!) … in any event – I deserve the same amount of respect that all of the “black ones” around here receive.  I AM a BC after all!


I mean, in general, us Border Collies are medium-sized dogs with a moderate amount of coat, which is most often thick and sheds often (check).  We have a double coat which varies from smooth to rough, and is occasionally curled (check … well, you get the point).  Whilst black and white is most commonly seen color pattern of the Border Collie, the breed appears in just about any color and pattern known to occur in dogs.  Some of these include black tricolor (black/tan/white), liver and white, and red tricolor (red/tan/white) - with other colors such as blue, lilac, red merle, blue merle, brindle, and Australian red (also known as ee red, blonde, recessive red, or gold) which is seen less frequently.  Some Border Collies may even have single-color coats.


Our eye colors vary from brown to blue, and sometimes we have eyes of differing color occur; this is usually seen with merles, though.  Our ears are also variable — some of us have fully erect ears, some fully dropped ears, and others semi-erect ears (similar to those of the rough Collie or sighthounds).  Although BC handlers sometimes have superstitions about the appearance of their dogs (some folks may avoid mostly white dogs due to the totally unfounded idea that sheep will not respect a white or almost all white dog – BY GOLLY … let me get hold of one of those woolly boogers and they WILL respect me!).  In general a dog's appearance is considered by the American Border Collie Association to be irrelevant.  It is considered much more useful to identify a working BC by its ability and attitude than by its looks – dad says not only do I have the ability, but I definitely have ATTITUDE!  (mom-D, and the rest of the BC’s agree!)


Dogs bred for show are more homogeneous in appearance than working Border Collies, since to win in conformation showing they must conform closely to breed club standards (just look at my big sister Gall for an example!) that are specific on many points of the structure, coat, and color.  Kennel clubs specify, for example, that the Border Collie must have a "keen and intelligent" expression, and that the preferred eye color is dark brown.  In deference to the dog's working origin, scars and broken teeth received in the line of duty are not to be counted against a Border Collie in the show ring.  The males' height from withers comes from 48 to 56 centimeters (19 to 22 in), females from 46 to 53 centimeters (18 to 21 in) – (good thing that they don’t look at foot size – Brother Bubba would probably be classified as a Clydesdale!).


In any event – this lecture (which I stole almost verbatim from the good ol’ www) is just to show you that even though I might be a little different than the others … I am still a good ol’ BC, even though I am unique (just like everyone else is!)


[Editor’s note:  It gets a little political at this point … remember that the idea is to make you think about it – not get pissed about it!]


Dad has that Dish tailgater in the shop now, so there is a whole lot more TV than there ever has been before … that, in itself isn’t so terribly bad – it’s just that a lot of the shows that he’s been watching aren’t all that much fun!  It started with a bunch of dudes, and one lady, hollering at each other for a few hours at a whack, then came down to that goofy lookin’ guy with orange hair talking bad about this ugly, old woman (who really had a mean streak)!!!  Now everyone is just talking about ol’ Orange Hair (let’s just call him OH)!  Some folks love him … and others really hate him!


You know – regardless of how you feel – it is what it is folks!  I am sure that some people didn’t like the guy with the big ears just as much as others dislike ol’ OH … but there weren’t any big marches and vandalism in the neighborhoods!  Folks just went back to their jobs and went back to working!  Now, I understand that ol’ OH made some strong promises before he was elected which might sound/seem distasteful – and some of which are to me as well – however, the process that we have employed, followed, and – quite frankly – has worked well pretty dang well for over 200 years, has made him the biggest dog in the kennel.  You have to accept it (at least for the next 4 years) … it’s ok to keep watch on him – there are measures to kick him out if he breaks any of the big rules – but it is unsettling to the whole process to immediately claim that he isn’t “yours”.  Hey, I didn’t vote for ol’ Big Ears, but I didn’t vandalize anything … I lost money as a result of his work/policies … but, I didn’t march!


Again – nothing written here was to offend (or even jab at) anyone.  We, as a nation, are becoming more and more fragmented – and that ain’t good folks!  We are awfully divided right now (and that scares the heck outta me) ... you see, I think of America as one really big family - but this disacceptance of American History and Practice used to elect someone to lead us since the good ol' George W. (that's Washington, folks!) days is a total disrespect of America as a whole!  This issue has divided families and broken friendships (None of ours, that I know of!  Thank Goodness!!) over something that NO SINGLE ONE of us had any control over.  This was a tried and true, accepted practice that has worked well for a LONG TIME!  It seems that only when there was a surprise in the outcome that some folks got WAY upset and are causing a commotion.  Hey ... the Cowboys didn't go to the Super Bowl which really upset dad (though PF and DH couldn't have cared less), but dad went ahead and went to a Super Bowl party and even made some wagers (he won $30 - but it cost him $10 ... mom D won $125 and it only cost dad $75 - didn't cost mom-D anything ... so she is the wiener!!!!).


You see, here on this place, we have four blacks and three whites … all of us get along splendidly!  The good ol’ USA needs to look at us as a role model of where we all need to get to!  (I just hope dad doesn’t bring home a chamuco or chihuahua (but a Xolo[i] would be interesting!) … and those Asian carp[ii] would be cool in the tank – something to give me a challenge!) 


Hey America … “Why Can’t We All Just Get A Long …[iii]” and “Make America Great Again”!  I mean ...



“What difference, at this point, does it make?”



Love to all!






PS – I remember … dad’s other word for me ... it's tarry-er!









Two Quotes

I’m telling you, things are getting out of hand.

Or maybe I’m discovering that things were never in my hands.

Gordon Atkinson



Love the ones you can.

Touch the ones you can reach.

Let the others go.

Gordon Atkinson




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