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 June 18, 2015

Follow Your Arrow 

A Guest Article

By Maggie


I’m not sure if any of you follow the weather religiously, at our house time stands still when it is “weather time” on the news.  Mommy can’t say anything until the weather chick finishes her report, then things can resume.  We’ve all learned that we will get “shushed” if we try to say or do anything during the weather.  Considering the wet year, and Tropical Storm Bill, it seems that the world revolves around the weather out at our house.


Why the discussion of weather you ask….  Well, this spring we have been fortunate enough to have a bunch of rain storms that have really greened things up and made the grass grow.  In fact, Dad can’t decide if he should gripe about not being able to go outside and too much mud, or keep his mouth shut because we have grass in the pasture for the beeves[i].  Me personally, I prefer to roll in the soft stinky mud versus that dry, dead, dusty hard ground; so I like the rain … as long as we don’t have that danged thunder to go along with it.  I know, find a point to this, and we’re back.


With it raining this spring and summer, Dad has been forced to the shop.  Usually, he can find something to do (like projects for Mommy’s new house), but a few months ago he decided to surf channels.  You realize that there are eleventy-billion channels on that satellite system, and Dad usually has to go through each one before he finally lands on the same channel that he usually watches anyway.  Well, this time it was different.  For those of you that know Dad, outside of Mommy, his life revolves around music.  I don’t know what he does at work, but when he’s at home, he’s usually whistling something or has his radio or iTunes blaring.  (Yes Uncle-B, Dad has evolved into using something with an “i” in front of it.)  I mention Dad’s affinity to music only because, where did he stop flipping channels, CMT.  I don’t know what made him stop there because he usually says he hates that Nashville crap and that there should be a channel dedicated only to Texas and Red-dirt music.  Anyway, he stops on CMT and we watch this show called CMT Crossroads[ii].


So we’re watching this show and it’s some pretty danged good music.  Mommy has always joked with Dad about having a celebrity crush.  Well, I think Dad might have kicked Kiera Knightly to the curb and replaced her.  Thus enters Kacey Musgraves and Katie Perry.  As we watched this show, with Dad singing along to all the songs (even Katie Perry’s) which surprised me and Mommy, I’m thinking this is really good tunes while wondering whether Dad was watching it for the audial or visual stimulation.  (Look it up folks if you don’t understand those words … we can’t footnote everything!)


Anyway, at the time I am putting these thoughts together, we have not only watched this performance once, but Dad found it on a rerun at about 1:30 in the morning a few weeks ago, so we watched it again….or he did, I was snoring behind his easy chair at that time of night.  The fact that we’ve watched it twice had me convinced that it was the visual stimulation, but I think I was wrong.  Dad and I were having a conversation the other night while he was grilling some steaks, which I never get to enjoy (Dad won’t let me have people food…he’s against that), and he tells me he feels like he needs to “follow his arrow”.  Now, if you go back a little ways, remember that I watched the Crossroads show with Dad once and slept through it the second time, so I’m a little groggy on what he’s trying to tell me.


So what do I do, I perk my ears up and give him that “I’m listening but I don’t understand” look that I give him every time he mentions anything other than “DinDin”, “Get the cat” or “Hit the cows”.  I know exactly what those mean.  Back to task … when I give Dad my look, he will almost always elaborate.  So this time, he starts talking about watching the Crossroads show and thinking about one of the songs that he heard.  I know Dad has heard this song hundreds of times, but this time it seemed to have a different meaning.  It was “Follow Your Arrow” by Kacey Musgraves[iii].


For those of you that haven’t heard this song, or have but never really paid attention to the words, (as Dad describes it) it is a humorous attempt to say you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t, so live your life and go with the flow.  (I say it’s the country version of “Don’t Worry Be Happy”[iv].)  The chorus of the song says:


When the straight and narrow

Gets a little too straight

Roll up a joint, or don’t

And follow your arrow

Wherever it points


Now, I’m sure that Dad is not advocating that we get all “Willie-d Out” with the weed, but more along the lines of be happy, and if you can’t be happy, do what will make you happy.  He says that we spend so much of our life doing what is expected, or what is comfortable, that we don’t see the scenery as we are doing 85 mph on the highway of life.  Sometimes we have to slow down a little, look left and look right, and find that arrow that just might be pointing in a different direction than where we are currently headed.


In fact, Dad says he talked to Uncle-B on their vacation to the Bahamas and is convinced that he followed his arrow.  He said that Uncle-B was doing 85 on the highway of life, but due to a bogus roadblock, he was forced to slow down and exit the highway, where he found his arrow.  He was challenged on whether to follow his arrow or detour the roadblock and keep on going down the highway.  Uncle-B said that following his arrow was the best thing he’s ever done.


This brings me back to my Dad.  He’s been doing 85 on the highway of life also, and it has been a really good road…nicely paved, with no major potholes.  But as he comes home and talks to Mommy and me, I can’t help but feel like all of a sudden he’s having to dodge spike strips that have been laid out on the highway.


Now, I’m all about helping Dad out.  Remember, I know and understand three things … one of those is when I get to eat, but the other two mean that I get to rid the rancho of any unwanted cat or I get to push the cows where Dad wants them.  Mommy says I don’t earn my keep like Kitty does, but I would disagree. 


Now … this article has been swimming around in the true BC half of my head since we watched the Crossroads.  And, with me wanting to please Dad, every day I’ve been trying to tell him that if he could just understand my language as well as I understand his, I would tell him to go back to the Crossroads show. 


He honed in on “Follow Your Arrow” and didn’t think about the rest until the other day.  I think that everybody needs to decide if they are following their arrow, and once they figure that out, follow that arrow and live every day in the words of Katie Perry in “Roar”:


I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
'Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
'Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar


Well … the good news is that Dad finally listened.  He decided to Follow His Arrow and “Roar”!  So now I have to ask all of you reading this … Are you following your arrow and are we gonna hear you roar?






Editors Note:  None needed, really!  I've been waiting on this finalized version for nearly a year!!!  The following is an {edited} snippet of an email between me and Ms. Maggie's dad from July 31, 2014, which, I believe, sums up the BC's feelings about this article (we apologize, in advance, for the COLORFUL language):



DAMNED THERAPEUTIC!!!!  (Even for me ... gotta be for you!) 


Damn good article - personal, but fits (almost) everyone! 

I think it's a GREAT and WONDERFUL article and would be pleased to publish it at any time ... it is appropriate now, or appropriate later!

Damn ... deep on SO many levels!  Really!  I'm jealous ... this is why I wouldn’t hire you if I didn’t know you!!!  Why didn’t I say this (but to be honest, I don’t know either song - I will give them to D to download on that damned dreaded I tunes!)  And, you've picked up on my thought string ... a fellas gotta do what a fella has gotta do.  If it don’t bother you, it doesn’t bother me!  If you’re happy, I'm happy for you! 

NOW ALL OF THESE ARE MY THOUGHTS FOR MY EDITORS FOOTNOTES (EG - YOU CAN'T USE THEM!!! What the hell will I have left to say after an article that says it all!????) Wipe your ass and get glad!  You can get happy in the same pants you got pissed in!  -- OR THE ANTITHESIS:  You can’t get happy in pants you've pissed in!  

Yeah - It's damned appropriate at any time ... ROAR ... sometimes you scare away the alligator, sometimes not, and you go back, regroup, and live to fight another day.  It's knowing the difference that makes the difference!! 

Fxxxing good article  I love it - honestly ... been there, can relate, it CAN BE orgasmic in the release ... really!  I did a Hell Yeah on the fourth read!  If you're happy - that's cool!  If not - that's your problem, do something!  If you're not happy pulling on your boots in the morning ...  Well, you know!!  As long as you see the arrow, follow it as soon as you can make a {SAFE} lane change!!!  Just cause it ain't made upon seeing it don’t mean anything ... life is complicated!  Follow that SOB when it's appropriate to you ... not when it demands itself! 

Main deal - I LOVE the article - makes me happy to hear the statements from you (Maggie) - truer sentiment I haven't heard!  And I agree with 125%.  If we never publish ... still damn good ... if we publish tonight, whoever reads it will, at least, THINK!."

And Maggie's dad's response:  "Honestly, my first thought was Wow. I expected a 'cool' or 'good deal' but wasn't expecting your response at all.  I really appreciate your excitement."  

It was, and remains, heartfelt!!!

Best wishes to all!!!!



[i] From Merriam Webster Dictionary ( – the plural form of beef.  Not to be confused with the Urban Dictionary reference meaning a hot, good looking, sexy girl.


[ii] CMT Crossroads shows the far-reaching roots of country music by pairing country artists with musicians from other genres in a performance aired on CMT.


[iii] "Follow Your Arrow" is a song recorded by country music singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves.


[iv] "Don't Worry, Be Happy" is a song by musician Bobby McFerrin, released in September 1988.


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