Sunday, April 26, 2009

Happy 11th Birthday Kate

Kate turned 11 years old today. Wow, look at where Kate has gotten me to.
I remember searching for a certain type of Border Collie and I found a guy named Jeff Larkin up in Oregon. This was before internet, so many phone calls were made. Once I decided that the Lyn x Wisp cross was for me, I then had to wait about 8 months for the breeding to take place and then as you know wait for the puppies to arrive. I have saved the original pictures I was sent of the litter (via snail mail) when the puppies were 5 weeks old. I was teaching Elementary School back then and it just happened to turn out that the puppies were ready for their new homes the day school got out. I headed up to Oregon with a friend and her husband as they too were getting a puppy.
I remember going into the barn where the puppies were. Jeff let the puppies out and I immediately was drawn to Kate. She was the one puppy that would find small objects to toss up in the air and she did this over and over again. I had first pick of the litter, so I made sure that I looked at all of the puppies. I kept being drawn back to Kate as she just had this lovely personality. Kate it was and I have never regretted that choice as she is my "Heart Dog".
Kate brought me into the world of herding and has taught me so much about agility. Not to mention that she is the foundation for our Border Collie line. She is also responsible for me moving up to Oregon as I ended up moving onto the ranch where I got Kate and managed the ranch and their Border Collies. This is also where I got Mick from.
Kate is still Queen of the pack, but she has softened (for the good) over the years. She still throws her toys up in the air and loves to play with litter objects, which she has passed on to some of her kids etc.
Kate has accomplished a lot in her 11 years. She brought me through the beginning of ISDS type of herding and started in Novice and ended her career in Pro-Novice. If I knew then what I know now about herding she would have easily made an Open dog. She has earned her ADCH and MACH and her Bronze Lifetime Achievement Award in USDAA. She has been in many finals of both AKC and USDAA Agility and was 5th place at the 2003 AKC Nationals. She has had Animal Planet fly out to do a special on her (video below). She has many generations of kids, grandkids, and great grandkids living on through her. She had 3 litters of puppies, 1st by Imp. Mirk, 2nd by Brighteye Foreign Exchange (Quid) and her last litter by Ignited OffOn Sooner Or Later (Sooner).
Most of all Kate is the love of my life (in the dog world) and I would go to earth's end for her.

This is Kate and her sisters when they were 5 weeks old.

Kate looking so adorable at 10 weeks old

Kate's special that Animal Planet did on her

Kate at 11 years old. A little grey in the face, but still acts like a young'n

Kate still gives all of the dogs a run (dive) for their money when it comes to swimming