Thursday, March 31, 2005

To Puppy or not to Puppy?

Some agility people I know have a litter of Border Collies. Both the mom and dad are excellent agility competitors. Of course you don't know how the puppies will turn out in the long run, but the odds seem good that they'll be driven competitors.

They were born on my birthday.

There are two or maybe three still available, all female. The owner thinks that the black & white one might be the better agility dog--says she's very fast, the first one to race across the yard to them, and yet totally snuggly and relaxed. The two blue merles are a bit more wriggly (to consolidate my inexperienced experiments into one word), so they might not be as relaxed and snuggly, but does that make them more driven? I'm assured that they all love chasing toys and playing tug of war (I confirmed) and that none seem to be noise sensitive. They have all kinds of things to crawl all over and around--noisy, moving, etc.--so it seems likely that they won't be intimidated by agility equipment.

The blue merle ones are kind of cute. I always did like blue merles ever since I read about them in Albert Peyson Terhune's books. And I find it very hard to get excited about owning a basic black and white Border Collie, being around dozens of them at agility trials every weekend.

But these are AKC dogs, I believe (I didn't ask but I'm pretty sure) from quite desireable parents. They're asking (gasp) $1000 each. Holy toledo. But Nike Animal Rescue (where Remington came from) is now asking adoption fees "starting at" $175. Humane Society is $145. Of course, those fees include some things, such as spay/neuter (I didn't ask what the puppy's owners preferred to have happen with their puppies).

Am I ready for a puppy? My last puppy was Amber, in early 1979. I remember being exhausted then, and I'm *already* exhausted now. Can I afford a dog of known and extraordinary ancestry? Argh.

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