Kathy Bassett: Rules of the border collie

Kathy Bassett

Kathy Bassett's column, "The View from Maybell," appears in the Saturday Morning Press.

What’s black and white and hops through the snow like a giant rabbit?

A giant rabbit?? Nope. It’s a border collie. She has to mimic everything she sees. She is a human and dog.

I watched her the other morning when she spotted a rabbit hopping through the snow down in the corrals. The next thing I knew, here went this big black and white thing hopping, exactly like a rabbit, through the snow.

She sees a male dog marking his territory and she will run straight to the next tree and do exactly as he did. I have to constantly tell her she is supposed to be a “lady!”  

She continually gives me my laugh for the day. 

She knows the difference of when she will be allowed to ride in the truck to do chores, or check out cows at the other ranch place, and when she can’t go along.

I’ve tried to sneak my boots on as quiet as a mouse four rooms away, but suddenly there she is with that wagging tail. When she gets that tail wound up, she would beat any fan in the country for air circulation. 

Suddenly, nap and rabbit chasing dreams are unimportant. I’m putting on my boots and she is checking to see if she gets to go.

When it’s her time to ride along as the shotgun rider, she is leaping at the door as if she is on a pogo stick. Up and down.

“You ain’t getting outta here without me!  I’m the most important part of your routine!”  

And yeah, I have to admit it, she is spoiled rotten. 

When people come to visit, she is all over them like flies on jelly, a total brat and wanting to be petted. 

I’m sure if real words came out of her mouth she would lie to them and say that she never gets petted at home, so would they please pet her? Sort of the same as a husband always telling people how happy he is that they came to visit so there’d be something to eat!

Snicker.

So, that’s when I have to get out the fly banger. I’ve never smacked her with it, but as soon as I tell her I’m getting the “fly banger” down she runs right over to her rug and lays down.

For about five minutes.

Whoever said cats “own you” never had a border collie. And border collies have their own rules:

• I consider myself to be an integral part of the family — don’t treat me like a mere dog.

• I will chase anything that moves, so get used to it.

I will stick my nose into everyone’s business and feel compelled to comment on my observations.

• If you should leave me behind, I shall consider this an aberration of proper behavior and will voice my disapproval, loud and long, and often accompanied by frantic twirling and jumping.

• I will determine which of your friends is worthy of my affection, and which are to be observed at a distance, before a verdict is rendered. All decisions are final.

• I will follow you to the ends of the earth, and always into the bathroom.

• No door is considered to be closed as long as I can push it open with my nose.

• Give me plenty of toys and activities to keep me busy. You don’t want me finding tasks on my own. Trust me on this.

• I have absolutely no qualms about stealing food, glorious food, from any source available, even if it is from the mouths of babes.

• I will give you the best moments of our lives and memories you will cherish forever.

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