At age 9, my parents “gave me” Cricket to play with in obedience. She was a 7 year old collie bitch that they had retired from Obedience. Unfortunately, Cricket died suddenly the following year, at which point I proclaimed I was going to have my own Collie when I grew up. The impact - Had Cricket not been such a sweet dog, I most likely would now have Golden Retrievers, the other breed that my parents owned and trialed.
We contacted Florence and Mel Roberts, Gay Acres Collies in Winsted, Connecticut. I came home with Gay Acres Poppin’ Perrier. He was a sable rough male and I earned a CD and CDX with Perry. He was an awesome dog, super smart and one of those dogs I would love to have now!
Perry: Gay Acres Poppin’ Perrier CD CDX
We again contacted the Roberts and this time, came home with Gay Acres Policy Change. I also earned a CD and CDX with Polly. She was really feisty and a great dog.
Polly: Gay Acres Policy Change CD CDX
1986 I attended my very first Collie national, in Chicago, Illinois. I trialed both dogs in Obedience but I was in awe of all the beautiful dogs and the sheer number of Collies. I came away from that national wanting my next dog to be a breed Champion. The Impact - Because Perry and Polly were intelligent working dogs, I could trial in Obedience and attend my first national, and come away with goals for my next dog.
I moved to Denver, Colorado with both dogs. Though I wasn’t actively competing, I did attend a herding instinct event. Perry was 10 at this point, and not interested but Polly was amazing, backing the sheep into a corner. The impact - My first exposure to herding and I was fascinated.
I had moved back to Massachusetts and still had Polly. I spent a couple of years going to breed shows, trying to learn and define my ideal collie. I chose Peg and Jim Vohr, Mariner Collies. I hounded (no pun intended) Peg for a couple of years, introducing myself, re-introducing myself, reminding her I was interested in a puppy, if she had a litter.
Peg bred Am/Can Ch Fantasy Mariner Anchorman NAJ ROM ROM-P x Am/Can Ch Alfenloch Mariner Amazing ROM ROM-P. I was lucky enough to get Ch Mariner Poetic Justice CDX RN OA NAP AJP HT VX. He was truly a magnificent dog. He was intelligent and driven and was my first breed Champion, my first Agility dog , my first Herding titled dog resulting in my first Versatility dog. The impact - Poet had presence and loved every sport we did. I was hooked on always having a versatile Collie.
Poet: Ch Mariner Poetic Justice CDX RN OA NAP AJP HT VX
Peg bred another litter Am/Can Ch Fantasy Mariner Anchorman NAJ ROM ROM-P x Ch Fantasy Mariner Frosting My Cake. This time I got Ch Mariner Sea Sharp CD BN RE HSAs OA NAP OAJ NJP OF NFP VX. Maestro was a beautiful, athletic dog with his own personality and ideas. He earned his Versatility Award at age 2 but it took 10 more years for me to get his Versatility Excellent. The impact - Maestro taught me the art of patience and perseverance. I also realized how little most people knew about dog behavior and training. Once size does not fit all.
Maestro: Ch Mariner Sea Sharp CD BN RE HSAs OA NAP OAJ NJP OF NFP VX
Ch MACH2 Provenhill’s Persuasion BN CDX RE HSAsd HIAsd MFB MFP TKN GV . Suede was such a HAPPY puppy. He woke up in the morning wagging his tail and barking and it continued throughout the day. Suede was really my first herding dog. It is such a difficult sport and we plugged away together. He was also my first Agility Champion. We had as many failures as successes. The impact - Suede was a willing partner, but we struggled in trials. I learned how important consistency is from training through trialing.
Suede: Ch MACH2 Provenhill’s Persuasion BN CDX RE HSAsd HIAsd MFB MFP TKN GV
Millknock Collies are well known for being Versatile Collies and so Ch Millknock Blue By Ewe BN CDX RE HSAsd AX AXJ MXP MJP MXF MFP T2BP TKI VX entered my life. Peyton - oh, he’s a WHOLE lot of dog! He’s 26” at the shoulder, 72 lbs of blue and full of himself. He was my first dog that I used toys and play, more than food, to train. When we got to a trial, he stressed UP, wouldn’t play and wasn’t interested in food. I had no clue what to do with that! When teaching a trick, his method of learning was completely different than my other dogs. I also began to understand a dogs pressure sensitivity and how it impacts training. Peyton is not pressure sensitive, which also impacted my normal training methods. BUT he ALWAYS made me laugh and still does. This is a dog with a true sense of humor. The impact - I could see the advantage of using toys for a reward but why didn’t the benefits transfer into the ring? I also learned what he needed for information in order for something to make sense was not what I was providing. My analogy was I’m a mathematician and he’s an artist so training a specific method, which made sense to me, was not making sense to him.
Peyton: Ch Millknock Blue By Ewe BN CDX RE HSAsd AX AXJ MXP MJP MXF MFP T2BP TKI VX
I contacted Marianne realizing I would soon be down to one dog. She had just bred one of my favorite girls Ch Millknock Montage to Ch Blu Ridge State of Mind. That breeding produced my once in a life time dog CH HC MACH Millknock Tri The Next Chapter BN RN CD TD HSAsd HIAsd HXAd HSBd MXG MJG MFG T2B4 TKI GV ROM-P. I like to try something new with each dog, hence the name Sequel. Our success is the culmination of all my previous dogs. She is the right dog at the right time with the right trainers. She is the dog that has benefited from my past success and failures. I figured out the balance of play vs food. I am adamant about being consistent in my training and in trialing. Our journey to our Herding Championship once again reminded me of how little I know. The impact - I am no longer afraid to look like an idiot in the ring. I remind myself that we are in the ring to figure out where our holes are in our training.
Sequel: CH HC MACH Millknock Tri The Next Chapter BN RN CD TD HSAsd HIAsd HXAd HSBd MXG MJG MFG T2B4 TKI GV ROM-P
I bred Sequel to Ch Larkspur Shake Down the Stars II ROM-P resulting in my first litter. I was lucky to have a wonderful litter of 8 puppies. I kept Millknock Turn The Page To Wonderful PT MXB MJB MXF T2B. Chapter will reap the benefits of all of my dogs, even though she is nothing like them. Because of all my previous dogs, I have been able to focus on putting the puzzle pieces together of having a versatile dog. I can apply what I have learned about pressure in herding to how that affects my dog in obedience and agility. Understanding how a dog tracks has taught me how their sense of smell impacts them on a daily basis. Prey drive, predators, energy, eye contact, body language . . . my list of what influences my training and my dog is endless at this point but it all matters. And all of it got me here today.
Chapter: Millknock Turn The Page To Wonderful PT MXB MJB MXF T2B