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From The Heart Callie's Story By Sue Wolf For colliesonline.com

Callie

PACH2 Greatview Turn Off The Lights MXP8 MXPG MJP8 MJPG PAX3 MFP T2BP2 CGC TKN

I fell in love with a sable merle and white collie pup that had a white heart on her forehead. She also had one brown eye and one blue eye, and she was just beautiful. When I saw her, she stole my heart. I knew she was one in a million . . . unlike any other collie. Doreen Thomas, our Greatview Collie breeder, named her Pooky. “She just looked like a Pooky,” Doreen would always say. When we got her home, we searched for a new name. We landed on Callie which means “most beautiful” in Greek. My husband and I love merles, because their coats add color and depth month after month, year after year. My friend Ann and I joke that Callie, at age four, looks like an ice cream sundae, complete with vanilla ice cream, caramel and butterscotch swirls with tips of chocolate sprinkles.

July 15, 2014, getting ready to snooze after playing at Doreen and John Thomas -- Greatview Collies.
July 17, 2014 - Callie's first day with us.

When Callie was about a year old, she showed her heart and patience with me as we trained for agility. I had never done agility. I didn’t know what a front cross was, and I had no clue how to do one. I struggled through the cone activities, but Callie stayed with me. She loved to do agility, always running with a smile on her face. When she was two, we started to compete. First in Jumpers, and then after buying contact equipment, she moved to Standard courses. Our trainer, Wendy Cerilli, would frequently remind me how lucky I was. Wendy would tell me how Callie improved as I improved as a handler and with a first agility dog that doesn’t always happen.

That is the bond, the heart, that you and your teammate feel for one another. It is an everlasting and unbreakable bond developed through the training, the trialing, and the travel.

Spring 2018: Callie earning her PAX2 on April 22 and MXPS and MJPS on May 6.

In October of 2016, I severely strained my calf and went down during a trial at High Goal Farm. Callie came over to see if I was okay. I limped off with Callie by my side and had to stop agility for three months while I completed physical therapy. Callie showed her heart and resilience by running with my friend, Sally Rojek, and then with my trainer and friend, Wendy Cerilli. Callie worked very hard with both Sally and Wendy. She continued to train and trial while I was hurt, which many dogs are unable to do… they run with their owner or stress in the ring without them.

Spring 2018: Callie earning her PAX2 on April 22 and MXPS and MJPS on May 6.

I will always remember The Cluster in Springfield, MA in November of 2016. It was Callie’s first chance for a double Q, because she just moved up to Masters. Wendy got her all the way to the last obstacle, and Callie went in the wrong end of the tunnel. The look on Wendy’s face was priceless. Wendy tossed her back in the correct end of the tunnel. Callie was smiling and Wendy was too! All I could do was laugh! Callie did a great job in her first time in such a large venue, especially with me on the sidelines!

9-23-18: Callie's herding heart is amazing. The CCA Regional Herding Test was the first time she ever saw sheep, and she figured out how to move them around! Callie was so proud of herself. I was astonished by her performance!

On Super Bowl Sunday 2017, one month after we were able to train again, Callie slipped on the ice. I didn’t realize how badly she was hurt until Tuesday’s class. I noticed Callie couldn’t push off her left hind leg. At first no one else saw it, but when it was hard for her to get up from a sit stay, we all knew there was a problem. We got her to the chiropractor. She needed adjustments in her lower back, and inner and outer thighs, along with laser treatments to reduce the inflammation. My beautiful girl needed to take a month off from training and trialing. She basically did a Russian split with her hind legs and strained muscles in her lower back and inner and outer thighs. I have never felt so upset that one of my dogs was hurt. I knew that we had become a team at that moment. I have always had dogs and have had wonderful moments and sudden setbacks, but my level of concern for Callie hurt me tremendously. It broke my heart. I have never felt that before. That is the bond, the heart, that you and your teammate feel for one another. It is an everlasting and unbreakable bond developed through the training, the trialing, and the travel. Hours on end spent together . . . it hurt so badly, and yet, I was so glad I had that amazing connection with Callie.

Collies are amazingly beautiful, loyal, athletic, versatile, and loving dogs. Here’s to all of our heart dogs -- our one in a million amazing collies!

Callie recovered, and we have grown as a team in our connection to one another and in our love for one another. Recently, Callie got her PACH2 under Carolynne Marshall Rose, who also runs rough collies. Carolynne said she had a tear in her eye when Callie went through the tire, because she knew she would get her PACH2. From one heart dog, my Callie, to another, Carolynne’s Bonfire: Collies are amazingly beautiful, loyal, athletic, versatile, and loving dogs. Here’s to all of our heart dogs -- our one in a million amazing collies!

August 26, 2017: Callie got her PAX title and celebrated with our fabulous breeder, Doreen Thomas (Greatview Collies). All of us were so happy, especially Callie!

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