Mist the Border Collie was born on May 1st on a working farm in Lancashire. We picked her up when she was 6 weeks old and have now had her for 6 months and anyone who has a Border Collie will know the challenges of the first 6 months (and beyond). With working parents she was always going to be a handful and she is – full of life, energy and a streak of disobedience which is proving to be a challenge to change. However we knew what we were going to get ourselves in to and she is a delight in so many ways.
I have always preferred walking with a dog and it is the ultimate irony that in the last year I have done more walking than at any other time in my life yet I have had one collie (Mist) who is too young to take out and another (Bracken) who, although still keen, is too old and arthritic to make it beyond a few hundred yards.
Discovering the lawn mower
Now Mist is out with me I have remembered what I have missed out on. She simply races on a walk from beginning to end – unless there are sheep out and about in which case she is attached to a lead – gaining the control in sheep country is really my ultimate challenge (tips welcome). Chasing cars is also a pressing habit to train out of her! She is great and I intend to publish adventures and pictures of Mist in action on the hills and mountains around us.
It wasn’t me!
Mist experiences the snow. The snowy conditions of the last week have been the most exciting time of Mist’s short life. Heading out for a walk was always a moment of great thrills but now it is even better – she simply belts around in circles, snuffling into any wind-blown snow drifts, rolling and leaping. Bracken (my 14 year old collie) still enjoys the snow and the weather has put a spring in her step.
Mist, Charlotte and Lucy
She has always loved the snow but had a problem with ‘balling up’. This is when great lumps of compacting snow become attached to the longer hairs hanging off her chest and legs which eventually grow to such a size that she becomes immobile. This happened to me once on the Easains near Spean Bridge where she needed constant de-balling!
However on Monday last I was up near Cockermouth and took Mist on to Sale Fell – how good was that for her, only her 3rd mountain, her first in snow with wide open spaces to race manically about. I was relieved as well; there was no sheep on the fells so I could remove the lead but the collie instinct is still too strong for her to be trusted. I presume that they had been taken down with the onset of winter.
On the fell she did soon calm down, following what could be given as a path but a 100 yards or so ahead. I have missed walking with a dog this summer and Mist looks as though she fits the bill as my missing companion!
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