Thursday, 7 May 2009

You BET!

A number of weeks ago, after searching the woods for the 4 male Toon puppies that we had been atttempting to free run (the older they are, they harder they are to keep around when free running), I got thinking. After the smoke cleared I phoned my dog training/sheep herding friend Lisa to bounce an idea off her -"Would a Border Collie be able to run with my puppies and lure them back when I called?"

She agreed that would probably work and after a bit more discussion I set the criteria of what I was looking for - an adult, smooth coated (one hairy beast - aka Cricket - in the yard is enough), small (I have aspirations of having a second house dog), working line (I like the spirit of Lisa's working line Border Collies) Border Collie.

Lisa mentioned that one of her mentors in the Border Collie world (and NWN list member - hey Jenny!!) Jenny Glen might have the perfect dog for me - a small, 2 year old female named Bet that was a bit of a 'wash out' at the 'sheep thing' (for the record, Jenny and her hubby Scott are not lightweights in the herding world - they demand alot from their herding dogs. Check out their website at

The Glens had just headed down to the US for 2 months of trialing and left Bet with a friend in southern Alberta. I emailed Jenny and she agreed with Lisa that Bet would probably be a good match for me. She told me to take her on a trial basis, so after a few impatient weeks of waiting for a ride north (thanks Lisa!) Bet arrived on Sunday evening.

Bet has been settling in very well - and today sent this email to her 'former' Mom -

"Dear Mom,

I hope you and the rest of the kennel are having a good time in the US. It pains me to write this letter, but it is only fair to keep you posted regarding the recent changes in my life.

As you are likely aware, while you have been away I have been pursuing some other career paths for my life. It’s not that I don’t love sheep but, as you know, I just don’t have the passion for it that you, Dad, Maid, Drift and the rest of the family have.

I recently stumbled across a sled dog kennel in northern Alberta. They are in dire need of someone to watch over the cats, snuggle with the owners at nighttime, hold down a few dog beds, exercise the house dog, run with sled dog puppies and generally help coach their Iditarod team. We are still ironing out a few details on the contract – like how much I am allowed to watch the cats – but we are all confident that negotiations will succeed. I have dazzled the kennel owners with my speed and snuggling ability – and am working on my confidence around the rather boisterous sled dogs.

I want to thank you for the great opportunities that you offered me in life. I hope you are not too disappointed in my career choice, but I must follow my heart. I am mailing home my ‘sheep dog’ collar, as I was recently given my very own ‘sled dog’ collar.

My new owners say that you are welcome to come visit me anytime and they will keep in touch with you regarding my progress and well being.

Much love,

Bet "

Jenny emailed back, sending Bet her love and best wishes. So I guess it is 'official' -

And here are some real pictures of Bet -

Kara actually seems to like her - honest!

Bet and Bait - a complicated relationship!


husky mom said...

Black and white and white and white Border Collie...will a Dalmatian be next??? ;-) Welcome Bet. I recommend staying off "Kara's Cloud" for now. Now go round up the Toons!

Chris said...

Thats just Bait luring Bet in to a false sense of security.

Just step softly bet :-)

She suits the pretty sled dog kennel

Cheers Chris

Karen Ramstead said...


Wise words of advice from someone that knows that cat!!!


Jenny Glen said...

She looks so happy and active, I couldn't have picked a better career change for her!

BADASmusher said...

Looks like a great addition to the kennel! Love the pic of Bet and Bait... sounds like a tongue twister. :-)

Anonymous said...

Getting a good Dog Bed is one of the most important things you can do for your dog.

Rosemarie said...

Hi karen,

I wish I could see Bet herding ...
She3 must be great :o)
and what a great idea to herd sled dogs :o)
I am curious how she herds cats :o)
I can't believe that they allow it...
thanks for the great report.