Joni turned 4 years old a week or so ago, though it’s hard to believe it’s been that long since she joined our household! She still has the boundless energy and enthusiasm of a puppy, a characteristic of border collies. Born in the winter, she loves the cold and finds the snowy, blustery days invigorating, where we have to bundle ourselves up against the elements. Soon the snow will be deep on the ground covering the frozen treacherous icy ruts on the road and fields and the walking will be easier as we don our snowshoes (and Joni her boots) to head out across the landscape. The freedom of being able to go cross country on skis or snowshoes in the winter is hard to imagine if you haven’t tried it. The interesting thing is that once you are out in it, the cold doesn’t feel as bad. There’s a saying that it’s not that the weather is too cold, you’re just not wearing warm enough clothes!
Enjoy the winter, those of us who have it, Spring will come eventually and the cycle will begin anew.
Joni’s energy levels never cease to amaze us! Today was the longest bike ride we have done to date, using the Bike Tow Leash * to attach her safely to the bikes. (Joni now loves her bike rides so much that when she sees me holding the Martingale collar we use to attach her to the bike, she runs up, wagging her tail and sits down by the bike ready to go!) The whole trip was about 20.5 kms, (maps shown below on two apps, one managed to record the way out, the other managed the return trip, both giving slightly different distances for exactly the same journey). It’s a lovely ride on a groomed trail made from a converted rail line through the countryside, through woods and beside farmland and the dykes, with no roads involved.
We were careful to stop part way to offer her a drink (she was not interested at the 5km mark) and to chat with a few cyclists who were on their way back from a day out, then again at the half way mark in Wolfville, where we rested, as you see below, by the Minas Basin. There Joni lay down for about 20 minutes or so. She did have some water at that point, but was quite ready to go as soon as we were. The tide was high and the weather was warm, but not too hot and the ride was really a joy.
We were worried that Joni might have got too tired, as we were setting the pace, but she seemed to find the average 8 or 9 km/hr comfortable. When we got back to the car she rested (20 kms is a long run) and had a drink while we loaded the bikes back onto the car for the drive home. As soon as we got back, she ran to find her Frisbee for a quick game before supper. Unbelievable.
*Re: the Bike Tow Leash – we have no affiliation with this company at all, apart from being satisfied customers whose dog loves to go for bike rides with us.
Joni is always my favourite model when it comes to trying out new photographic techniques. This time it was a new lens – in fact a new to me second hand, old fashioned lens. As I was working how to use it to best advantage, I said to Joni “Relax, just be yourself. Don’t pose.” This was the photo I got.
So then I said to her, “Don’t be so self-conscious, just try to act naturally.” She shifted position and this was Continue reading →
Border collies know how to hide themselves in short grass, waiting for the unsuspecting potential Frisbee thrower to pass by. They disguise themselves in dandelion heads and you can barely see them. Well, you can almost barely see them.
I had taken this photo of Joni a few weeks ago (just before we were hit with the horrible flu virus that has kept me silent for weeks). I wanted to post it, but it wasn't until I made a reply to a comment from someone on a post that I had the thoughts right for what I wanted to say about it.
You see, you look at this picture and you see a dog, someone else's dog. If you like animals you might like the photo, especially if you are a Border Collie fan. But you can only see so much. The picture shows bright shiny happy eyes a snowy face, obviously from a time of play, clean white teeth (could be scary for some). But you can't see the heart of this dog the way you can with your own.
What I am saying is that all dogs are special to their owners who love them and who have seen into their hearts. So when I look at your dog in a photograph, as lovely as it is, I only see a small part of this special animal. It's a bit like an iceberg. So much is hidden beneath the surface. Isn't that the same with us all? You have seen some child misbehaving, perhaps, pitying the poor parents as you see them struggling. They alone really see into the heart of this child and know the beauty hidden in there. Or a good friend of yours might be going through a rough patch and when someone who doesn't know them very well is taken aback by a careless (or cutting) remark, you understand and stick with your friend from the love you have which opens your eyes to see into their heart. You see below the surface.
So I hope you enjoy the photograph of this dog. My dog. When I look at it I see the heart shining through in her eyes. I see a smile.
(I am not sure where the new Google+ is taking us with photos, so am sharing the Definitive Joni album in the hopes that it might encourage people to browse the other Joni images if they want!)
Is there anything more heart warming than having your dog stretching and wagging her tail at you when you come downstairs in the morning? Not much!
Joni gets so excited when she hears Steven coming down the stairs that she can barely contain herself and I had to take this photo to share her delight.
I see that it is “Walk Your Dog” day and of course that is every day when you have a border collie. It’s a win-win situation because when you walk your happy dog you also walk, which is great for the mind and the body. So Happy Walk Your Dog day everyone! (Thanks +Leanne Osborne )
At last! The big day has arrived! Joni has her first job.
Joni comes from working stock and there is nothing that gives her more pleasure than having a job to do…. especially if that job can include chasing her blue ball in her work breaks. This was her second walk as a carrier dog and she carried her blue ball in her saddle bags (along with about 2 pounds of additional weight) on her walk. She gets more exercise this way as the weight tires her out (or it's supposed to, anyway!). She doesn't seem to mind wearing the harness with the pack and still manages to fly over the snow after her blue ball. We thought you would like to see Joni in her new job. (Don't tell her, but the bags don't really contain anything that needs delivering, just some rice and lentils, or water. I don't want to spoil it for her.)
Are you not able to comment on Google+ because you don't belong? Would you prefer to comment on my blog? It's right here with all my G+ posts on it: http://www.elliekennard.ca .
I was using different settings on my camera this summer, experimenting with motion captures and Joni was an ideal subject for this blurred motion study. Border Collie playing ball. She doesn't stop for long, just long enough to will me to throw it again.
It's not so green on the ground now, but I had better get out and play ball with her anyway as her energy only seems to increase in the winter! Have a great weekend everyone!
It seems as if she has always been a part of our lives and our daily routine. So it's hard to imagine that she is only a year old. At the same time it seems only a short while ago she was a little short nosed puppy playing with her blue ball under the rungs of the kitchen chairs.
Our Joni is now a year old and has all the best qualities of the border collie, developing more and more as she grows. She has the intensity (here she is watching the blue ball in the launcher that Steve is holding for her) and the energy. She has the intelligence and the love of learning. She also has the patience (as here) to wait until she is told to do the job she is waiting to do. When we take her out on her walks, as she runs free, if we have the ball and launcher she watches us and won't go far. She completely ignores anyone and anything else. If we have the ball, all we have to do is say 'down' and she drops to the ground. If she has the ball in her mouth then she is not quite so keen to do as she's told, though she just runs around us teasing us and trying to bounce it on the grass or the hard sand if we are on the beach.
She loves to run up the seats of the bleachers on the sports field, running along the boards then jumping from seat to seat up and down in her own private agility course. Here you see her on the top row, pretty much at the height of Steven's head, as he is holding her attention with…. you guessed it…. the blue ball !
A few people have said to me that they particularly missed seeing pictures of Joni, in particular my dear G+ friends , +Christina Lihani and +Ursula Klepper. Thanks to you both for your friendship.