Big news! We've had these plans in store for a while, but have been patiently waiting for their completion. Introducing our new Old Time Scotch Collie and SCPS (drum roll...... ) Tansy! Tansy is from the fabulous Sunshine x Hunter line of collie. Rebecca Sylvester (located in Maine) bred and raised these pups with experience and skill standing behind her. These pups had all the advantages of exploration, diverse genetics, family socialization, puppy culture, herding mentors, genetic testing, and more! Our little girl comes with a huge head start because of all of Rebecca's work. Thank you Rebecca Sylvester! Most of you know I'm a big story girl. Well, Rebecca's Sunshine has the stories to back her up and Hunter fits the bill. Also the previous litter from this pairing have proven excellence thus far.
Tansy had a daunting start. Coming all the way down from Maine to SW VA is a long trip! We are so thankful for Mark Ryman helping us along the way and transporting our Tansy as far as PA to his home with the pup of his daughter's selection. Folks, these are kind people! And owners of the grandparents of our new pup. Getting to see family lines is very important to us, and they did not disappoint. (Another big Thank You to the Ryman family!) I think that Tansy had already beguiled their son into loving her and goodbyes were both happy and a bit sad. She had traveled the first half of her trip beautifully and got to meet with and play with her grands.
Next step was personal. We opted to not crate Tansy for the rest of the trip. The Rymans said she loved looking out windows. Well, she did, but we found that four enticing kids in the back seat were much more of a distraction. I was so happy with her calm nature right from the get go. We made sure she was worn out and had all her needs met before we took off, and she opted to sleep right between our girls making sure that her chin rotated between each of their laps. Apparently, collies are on duty even when they are sleeping.
When Tansy woke up, she gave a few short whines. We had been informed that she was wonderfully close to being potty trained. (In fact, she has not had an accident here yet so far!) We had no choice but to pull off on the busy highway with trucks zooming by creating the feeling of warring air tunnels. I took Tansy out and held her for a short time giving her a chance to acclimate. Then I set her down slowly. No whines or fear. A bit of wonder and sniffing and calmly getting down to business. And that was how the routine was for the remainder of the trip! What a steady and good girl! My boys then took their turn building forts for her in the backseat and offering Tansy bits of feather and sticks that they had collected to entertain. All was fully appreciated by our new girl.
The things we have learned about Tansy so far:
#1 and most importantly: Tansy is a nanny dog. She loves kids. I mean they are her world!
#2 She is steady and watchful. She will model what she sees (as described by her breeder). Yesterday for family photos, Benji and Lorna were asked to lay. Tansy was already sitting and laying for us on day two! I didn't know she was even paying much attention. I will have to watch what I am teaching!
#3 She has grit. Even with all the new of a family, location, new doggie family too, etc., she is ready to check out sheep through gates and is not afraid. I have informed her that we have a long way to go before we begin this part of our journey, but am happy that she is eager and unafraid and very content to just walk away and leave them also. In the meantime, Benji is babysitting Tansy in a stall while the sheep are fed so she can learn and watch the routine already. She watches Lorna work also. Lorna has become her substitute mother and is trying to tempt her with sticks and teach her all things gentle and play. I love watching Lorna trying to help her and guide her. They have a special bond already. Benji holds a certain awe for Tansy, however, and she loves to prance around after or overtop of him. Benji does not mind in the slightest! How good it is to be king!
#4 which perhaps should have been number two. Cheese is best. Cheese is the bestest. Cheese please please cheese the bestest in the world!
This blog chronicles our very full life here on WoodSong Farm. We will share everything from dog to sheep stories, unique wooly works, to animal husbandry tips we pick up along the way. I hope this helps to give you an idea of what our extended farm family and wooly projects are like, and that we may somehow benefit everyone who reads about our journey.