Border Collie Factor 1: Possible to Get Too Much Love?
All dogs are capable of love. They demonstrate their affection much like humans do, by hugging, kissing, and curling up with us. However, some dogs’ expressions of affection can be somewhat hazardous at certain times. In this case, we are talking about the larger and/or most demonstrative canines. Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Newfoundlands, Boxers, and perhaps the most exuberant of all–Border Collies. We will use the latter as an example to paint a picture of what you may need to watch out for upon, say, a return home from surgery.
Part of your planning should include the kind of defensive behaviors and equipment you will need to deal with when encountering the love of your Border Collie. Those of you who own this breed will attest to the following. When a Border Collie wants to hug you, she or he is going to hug you. When one wants to kiss you, he or she is going to kiss you. You can build walls, install electric fences, and/or hire offensive linemen to stand between you, to no avail. A Border Collie trying to express its absolute joy at your return is a force of nature somewhat akin to a natural gas explosion.
I mean, these are dogs that stalk and try to herd cars. Every Border Collie owner has had that moment during an otherwise uneventful walk, when a Border Collie will throw itself against the sidewalk and refuse to move until a given car passes. Trying to get them to move before the car has gone by is like trying to pry a manhole cover off of an electromagnet. We all know that they are simply trying to do their instinctual job. But imagine what that single-mindedness and determination could do to your newly minted joint, for example, when the typical Border Collie leaps up to become one with you, so to speak.
But not only is their overt behavior potentially dangerous. Border collies also can be deceptive. They will sometimes leap for the empty section of the couch next to you, but do a half-gainer with a full twist in mid-air, change direction and land backwards on your chest. Simultaneously, she or he will throw his or her head back in what the American Kennel Club has come to call, “The Snoopy Maneuver.” Deftly, the Border Collie will land its head directly next to yours, and then plant one on your face that you won’t soon forget. It is a Border Collie’s way of saying, “Ignore me at your peril.”
But the single, unexpected smooch is one thing. Border Collies also have perfected what I will call, “the machine gun kiss.” This is a rapid kissing maneuver that seems to be unique to this breed. Unfortunately, there is no known defensive maneuver for this sudden, ricocheting phenomenon. It could be described as being attacked by a soft, wet jackhammer, except with a tongue. A healthy Border Collie can deliver up to seven kisses in as little as 1.5 seconds. The recipient is as likely to avoid it as she or he could sidestep a rattlesnake attack. You must make sure that you prepare for this and guard your balance when the attack happens. Notice I didn’t say if it happens.
Yes, you read it here folks. Border Collies typically weigh about forty to fifty pounds, but that’s fifty pounds you do not need landing on your surgical point of concern. So you may actually have to have your Border Collie stay with a trusted relative or friend for a few days. If you have two Border Collies, you may need to order a full-body air bag jump suit. These come in designer colors with complimentary shades emerging upon deployment. Finally, if you have more than two Border Collies, you can order a personal protection armored home vehicle. That should do the trick.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
(Story & Photo: Bill Cannon)