First Birthday of the tribe of collies

I wanted to show Lucy and Julian the land, but of course, Lucy only had eyes for the dogs, their first meet after a year. She bought Jet (of course), the father, Jake, and their step sister/daughter, Jazz. After a somewhat nervous dismount from Lucy’s car, Jake first, Jet last, they scuppered through the wood, finding each other and their scents, establishing their hierarchy. It was difficult to keep track of individuals as they became a pack. No Kali or Mossip, who were back at the ranch.

Lovely photo of them – up on facebook – as they reached the bridge to the field. I was a good plan to give them safe space to let off steam, before we repaired to East Lodge.

We were later than expected (Lucy on a sheep/lamb duty), when the full tribe were gathered for a short while, Kali surprisingly silent, Jake marking territory, Jazz trying hard to shake off Mossip and the boys who were keen on her channel No 5 scent of just off heat. Jet unusually shy, not among her usual sheep.

After cracked open the champagne. Lanson Black Label from Lucy, and before we ate the bbq cooked by Goz an hour before, we did a spot of agility, Bobji showing the way, and Ruffio and Mossip both brilliant, Brow less so, being a late developer (!)

Lucy spoke of Intestinal Cobalamin Malabsorption ?? So many this year she said, the dead pubs just disintegrated naturally within the mother.

I found it difficult to talk of anything other than our dogs, so at one moment, called our gathering to reflect on the pups had faired in our lives. The drama of their birth recalled – Bobji beginning her labour in the car to Norwich to get Michael’s injection for US, how back home nothing came out, so called Lucy who said, you take the top end I’ll do the bottom. ‘It was easy really, you just put your finger in and jiggle it around a bit to ease the passage out – the dead pup was caught in the birth canal’. I began with the realisation in Time in our life, that my childhood ambition of having 6 children, and marrying a farmer, had in fact materialised in a very different way to that imagined: Bobji had given birth to 6 pups – and I the midwife (with Lucy’s help) and I had become a farmer, with the field. I would not have missed the experience for the world. It has not been easy, the relationship with Brow not easy – but the love grows.

It’s not just the pup, it’s the hole connection to Rachel which is so fine, Lucy began. I had not realised that it was a first time for Lucy to be present at the birth – all the others had been caesarian section. No different to lambing, she said, just small lambs. She spoke of how she had not wanted a pup, but felt an immediate connection to Jet.

Theo spoke about the joy and stability he received from Ruffio, how he cuddles up to him – ah yes, like Bobji, I thought. Jo escaped, but MJ said what a joy it was to be with a dog after loosing Jao last year. So we came to speak about loosing dogs, and Lucy (and I) were tearful recalling the great loss in our life of a dog, dependent on us.

‘What will happen to the dogs if i die in an accident unexpectedly? asked Lucy rhetorically. They will not go with anyone, even Jullian. When I die, they will all come with me to the crem, I have kept all their ashes.

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