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A Puppy From Rescue

There is no doubt that most of the dogs that are in shelters or rescue aren't quite what people have in mind when they think "puppy." They are mostly dogs under two years old. So since I'm committed to getting dogs from shelters or rescue that was pretty much what I pictured, even though I know that puppies do come in. I was doing a lot of heavy thinking about how I was going to choose a dog with a personality that would suit me and integrate it into my home.

Getting a real puppy just didn't really occur to me. Well, duh, there are unfortunately quite a few puppies that get dumped. Tsuki and his five siblings were dumped in the pound at only five weeks old. I'm really glad groups like Border Collie Rescue of Northern California are around to help these dogs out and get them into the right homes. When I got Tsuki I started the Puppy Reports to give a sort of "life in the day of a puppy owner." It was also intended to clarify some of the mistakes and challenges.

Tsuki is a really delightful dog. He brings my dog family together. It really looks like he must be the puppy of Oso and Tanith. It isn't just his appearance either. He is right in the middle in behavior and temperament. He has nice drive without being hyper. He is somewhat more serious in working than Tanith, but he doesn't worry about doing it wrong the way Oso does. He is confident, without being reckless.

Tsuki photos on the slide 8 months and 8 weeks old

Naturally since he was a puppy I took lots of pictures.

The question always comes up "What kind of dog is Tsuki?" Well at first I simply called him a Border Collie mix. He has a lot of Border Collie qualities but his coat is much shorter than even most smooth (short hair) Border Collies. He is also a sturdier dog than your typical Border Collie. About the time he reached 8 months, however, an answer began to emerge. From the folks active in herding I kept hearing "Mc Nab". Actually I had run across the Mc Nab web pages and had considered the idea before. The Mc Nab is a breed created in California, which is where Tsuki hails from.I haven't been able to find a lot of information. There is The Collie in Mendocino by Lulu Mc Nab (from Overland Monthly magazine, May 1894) and The Mc Nab Dog by Donna Seigmund and Alvina Butti. The breed is a common root with the Border Collie, but was developed separately. The best source of information on the breed is probably National Stock Dog Registry (P.O. Box 402 Butler, IN 46721-0402) as they are the registering body. Since I began to herd regularly I've run into a fair number of people who are familiar with the breed. But outside of herding circles most Mc Nabs will be identified as Picture of Tsuki puppya Border Collie mix, usually a Border Collie x Australian Cattle Dog. There is a Yahoo group of McNab dog fans where you can find ranchers, dog sports enthusiasts and McNab breeders.

Since most people haven't heard of the Mc Nab I tend to still call him a Border Collie mix. People can relate to that. But when I'm with the herding folks I call him a Mc Nab-x (Mc Nab Cross), mostly because I got tired of being corrected when I called him a Border Collie mix. he has even been on the cover of a magazine as a representative Mc Nab.

Picture of Oso, Tanith and Tsuki

As Tsuki has been growing up I've had a few chances to introduce him to sheep. At a year old I entered him in a Herding Capability Test held in Lodi, California at the Oxford Ranch. He passed so we got his very first ribbon. The very same week-end that Tsuki turned two he also earned his first qualifying score in agility. He has one Novice Gamblers leg in NADAC agility. That week-end I only allowed him two runs so I was quite happy with his performance.


 

Today is February 24, 2003. Since I last wrote Tsuki earned his Junior Herding Dog, and we've done a few ranch dog trials. Tsuki has also earned Novice titles in NADAC - Jumpers, Gamblers, Regular and Tunnelers. He has several CPE titles as well, but we are still working on USDAA Novice. He loves jumpers. At this week-end's trial in Morgan Hill he did some really nice runs. Here is a great picture:

 

 

Tsuki has no trouble clearning a 26 inch jump

 


Tsuki's herding continues

Doggie expressions can be priceless. Tuesday in herding class we were working on penning and de-penning. The penning was going fairly smoothly but getting the sheep back out was another matter. Tsuki hates going in to where the sheep are closely confined. A wise feeling, and a common one. The pen we were using is really just a gated off section between the small round pen and the front pasture. In other words it isn't even shaped. The main part is roundish but then it has sort of a leg going off to one side. If the dog doesn't come in right the sheep usually pack into that leg. Then the dog has to squeeze in between the fence and the sheep to get them out.

Well for the first time Tsuki braved the sheep and started on the side by himself. And suddenly a sheep peels itself off and zoooom out the gate. "Good-boy" Tsuki got some encouragement for not trying to stop it from leaving and for holding his position. He crept in another couple steps - zooom there goes another. We roll our eyes, apparently he's going to de-pen these sheep one at a time. That's not the way its supposed to work. So Tsuki was encouraged to push on in. And the sheep are packed in there when suddenly whoooosh the gate the sheep were leaning on gave way and a minor flood of sheep went scampering out into the large pasture. Tsuki's expression had us cracking up. He just stood there "Wha' happen? I didn't dooo it, really, I din't honest ... they just got away." We picked up the gate and went back to working on the four he managed to de-pen on his own. And he was a very good boy. He is getting more confident in driving (pushing the sheep out away from the handler instead of brining them to) and its a lot of fun watching his concentration when he does it.

And when he isn't playing sheep dog apparently he's been studying to be a terrier. As a terrier he's a failure. He caught his second mouse and like the last time he apparently is just grabbing it by the skin. This time it may have been a young gopher. I couldn't tell because it was dark. But he's sniffing around and suddenly I hear 'eeek eeek eeek' and I look and see something dangling from his mouth. I told him "drop it" and he did. Apparently it ran off as I couldn't find a body.

Now I have Tsuki's Herding Pages

In July 2004 Tsuki acquired a new roommate - Freeway

Tsuki's First Cancer Page
Tsuki's Second Cancer Page


 

         Tsuki is pronounced with the ts. Words don't start with ts in English, but they do end with them "cats." So it is like hits but leave out the "hi". Correctly pronounced the u would barely be heard and is short as in put. The i gets a long e as in free, but cut off. It sounds something like "ski" with the ts and the final i just heard, not drawn out. Got it? Heh - well I didn't learn the correct pronounciation unti long after his name became a habit. So I pronounce it more like T-sue-kee.        

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