I have been waiting to tell you all about this for weeks but had to keep my mouth shut.  NO easy feat you know.

I have had border collies every since Jan 2000, when I first got married and moved to Scotland to live with Charlie. Before that I didn’t really know what a Border Collie was but I had always been a fan of Lassie dog Collies. Charlie works offshore and here I was first time married, in a foreign country, didn’t know anyone and he had to go offshore for about 5 days. what to do?

Morag on car ride home from breeder

Well I got my first blue smooth border collie before he got home and told him if he intended to leave me and go offshore, this was what would happen.  It just went down hill from there. More and more border collies. People always ask us why we have so many border collies? Our response is always: Border Collies are like potato chips, ye canna hae just one! I have 4 left of my Scotland border collies which will all turn 13 years old in May and June. They are starting to fail and we ended up having to put down 8 dogs this last year as everyone had reached their “sell by date” and was suffering. I managed 15 years with a lot of my borders and 10-11 with most of my Great Pyrs and Anatolian who are the LGD for the goats and llamas.

Fast forward to now, and we sort of rescued a 1 year old border collie.  Charlie wanted a male dog that was “his” even though they are always all mine. haha  His name is Rick and he had been returned to his breeder with some serious issues. He is super high energy, neurotic, OCD, must have been abused in the place he was returned from and knows every bad border collie behavior that there.  He also isn’t really potty trained. This has been a serious trying time.  He has been with us for about 2.5 months and we are still working through these issues.


Morag on HER box

We were planing on getting several border collie pups, but were not sure when the timing would be right.  I had lost my Abbey this summer and frankly it gutted me.  I wanted another pup, but I just couldn’t for a while as I was so grieving for her.  She was 15.5 years old and not your average border collie…a stunning bright red tri color. To get a slightly older pup and have to put so much work into him right off the bat…..well I didn’t think getting another little new pup immediately was a good idea.  I am no border collie novice but Rick did have me pulling my hair out. I had never had one so messed up or such high energy before and he is my 10th border collie.  We are still working through things but we are starting to settle down a bit so….




While hubby was offshore this last time, I went and got me MY border collie.   Losing my Abbey, I was on the hunt for another red tri color….you know just in case Abbey decided she wanted to return in another fur body. I told her before she passed that I didn’t know if I believed in reincarnation or not but I was willing to give it a go if she was.

Two and a half weeks ago, I got my darling new border collie pup. She was a bit too young from the breeder but we counted wrong on the calendar and realized it the next day.  Since I had experience with border collies, she came and stayed. Charlie said I could get whatever dog I wanted and whatever color I wanted without any interference from him, I could get her when I was ready as he said he was always ready for a new border collie pup and that she would be mine.  I decided to take him at his word.  This one is all mine. Well they are all mine really, but this one is really really mine.



Morag chilling

I went to get her sister as the breeder said he had 3 reds, and 1 tri. I got there and he said that he made a mistake and he had 2 reds and 2 red tris. The sister was heavily marked with prominent tan points and the one I came home with has less tan points. I wanted those tan points but that pup screamed bloody murder every time I touched her. The one I came home with was in my arms and all calm. AND….she started talking to me right away. I can talk to a lot of animals but have not ever really talked to one so young or so new so quickly. She said to not worry about those tan points as she would make up for it personality…more than make up for it. I was trying to ignore her as I was focused on wanting to have the other pup.  But she kept yammering on in my ear.  Morag told me that she was the one that I wanted and she put her feet on my chest and stood up in my arms and looked direct and deep into my eyes and said, “IT IS ME!!!” I tried to ignore her but couldn’t after that. The breeder was fascinated with how she was reacting to me.

Shortly after Abbey passed, Charlie told me that our next red tri border collie was to be named Morag.  I asked him why and said he chose the name Morag which is Gaelic for Maggie.  Our Abbey was supposed to have been named Maggie and the farmer had intended to keep her.  The farmer wasn’t to home when we went to look at the pups and the wifie didn’t know her husband’s intentions, so we went home with his Maggie who was  our Abbey.  Our new Morag comes from a line of Maggies and Abbeys as well.  Her mom’s name is actually Maggie and her grandmother was Abbey.

Morag adventuring


Morag on the Hunt

I already have a nickname for Morag which is Aggie.  Half Maggie and half Abbey….Aggie. I couldn’t tell you all about her because I didn’t tell Charlie about her. I decided to surprise him and picked him up from the airport with her.  I had her stuffed in my coat and after he leaped in and got his seat belt on, I causally handed this wiggliy squiggly ball of fluff to him and told him to hold her because she was too wiggly to drive holding her. He never knew as I kept my mouth shut for 2 whole weeks. She started to lick him all over and promptly peed on him!!!

Our Cinnamon, who is now almost 13 years old and is our original Abbey’s daughter, had puked on him her first car ride with him. So if you pee or puke on dad, you get to stay!  she is only 8.5 weeks old now but almost impossible to photograph as she is just a wee little bluuuurrrrr most times.  What do you think of my darling Morag…little we Aggie?

Abbey Gail

Abbey Gail


Abbey Gail Dec 3, 2000- May 17, 20016


My darling sweet Abbey.  My heart is broke.  You were never a dog, you were always a human with fur.  I remember the arguments that Abbey had with Bj about watching the cooking channel at the office in CO.  Abbey said cooking channel was stupid and put on something cool like Animal Planet.  She loved to watch me cook but on TV they never drop anything so cooking shows were boring!!

Gorgeous Abbey

Abbey would express her happiness at watching certain TV shows and commercials.  She went mental over cat commercials….and a good footie match on TV.  oh my.  I remember the afternoon we had on a football match (soccer for you Yanks), and they kicked the ball from one end of the field to the other.  This meant the ball went from one end of the screen to the other and Abbey was behind the TV trying to find that darn ball.  She has turned off the TV numerous times in her excitement and jumping up at the TV.  She had a special video tape we made for her.  It had 15 minutes of football, 15 minuets of animal planet, 15 minutes of football, and so on.  She would take that with her to Granny and Granda’s house and watch it with Granda all the time we were gone on any trips.  Funny but she had Granda trained well.  She would sit all pretty in front of the TV and stare at the blank screen.  Heave a big sigh and look over her shoulder at Granda, turn and stare at the blank screen.  She would repeat this until Granda turned on the TV and popped in her tape.  She mae be daft, but she was nae feel.


Abbey with Charlie

And yes she would bark at the cows on the TV even if they were the cartoon laughing cows as she was smart enough to KNOW they were those HORRID COWS!!! and they must go.  She barked at the Cow statue at Country Dairy, the laughing cow cartoon TV cows, the cows out on the range in CO as we traveled all over, and even the mere mention of cows or if I spelled C-O-Ws…even that she knew.  She did NOT like cows!!  she said they were mean and hurt mama.  That would be when the Highland Cattle that we had briefly…well one of the cows came after me and kicked me.  Abbey never forgave the entire species of cows for that, not even once.

Abbey watching Tiger

Abbey was a red tri color….red, cream, and white…border collie.  She is a proper Scottish border collie, born and raised in the highlands of Scotland.  Hoof and Mouth was rampant when Abbey was first born and no one was allowed to the farms until things had cleared up.  By that time Abby was already 4 months old.  We were looking for an 8 week old puppy and the farmer did have two litters available.  One litter was 2 months old and one was 4 months old.  We looked at both litters and had one from each chosen, both having the same markings and coloring.  I was drawn to the younger litter.  We walked into the farmers kitchen where the pups were not allowed and Abbey walked right in as if she knew where to go.  She walked under my chair and laid down.  She chose me and it was settled.  We took her home.  Later we found out that the farmer, who was not home when we chose the pup, told his wife that he had wanted to keep that pup.

Abbey was all about work.  She took her job of taking care of us seriously.  She came into the house and took over the role of head dog even though Tessa was 18 months old.  Abbey was the boss of the Scottish border collies until the day she passed.  She moved with us from Scotland, to Colorado, to Michigan.

Abbey as a pup, always watching

We did breed her one time and she had 6 pups.  One pup we kept, Cinnamon, who is similar in build to Abbey.  She is nothing like her in color as Cinnamon is a blue Merle, but she is super smart like Abbey.  Cinnamon was very bonded to Abbey and it has been hard on her with Abbey gone.

The last day that we had together was a lovely day here in Michigan.  I was planting flowers and plants in various parts of the yard and Abbey was wandering around with me.  She would not settle down and kept pacing so I was always trying to find her.  Finally she did lay down and rested in the grass at the back of the house by the gazebo.  I was planting some flowers there for a while and pulling some weeds.  I decided I had enough and since Abbey seemed calm, I put my tools away and got out a pillow from the gazebo.  I put the pillow on the ground by Abbey and laid on the grass with my head on the pillow.  I stretched my arm out in front of me and Abbey laid her head over my arm in my hand.  It was breezy and the wind chimes were singing by our heads as we laid there soaking up the sun bits coming through the tree tops. It was peaceful and wonderful and horrible all at the same time as we only had that half hour before we had to go to the vet to let her go.  How can my heart be so filled with joy and so broken and full of tears at the same time?


The aftermath of the first night Abbey was with us

Charlie had dug Abbey’s final resting place before we left and I showed it to Abbey and told her it would be her new bed for her tired worn out fur.  I told her that SHE would be free to play and romp with BJ who passed on three years prior and that her fur would sleep here.  I told her that I would plant some flowers by her head and we trimmed up the tree branches so that we could place a glider underneath to sit.  I hung some bells and a few chimes on the big pine boughs and call them Abbey’s bells which I have to ring every time I go out to see her.  She chose to have Charlie put her final place next to Rowan on the one end and he had passed on 4 days prior.  She knew it was time but she did NOT want to leave us.  Her heart had developed a serious murmur a year prior, she was having difficulties walking and in severe pain every day…yet she did NOT want to go.  She was 15.5 years old and will be missed more than I can ever say.  I am sad when any of my animals die, but Abbey is the first of those that I just can not bear.