This blog is in memory of our beloved Border Collie Tippy who died on July 28th 2010. Every Sunday over the course of the next few months I will post memories and pictures of her life with us, both as a working farm dog, family pet, best friend and work mate.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

The Young Ones.

This week I think I will post another picture of Tippy the hiking dog. I don’t know the details of this picture other than it was taken a very long time ago as we all look much younger. Tippy looks to be hardly more than a puppy.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Part Time Mum.

Every now and then Tippy had to take maternity leave, although she was never 100% committed to raising a family due to the fact that those pesky sheep always needed to be kept in order or at least be under constant supervision of a Border Collies eye. So Tippy was only ever at best a part time mum so it was just as well that all her puppies were just various toys which she gathered around her in the nest she would make once a while by the side of the bed. From the look of this picture her nest on this occasion was made of my fleece, a small backpack and something which I think is a pair of trousers and it looks like she had maybe five or six puppies.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Hiking Tippy.

This picture of Tippy with my mum was taken during one of Tippy’s very first hiking trips in to the hills.

She must have been pretty young at this time because she had a proper black lead from quite early on in her life. Tippy used to love going for a good long hike and handled it very easily, much better than Tommy who will walk long distances but seems to suffer for it afterwards, also he is a dead loss when it comes to stiles whereas Tippy would jump over them or at least allow you to lift her over. This picture was taken at Slippery Stones at the end of the Howden Reservoir.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The One And Only Driving Lesson.

In 2002 the boss decided to build us a big new shed which we didn't really use for cattle until the winter of 2003. It was a very nice shed and Tippy used to have lots of fun running from one end to the other keeping her eye on proceedings. Being a proper sheep dog she would have nothing to do with cattle so her running from one end to the other was done around the outside of the building and lying in the mud and peering through the gap under the door. As you will see from the picture the shed was in three parts, two rows of pens with a feeding passage down the centre, wild horses wouldn't have made her walk down that centre passage, I think to her it was the parting of the waves.

The new shed.

Each row of pens was divided in to ten and each pen held ten cows with their calves. The front of the pen was where the cows stuck their head out to eat the feed and it worked okay as far as they were concerned but with the calves it was another matter because they were small enough to get through the bars and out in to the feed passage so very often the first job in the morning was to put the calves back where they belonged which wasn't always very easy as they aren't known for their co-operation in such matters. So after putting Tippy on the JCB loader tractor and starting it up ready for putting out more feed I set about returning the calves back to where they belonged.

JCB Loader tractor like we had at the farm.

As always Tippy was taking a great interest in proceedings and much as a shepherd whistles or shouts commands to his dog she was doing likewise to me from the safety of the loader. I eventually managed to get the calf back where it belonged and gathering my breath I turned to see the loader slowly reversing down the shed and Tippy looking through the windscreen. It looked very much like a disaster movie where the airsick accountant is left to land a 747. In all the excitement Tippy must have caught the reverse lever and was now reversing down the shed with a look of bewilderment in her little face. I set off after her and the loader knowing full well I was not going to reach it in time to avoid disaster. Thankfully the drive was automatic and not clutch driven, so because the engine was still on tick over when the loader came in to contact with the shed door it did no more than put a slight dent in it before being stopped in its tracks and this gave me time to enter the cab and get the situation under control. It didn't put Tippy off riding the loader but she never drove it again, not that I gave her chance because I always made sure I locked the reverse lever in neutral whenever I left it in future.