Kestrel CBCA 8660
DOB: July 23, 2008
HIPS: OFA Good
EYES: CEA Clear/Normal
DNA: TNS, SN Clear/Normal
Description: Somewhat petite at 19.5 inches at the withers and 38lbs, Kes is a classically marked, semi-rough coated black and white girl.
Structure: Her neck is a little long, as are her toes, but otherwise she is very nicely put together: strong top line, well angled front and back (and balanced), great turn of stifle, and strong square front. Kes is an efficient little trotting machine who never tires, and has never been injured, despite working daily in herding and doing agility on the side for years.
Breeding: Cat Laxton’s Marley Maxine x George Wallis’ Jock CBCA 2004. Kes is a granddaughter of Shirley Cropper’s Beechwood Bob and a great granddaughter of @## Imp Craig CBCA 54 ( Int Sup Ch 1995). She comes from mostly working farm lines, which is evident in her ability to get any job done around the farm.
Working Style: Kes is a very strong bitch, powerful, keen, with an excellent feel for her stock. She is a highly biddable dog with natural driving lines and excellent pace. She has a sensible and useful grip and the stock know not to challenge her. Kes will work any kind of stock (sheep, goats, cattle, ducks) and is the only dog on the farm who can move my cranky horned goats. Kes is my go-to dog for the really tough stuff. She never loses her head and can get any job done with quiet confidence and fineness.
(Working my very stubborn goats – who now work well with
all my border collies, thanks to Kes’s patient lessons)
Strengths: Power, driving, sensible and effective grip, calm, never loses her head, can move anything, uber confident on stock, biddable, not a prima donna. Kes will lie down in muck, jump fences, fish sheep out from between the legs of horses or dense thicket… what ever needs doing, she’ll do it without question or hesitation.
What I’ve had to work on: Widening her naturally tight outrun (keyhole shape); “breaking” her eye – she doesn’t get hung up but will come up short and used to refuse to come off their heads; slowing her down; putting her grip on command; gathering (she’s a natural driving dog).
(Kes – definitely NOT a prima donna!)
Accomplishments: Kes is primarily a farm dog, and our strongest working dog at that. We have done some trialing, and she always held her own, placing in the top three or thereabouts. She is trained to Open but we have never competed beyond Pro-novice.
In her spare time, Kes enjoys doing agility and has lovely style and is exceptionally fast. She has all the makings of an excellent agility dog, however this has never been our focus. As such, we mostly dabble at home, and go to the occasional trial. She Q’d and took first place in both runs of her first trial ever, and is currently competing at the Advanced level.
Temperament: This dog has a wonderful, bombproof temperament. I can take her anywhere, introduce her to anything and anyone, and she welcomes it all with confidence and glee. Kes is excellent around other dogs, cats, livestock (she will herd cats and livestock), men, women, and she particularly loves children. She is jaw droppingly obedient.
Note: While today she is pretty much perfect, when younger (ages 1-3 years) Kes was somewhat intense and busy around the house, and required a fair bit of exercise and mental stimulation to keep her out of trouble. Her original (pet) home found her too overwhelming. For this reason, any puppies she may have will only be placed in experienced working or sport homes.
Background and Overview: Kes came into my life in the winter of 2009. I came home one day to find a message on my answering machine from the local animal control, stating that they had a tattooed border collie in their facility whom they had deemed “unadoptable” and was slated for euthanasia the next afternoon. If I wanted her, however, I could come get her in the morning. Naturally I was on their doorstep when they opened. At the time I did a lot of fostering for rescue so I left a message with my local group, and made the decision that if she didn’t bite me, I’d take her home.
She didn’t bite me. In fact, she all but climbed inside my jacket, desperate to make friends and find a way out of jail. It turns out the reason they were going to euthanize her is that she was peeing in her cell and they figured that no one would want to adopt such a dog. Seriously? This is an outstanding little dog and I could tell she had a wonderful temperament instantly. She didn’t even need a leash to leave the building. It still leaves my gut cold to think of how close she came to never making it out of that place alive.
The rescue groups were all full to bursting so I decided to foster Kes myself until the right home came along. The pound had put Kes at a year old, but my guess was that she was closer to 6 months (turns out I was right). A fat, pudgy, and timid little dog, I expected rehoming her would be easy once I figured her out a bit! I had a few applications but each time, something told me to hold off and wait until more of her personality came through.
She followed me quietly around the house, and lived mostly under the kitchen able. Slowly, however, I started to see a more confident, outgoing, and slightly wild personality emerge. With every passing week, more dog came out of that little black and white shell.
Then one day, about two or so months after she’d first joined our household, I took her with me to stay with friends on their sheep farm. At the farm I let my new shadow follow me about as I was given the tour. I took my eyes off Kes for a few minutes, and suddenly she was gone. It didn’t take long to realize where she went: she had cleared a four foot fence, rounded up 250 sheep and was in the process of nipping heels and bellies to get the sheep to jump back over the same fence.
My hostess raised an eyebrow and commented, “you might want to think about keeping this one…”
As you can see, I took her advice. Kes has been with us ever since and has become my left hand on the farm (Hannah is my right). We couldn’t run the place without her.