Ivie is my 13.5 year old puppy. She was rehomed to me as “IQ” in October 2006, at 5.5 years old. Josie was only 6 months at the time, and Ivie taught me *so* much about how to handle a fast Border Collie. I attribute most of my ability to think on my feet to learning to run an already fully trained black blur named Ivie.
It took a few months of having Ivie for us to click, but with the help of friends and instructors, we were soon running like a well-oiled machine. She was in Masters when I got her, but had only a few games Q’s if I recall. A few trials in, we earned our MAD together, and in March of 2007 we earned ADCH on a Jumpers run. Not the greatest jumper on the planet, 3 of our subsequent ADCH’s (Bronze, Sliver, Gold) have been earned on Jumpers runs. She earned her ADCH-Platinum in February of 2012 and has been enjoying the active, retired lifestyle ever since.
Ive qualified for USDAA Cynosport Games in 2007, our first season together, but I opted to stay home until Josie was old enough to qualify as well. We attended our first Games in 2008, and Ivie was a force to be reckoned with. Not only did our team make the Relay Finals, but Ivie also made it into Steeplechase AND Grand Prix Finals! While my nerves took over in the Finals, she was an absolute rock-star and I couldn’t have asked for a better performance from her. What a thrill (and what a way to get spoiled) for my first time at such a large, exciting event.
Since Ivie taught me everything I know about handling a super great Border Collie, I have let her teach others in years past. Having never run a dog in agility before, my husband was able to run her rather successfully after very little practice. She’s just a very good, honest working dog. My good friend Andrew Spencer has also shown her a good deal in the past couple of years, as dealing with my husband’s deployment and raising a litter of puppies left me with plenty else on my plate. She has let others with no previous border collie experience get the feel of the rush it is to run her on course, and it has helped them prepare for their own border collies.
One of Ivie’s favorite things in the whole world is entertaining children. She and Josie entertained the crowds at the TX State Fair in 2009 and while Josie avoided the meet’n’greet after show, Ivie lived for it. She’d have dozens of kids crowding around waiting for a chance to hug on her and she never budged except when the joy overtook her and she had to woo-woo! I always stake her to entertain at birthday parties, and anytime kids are involved, Ivie’s the dog in charge.
I’ve never seen a dog sleep in more uncomfortable positions than Ivie. Give her a dog bed, and she’ll get underneath it and contort her body in such a way that you have to look twice to figure out which end is up. Perhaps Ivie’s most popular behavior aside from her intense tugging antics is her endearing “woo-woo’s“. She makes a howling-like noise when she’s excited and voer time we’ve put it on cue.
Ivie is a very easy dog to live with, and has been since a few months into our relationship when she finally realized I wasn’t going to throw the ball indoors nonstop for her amusement. She plays when you want her to, and naps the rest of the time. Ivie enjoys swimming as long as it’s into a body of water with a natural entrance (pools, docks, and lakes with walls around them are a no-go), and she’ll fetch anything you can throw. She isn’t a fan of new dogs all up in her space, but she just retreats until the newbie settles down and can peacefully coexist with nearly anyone these days. If there ever was just an ‘easy keeper’, Ivie’s it. She doesn’t demand much. Just some food, some lovings, and some exercise (preferably agility) when you see fit. I was so very lucky to have been given such a wonderful dog in the prime of her life. She’s built like a rock and structurally awesome, so even at 13.5 she is still able to hike, play frisbee, and dabble in backyard agility. Love my Ivernators!