Josefin… the Perfect Puppy turned Dream Dog. Born 30 March 2006, my red/white dream came to live with me Memorial Day of 2006. After my friends and fellow competitors talked me into getting a Border Collie, I had only started my journey into researching to find the perfect one when I came across my Josie. She was already 6 weeks old, and a ‘leftover’ from her litter. Her breeder cited her white face as likely cause that she was not chosen. I loved her little white face the moment I laid eyes on it, and couldn’t wait to make her mine.
My Josefin has always been an old soul. Wise beyond her years, and just the right amount of serious mixed in with a lifetime of laughter. Through purely positive training methods, more time off the course than on, and extensive cross-training regimes, Josie has matured into the most well-rounded red Border Collie I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. If everyone’s first Border Collie was like Josie, no one would have just one.
My first Border Collie to train, I wanted to make sure I did right by Josie, and truth be told I was rather nervous, having only somewhat successfully trained a JRT up to that point. I started with clicker tricks and fun games for body awareness and general be-a-good-dog-around-the-house stuff. I worked on handling over very low jumps starting at about 6 months, and waited on weaves and all contacts until she was 11 months and had her growth plates x-rayed for closure. She was a quick study and before I knew it she was ready to show, but nowhere near old enough! I entered a couple of local AKC trials to see where we were and what needed work before our USDAA debut.
Josie wasted no time achieving agility greatness, becoming the youngest dog in history to receive an ADCH title, and the subsequent metallic ADCH’s as well. She earned her ADCH-Platinum in October of 2014 and has been enjoying P16″ ever since.
While her achievements in agility are many, the true testament to her BestDog status is in the smiles she brings to the faces of the people she meets. Whether it’s entertaining kids at a birthday party, strutting her stuff in the weave pole races at the State Fair, or educating the public on just how effective clickers are, she always gets a big round of applause and a room full of smiles. Even the folks on the set of The Good Guys couldn’t help but ask me for dog training advice between takes of the episode she starred in.
Josie has been everything I’ve needed exactly when I’ve needed it these past 8 years. She comforted me when I changed careers/jobs, she was my rock when I got out of relationships, and she’s always lifted my spirits when I’ve been down. My Jos is both 100% serious and a total clown at exactly the right times. She is my constant shadow and lights up every room she enters.
Not without quirks, Josie’s list is long!
- Showers – Josie LOVES the shower and never misses an opportunity to get in the tub!
- Hotel bathtubs – it’s the first place she goes when we get a hotel room, and it’s where she would sleep if I let her.
- Broom – Josie loves housework and follows me around with a toy in her mouth , prancing about and occasionally shaking the toy in excitement as I sweep, as she knows that after sweeping comes vacuuming, another fave!
- Vacuums – House chores would be so boring without a Josie to supervise and cheer you on! She appreciates vacuuming most of all.
- Small Motorized Objects – Be it blender, a cordless drill, a hand vac, doesn’t matter to her – she loves them all! She enjoys most holding a toy in her mouth while you operate the object and squeaking/squealing in muffled tones through the pacifier (err- toy) in her mouth.
- Water from a Hose – Initially terrified, a little clicking and positive reinforcement quickly turned this scary site in to a delight.
- Sprinklers – Unlike most water-loving pooches, Josie goes after the tiny sprinkles that fall to the ground rather than attack the water at the source. She prances around, nibbling at the grass, flitting around on her little twinkle-toes, enjoying most any kind of sprinkler with great affection.
- Watching – If you ask Josie to “watch” something, she shakes her head and squeaks in anticipation. This used to be a very calm “watch agility” sort of behavior, where she’d simply stare intently, but a few times of telling her to “watch” some really exciting/loud Tervs, and it evolved into what is today — “special”.
- Voyeurism – Josie will wait forever for you to throw a toy, enjoying just as much the oogling of her fellow Border Collies during a rousing game of fetch.
- Making out with Balls – She has done this since she was very small. She takes a ball and holds it against her left leg with her right paw, balances it there, and then snatches it up before it can get away. In muddy conditions, she’ll have filth up to her knuckle on her left leg, and a completely clean right leg. Too cute.
- Suckling – When she’s winding down at night, especially after a long day of excitement, she’ll find a nice fluffy toy and knead it with her paws while she suckles it with her mouth. Precious.
- Itchy Butt – There’s something about the very base of her tail, up on her back, that when scratched makes her wriggle about in ecstasy. She acts as if she wants to get away, but looks at you as if to say “why stopping?” if you quit.
- Bowl Scooping – If I feed yogurt or something squishy in her bowl she uses her lower jaw as a ‘scoop’ to get the food off the edges, rather than just using her tongue to lick it up as every other dog I know. It’s the oddest behavior and I really need to get it on film!
- Pillows – Josie is *all* about the squish. Her crate has been lined with actual bed pillows since she was tiny, and used to confiscate mine for snoozes. When we’re getting ready for bed at night, she’s always the first to hop up and lay out across my pillows until I come to bed, at which point she hops down and sleeps on her super squishy dog bed (with pillows on all sides).