WestCoast Border Collies are Having Fun While Raising Money for Charity

WestCoast Border Collies are Having Fun While Raising Money for Charity

Have you had the chance to join a Border Collie group, yet?  If not, you’re truly missing out on some fun times with great people who share a love for the world’s best dog breed!  To give you an insight as to what these groups are all about, check out this fun Q&A with Carmen Etchart & Keenan Campbell from Westcoast Border Collies!  If you live in the Pacific Northwest and want to join this awesome group, check out their Facebook page for more info!

Who founded West Cost Border Collies? When was it founded?   

We have a Border Collie, named Maya, who is almost 12 years old.  Quite frankly, she never ceases to amaze us with her intelligence and engaging personality.  Naturally, because of her & her father, Lefty, we have become huge fans of the breed.  In late 2015, my husband, Keenan, showed me a picture of over 500 border collies setting a Guinness world record of the most Border Collies photographed together.  Instantly, we were hooked on the idea of a local Border Collie gathering, thinking, optimistically, it would be great if we could even hit 20. 

In April 2016, after several months of deliberation, inspired by various Border Collie fan groups online, we decided to move forward and created a Facebook page, in an effort to try “reaching” those in our community.  Thereafter, we picked a date that had high probability of great weather and a low tide, to given us adequate running space.  Then, we commenced creating and printing posters.  We drove around, distributing them to dog parks, vet clinics, pet supply stores and beach front businesses.  We also started sharing our poster on various Facebook pages.

What is the group’s purpose or mission?  

For the first couple of years, our purpose was simply to create a local community of Border Collie fans to share friendship, Border Collie stories & photos, and connect for “play dates”.  As we have grown, our interests have expanded to include being a support system for people needing to address health and behavioral issues, helping “lost” pups, providing emotional support for those whose pups have crossed the rainbow bridge, and, importantly, being a platform for Border Collie rescues finding new homes.  At our last Jamboree, we have now included raising funds to help local Border Collies in need. 

How big is the group when it started?  How big is now?  

 Initially, our Facebook group consisted of about 10, and has grown to over 1,000 and we estimate that over a third is “local”.  We are proud that it is full of so many caring, kind and supportive people! Border Collie people are in a category of their own.

With respects to the Jamboree, we started with 47 dogs (approx. 90 people) in year one; year two, we had 91 (approx 170 people), and this past event, we had 119 pups (approx 225 people).  This past year, there may have been more but our numbers are based on the bandanas we hand out, as people may not have realized they needed to “check-in” to get their bandana.  Each year, we hand make, screen print and distribute free “Westcoast Border Collies” bandanas, to each four-legged attendee. 

Tell us about the Westcoast Border Collie Jamboree. When did it startWhere is it held?

As outlined above, our first Jamboree was in August 2016. We are so blessed to have a large dog friendly beach called East Beach, and it is located in White Rock, BC Canada.

What were your goals with the Jamboree?  How many people and their BCs showed up at your first Jamboree?  

We were hopeful to get 20 dogs for our first Jamboree so when 47 showed up, we were ecstatic.  There was approximately 90 people.

This event also raises money for charity.  Can you tell us a bit more about it?

In the first two years, people were so gracious and appreciative of our efforts in hosting these Jamborees, they would offer to make contributions to our expenses.  We were doing this as a labour of love so, admittedly, we were uncomfortable accepting money.   Over the past 2 1/2 years, we have seen many Border Collie rescues cross our group page and have been thrilled to see some of them get adopted through our members.  We greatly admire, and respect people advocating for these beautiful Border Collies and want to, as a group, contribute to these efforts.  As such, we felt that the Jamboree would provide a great platform to garner support for this mission, given the kindness and enthusiasm of our attendees.  

Our 11-year-old nephew, Theo, lives three hours away and was excited to be attending his first Jamboree this year.  Learning that we would be having our first fundraiser, he eagerly went on a mission so that he could make a contribution, in Maya’s honour.   He sold a homemade BBQ spice rub door to door, in his home town, raising $225. Learning of his efforts, one of our generous members challenged him and committed to doubling his efforts.   

To encourage donations, aside from free bandanas, we introduced “door prizes”, at our personal expense.  We were so pleased that several kind people stepped up and gifted some great “door prizes” as well.  The final tally for this year’s donations totaled close to $1400 and we are now in the process of selecting a worthy recipient(s). We look forward to increasing these efforts, with future events, and kind support from our members.

What’s it like having over a hundred BCs running around for a day? Is it as amazing and fun as it sounds?

It is absolutely as amazing and fun as it sounds!  Quite simply, it is a dream to watch all these beautiful, intelligent dogs, gushing with energetic excitement; splashing, diving and chasing balls, Frisbees and each other.  Inexplicably, they seem to have this natural, uncanny understanding that they are with their own kind.  It is also really special to see the diversity in markings yet the behavioral similarities. 

Then, you have the human element – people of all ages, from toddler to senior, coming together, simply because of love for their dog and the breed.  It is so heartwarming to step back, look around that beautiful beach, and see all these great people just so genuinely happy to be there!  It is amazing that some people even travelled 2-4 hours to attend.  The post event comments were amazingly positive, and very humbling.  It inspires us to continue!

We have attempted to capture the essence of the Jamboree experience by creating highlight videos and posting them on our own Westcoast Border Collies Youtube channel. The videos have been well received but, like anything, you really have to experience it firsthand.

How can people get involved and/or find out more info about attending next year’s Westcoast Border Collies Jamboree? 

The best way is to simply join our Facebook group, Westcoast-BorderCollies!   

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About This Book..
Historically, Border Collies are known as a working dog breed. Due to this very fact there are certain dog behaviors and instincts particular to Border Collies only. These behaviors and instincts define the personality of the dog. Understanding these behaviors and instincts is imperative if you desire a well-trained/behaved dog. This book is based on years of experience and thorough research helping you to choose, raise, train and live in harmony with your Border Collie. This book has been written by truly taking into consideration the breed as well as its abilities as this aspect is often ignored by owners of this dog. The content of this book will provide you with an insight of how a Border Collie relates and interacts with its owner and the outside world. Once you’ve read this book, you’ll be better equipped to own and take care of a Border Collie so that it becomes the wonderful companion it’s meant to be!

Dancing in Our Hearts – Tina & Chandi’s Story by Steve Jetley

Dancing in Our Hearts – Tina & Chandi’s Story by Steve Jetley

BorderCollie FC friend Steve Jetley sent us this lovely tribute, along with a heart-warming video in memory of his his late wife Tina and her talented Border Collie, Chandi, that we wanted to share with you all. Both Tina and Chandi were well loved in the ‘Heelwork to Music’ and Freestyle Dancing World. In 2009, Tina and Chandi became the first duo to win all three finals at Crufts of Heelwork to Music, Freestyle and Freestyle International all in one year. This incredible achievement still hasn’t been equalled. Tina, again with Chandi was also the first person with a “dancing dog” to be a finalist in Britain’s Got Talent. Learn more about these two amazing souls in his write-up below…

My beautiful wife Tina and her incredible Border Collie “Chandi” were internationally famous for their pioneering performances in Heelwork to Music and Freestyle; introducing so many new, groundbreaking and signature moves to the sport. They were the only pair in history ever to have won all three Crufts finals in Heelwork to Music, Freestyle, and Freestyle International. They were also the first pair to reach the final of Britain’s Got Talent with a “dancing dog”, paving the way for all the other acts that followed. Tina even published her story in the book “Chandi” which, for a while, was the best selling book on Amazon.

Tragically, Chandi died in 2013 but shortly after Tina found and adopted Grace, another Blue Merle Border Collie.

Then, in November 2015 Tina and I found each other. We fell in love instantly. If there were ever “soul mates” it was us. We were perfect. Within two weeks we were engaged, and then married five months later in April 2016.

However, one week before our wedding Tina was diagnosed with melanoma, a particularly aggressive form of cancer. She fought it so bravely, and for 10 months or so, she seemed to be winning. She SO wanted to live, now that she’d finally found true happiness with Grace and me. But unfortunately her body couldn’t hold out any more, and she died on 12th May 2017, just three weeks after our first wedding anniversary.

Before Tina became ill, and even after, while she was still strong enough, she had begun dancing with Grace, just as she had with Chandi. Grace LOVED to dance with Tina, if anything she showed even more promise than Chandi. Even as a puppy, she had won Super Dogs Live, twice!

Even though both Grace and I were heartbroken when Tina died, Grace STILL loved to dance – and with patience, she has taught ME how to ‘dance’ with her despite my two left feet! So much of Tina’s spirit lives on in Grace. So much of Tina’s Joy is ingrained into Grace. So we decided to make a video (which you can see below) to show everyone that Tina is still Dancing in our Hearts.  And with her love inside both of us, and her dance in our souls, then slowly our hearts can begin to heal….

With Love,

Steve

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Read more about Tina and Chandi’s story… 

About this Book…

Talent. Now, in this heart-warming memoir Tina shares their story.

When Tina met Chandi she was a frightened, abandoned puppy in a local pound. Under Tina’s care she soon blossomed into an amazingly intuitive dog and together with Pepper, Tina’s first rescue dog, she gave Tina a reason to live after losing both her parents to cancer. Tina and Chandi developed a very special bond that allowed them to communicate at an extraordinary level and provided the magic element in their Freestyle dog dancing routines. They performed in front of thousands and went on to become Crufts champions and television stars.

This is Tina and Chandi’s story of incredible love and devotion.

Available on Amazon.

A Quick Q&A with Kelly and Ian from Dancers and Dogs

A Quick Q&A with Kelly and Ian from Dancers and Dogs

Kelly and Ian are two professional photographers whose love for dogs has led them to create one of the most unique, beautiful and interesting projects on the Internet.  Dancers and Dogs is a pictorial collection that has one simple goal: photograph 100 dancers & 100 dogs across the United States. Learn more about this project and these two talented, dog-loving photographers in this exclusive Q&A for Border Collie Fan Club members!

Tell us a little bit about yourself?  Who are you and what do you do?  
We are Kelly Pratt Kreidich and Ian Kreidich.  We are married photographers, based in St. Louis, MO, and we specialize in commercial photography. 

 

Tell us about Dancers & Dogs?  
Dancers & Dogs is a fun project, combining the beautiful lines and artistry of professional dancers, with the fun-loving, goofiness of dogs.  We want to show the lighter side of the dance world, which is often seen as serious, moody and dark.
How did this project come about?  What was your idea/inspiration for it? 
We are the photographers for the St Louis Ballet, and we’ve also worked with dancer across the U.S., and in Cuba.  We started out with one dancer form the St. Louis Ballet, and one dog, just to see if this idea would even work.  People really enjoyed those first images, so we continued the series with more dancers.
What’s it like having dancers and dogs work together?  What are some of the challenges?
Dance photography is difficult enough in itself, so adding dogs into the mix makes for a tricky shoot.  That’s why we work with professional dancers for this project, because we like to know that the dancers will be able to do what we need from them.  The biggest challenge is getting dogs to do what you want them to do.  Dogs are like toddlers, and even the best-trained dogs have off days.  We work with dogs from all different training levels and backgrounds.  Some a very well-trained and know lots of behaviors  but most of the dogs included have been your average pet.  But we always laugh a lot on set.  Some great shots come out of dogs just being dogs.
What has been your favourite dog to work with (hint: was it a border collie?) 🙂
It’s hard to have one favorite.  There are so many great ones!  The border collies are always fun because they are so smart and athletic.  
 
Can you tell us a bit about the border collies that have been featured in a few of your shoots?
We have had a few border collies in the project.  First, our dog, Dillon, who is a border collie mix.  Then there was a border collie, named Snip, who does obedience trials.  He was paired with a younger dancer, names Hannah Webb.  Then there were all four of the Super Collies – Hero, Marvel, Loki and Thor, owned and trained by Sara Carson.  They were on last season on America’s Got Talent.
 
What was it like working with such well-trained Border Collies like the Super Collies? 
Hero and all of his siblings are such impressive dogs!  We were able to do some shots and poses with them that we’ve been wanting to do for a while, we were just waiting for the right dogs.  Having trained dog on set obviously makes things easier for us, and allows us to think of more creative and difficult shots.  Sara has done such an amazing job training them in a positive and fun way.  
How can people find out more and support your project? 
We just updated our website!  You can find out more about Dancers & Dogs at www.dancersanddogs.com.  You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram @dancersanddogs.  If people would like to see the project continue, and help us bring Dancers & Dogs to more cities, they can purchase shirts, prints and more from our website.  We are releasing a 2019 calendar this fall as well!

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About This Book..
Historically, Border Collies are known as a working dog breed. Due to this very fact there are certain dog behaviors and instincts particular to Border Collies only. These behaviors and instincts define the personality of the dog. Understanding these behaviors and instincts is imperative if you desire a well-trained/behaved dog. This book is based on years of experience and thorough research helping you to choose, raise, train and live in harmony with your Border Collie. This book has been written by truly taking into consideration the breed as well as its abilities as this aspect is often ignored by owners of this dog. The content of this book will provide you with an insight of how a Border Collie relates and interacts with its owner and the outside world. Once you’ve read this book, you’ll be better equipped to own and take care of a Border Collie so that it becomes the wonderful companion it’s meant to be!

11 Cool Facts about Border Collies

11 Cool Facts about Border Collies

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Want to learn more about Border Collies? Here are some of the cool things you might not know about these fun, energetic dogs.

 

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1. Most modern Border Collies trace their lineage back to one dog. Old Hemp, born in the 1800s is considered to be the progenitor of the border collies. This dog’s herding method was less aggressive and more quiet compared to other dogs of his kind. His method always got results and impressed lots of breeders despite his softer technique. Old Hemp fathered to over 200 pups and became a famous stud dog.

2. Sheepdogs were brought to Great Britain by the Roman Empire. They were the first civilization that mastered the art of herding and raising sheep. Romans brought sheep as well as shepherds to the British Islands where they soon established the industry of wool. Most sheep-dogs which the Romans brought to Great Britain could not hack in the country’s cold weather, which is why the Celtics breed their own sheep-dogs.

3. Border Collies’ name comes from the region where they flourished. Did you know that Border Collies got their name because they were originally bred on borders of England and Scotland? James Reid, the secretary of ISS or International Sheepdog Society, is believed to have coined their name while describing the dogs in letters to his colleagues.

4. Border Collies are geniuses. It is no surprise that Border Collies are one of the smartest breeds of dogs. In fact, they are indeed on the top list of world’s smartest dogs. This is because of the fact that they were bred in order to be independent, problem solvers that are capable of solving complex tasks.

5. Yes, Border Collies are the world’s smartest dogs, however, that doesn’t mean training them is easy. Since they are known to be smart, they can pick up on anything and learn quicker than other dogs. Which is why trainer needs to train them right away just before these dogs develop any bad habits. It is applicable to train them while they are still young so that you’ll have their full attention.

6. Border Collies are the ultimate herding dogs. They are specifically bred for organizing and chasing animals. In fact, because the need to herd is deeply ingrained in Border Collies, some modern owners actually rent sheep for their pets to corral.

7. Border collies can move swiftly in a crouch position. It is one of their talents, thanks to the space between the tops of their shoulder blades. It lets them slither by while staying low to the ground.

8. Border collies can do “the eye”. This is one of their tricks. It is an intense stare which they usually do to intimidate the livestock and help the dogs herd as well as in controlling the animals. Sometimes, you may also catch your dog giving you this type of look just when you are about to give them something or have something in your hand.

9. Border Collies have a big dictionary. Have you heard of Chaser? She is commonly known as the world’s smartest dog. She can understand different words as well as she can name the proper noun names of his 1000 unique toys. Check out Chaser’s story here.

10. If Chaser can be tagged as a walking dog dictionary, then you may also have heard of Striker. This amazing Border Collie holds the record for Guinness Fastest Car Window Opened by a Dog. Striker is able to roll down the non-electrical car window in just 11.34 seconds. Talk about the unusual world record.

11. When owning a Border Collies, do not expect to lay around all day in the house with them. They get easily bored when left with no stimulation. These dogs love to have tasks which keep them busy and attentive. When they are left with nothing to do all day, they can get misbehave. Which is why owners are advised to always give them something to keep busy with.

Image courtesy: ntd.tv



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