The Family Reunion

Young border collie sheepdog Reiver
Reiver looks very much like her litter mates, Kevin and Midge – but she’s much cleaner!

It’s been a quiet week at Kings Green, quiet and very wet, but Midge and Kevin had a good afternoon with their long-lost sister, Reiver. (Not that she was actually long-lost, we knew she’d gone to live with Jazz (a daughter of Glen) in Buckinghamshire, and will, in time, be competing in agility.)

Every litter of puppies has its own group personality. We once had an entire litter that was obsessed with destroying the rhubarb patch. It took several years to fully recover, but no puppy before or since has given it so much as a second glance.

Kay’s litter was a climbing litter, and we’ve never known puppies scale the heights that Midge, Kevin and their siblings have been tackling since just a few weeks old. Their sister Bo won her place in her new owner’s heart by climbing a five-bar gate – and then continuing up the front of his jacket!

Young sheepdog sniffing the ground
Now where did we leave that mole? (Midge is a pup by Kay and Eli).

Apparently Reiver keeps the family tradition alive, so I hope that bodes well for her agility career.

Reiver has grown into an elegant young lady and she has her father Eli’s coat – long, flat and shiny black. She seems sleek and sophisticated compared to the incorrigible tomboy Midge. Reiver has long legs, while Midge has inherited her mum’s rather stubby ones, and Reiver’s action is smoother. I’m looking forward to seeing her around sheep (she’ll be coming back for that when the weather improves).

I was hoping for a glimmer of recognition between the puppies, but I’m not sure there was. I didn’t have the impression there was a “long time, no see!” greeting, or any excited comparing of careers and lifestyle. I did, however, feel that Reiver was being led astray by her brother and sister (or was at least giving the impression of the innocent victim). They showed her where to find the muddiest bits of field, what to do with sheep poo and then – joy of joys – several ways of dealing with a dead mole.

There’s a definite family resemblance that I don’t remember being so marked in other litters. I wish I’d taken a photo, but the light was awful (is my excuse) so I’m grateful to Deb for this one of Reiver. I have to admit that when I first saw it I wondered why she’d sent me a photo of Kevin!



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