This post was originally published to Ziggy Stardust Sheep Tales at 12:28:32 09/09/2013
In The Beginning …..
Where to begin the story? At the start surely, well yes, but when and what was that? The theme of this blog will be entirely focused on the experiences of Ziggy and Stardust my two wonderful Border Collies and how they lead on to sheep and other little adventures in life. So the starting point will have to be September 26th 2010, the day our little Ziggy was born.
Since this is being written almost 3 years later there will be a degree of bloggers licence in terms of the accuracy of events but I will tell the tale as I remember it. At the time of Ziggy’s birth, the Coe family were blissfully unaware of the potential next chapter in life’s adventure and had yet to meet the wonderful Jones family who would become such great friends in the years ahead. Our own Border Collie X dogs JackJack and Sophie were getting old and slowing down but still enjoying life. Meanwhile on an army base in Nuneaton Skye was giving birth to 9 beautiful puppies from her partner Billie. I cant really tell the happy tales from the Jones house over the weeks that followed as the pups began their lives but I know it will have been a fun and happy place to be.
The Coe family made an October trip to Newquay in the camper van to get in a half term week of surfing and dog walking on Fistral Beach. Poor Sophie was getting really under the weather and a bit confused which meant the walks were shorter than usual. She could manage the steps down to the beach and short stroll around but kept getting left way behind and seemed unaware of the world at times which was a cause for concern. Most walks ended with me having to carry the poor girl up the steps where she would flop half-way for a drink and a rest at Bodies café where we enjoyed a hot chocolate or some fantastic coffee. A further carry back up to the camper van and she was done for the night. JackJack was his usual gormless self and bounded round the beach in his own happy way, chasing the kids almost into the sea on surfboards and without a care in the world.
We returned home at the end of the week and settled in for the darker nights and colder weather to come as winter approached. Poor old Sophie didn’t really get any better and only a few days after we got home sadly slipped away. A sad time but she had a good long life with us after being rescued at 18 months old from the RSPCA and then testing our patience as she chewed everything that she couldn’t pee on for the next 12 months before settling down as a great little dog growing up alongside the kids.
Our vows of not getting any more dogs and just making the most of JackJack lasted literally days! We anthropomorphised (shit is that actually a word?) feelings of sadness and loneliness onto JackJack and used him as part of an excuse to commence the search for a new companion for him. We hadn’t had a puppy ourselves for 19 years at this point but our recent “fun” looking after Mum’s chocolate Labrador Pennie had left us all secretly wanting to start afresh rather than going down the rescue route this time and so the search began.
Michael found the link online on the 2nd November 2010 and I secretly made a phone call and arranged to meet Simon Jones after work on 3rd November without telling the rest of the family. Not sure why I kept this a secret, perhaps to protect them from any disappointment if no pups were left? Or perhaps because I had to hide my own enormous enthusiasm for the idea and maintain the pretence of being cool? Who cares anyway. I met the Jones family and all 9 pups, fell in love with Billie who just sat with me on the floor and soaked up the fuss while puppies did puppy things all around. The fun subsided only slightly when Karina made it clear I was being interviewed for the post of puppy parent, which was just wonderful and an early indication of the kind of caring people the whole family are. I passed the interview and agreed that young Todd (all the pups had been given working title names by the family) would become the next member of the Coe family when he was old enough to leave home.
I broke the news to everyone that evening, showed them the photo and promptly arranged a follow up visit for the next day when we all met prior to the fireworks display. What a joy a litter of Border Collie pups can be !
The next few weeks passed and the newly named Ziggy came home to Broughton Astley on the 20th November 2010, our lives would never be the same again!