When I loaded up the Subaru, the Border collies saw the open crates and hopped in, ready for the ride. They had no idea that we were traveling for 2,300 miles, or that the journey would take days.
Before departing for California, people asked if I were traveling alone.
"Nope, I have three dogs," I said, adding, "They're great traveling companions. They never ask how much longer, demand a different channel on the radio or complain about my singing."
While Border collies amaze me on the trial field, they really amaze me as travelers, and not just because they never ask me to change the channel.
During my travels, I ask them to ride in crates for hours. When we get out of the car, they may see zooming cars and strangers. Sometimes they work on strange fields on unfamiliar sheep. At night, they sometimes sleep in motel rooms where the voices of people and vehicles can be heard through the walls. Sometimes, they sleep in their crates in the car.
Rarely do they protest. They just adapt.
Oh, there was a 24-hour period when the young dog was miffed about the pottying situation. With no green grass in sight, I asked her to pee on gravel. She just looked at me. Ten minutes later, she decided that gravel was okay.
We aren't in the green fields of Ohio anymore. Gael, now a year old, adapted quickly.
By the time they're adults, most Border collies participating in sheepdog trials have traveled hundreds, often thousands of miles. Although too young to compete, they often travel with their owners and other Border collies, to trials.
I'm sure the socialization helps them adapt.
But the dogs also live in the here and now--and if they're with their human and their pack, then that is where they want to be.
Emma checks to make sure it is Jack underneath all that dirt.