While I find the question “Are your dogs related?” to be perplexing. I am always perfectly happy to be asked “Are our dogs related?”
Why, you might ask, is this the case?
A couple of posts ago Ian left a great comment on my post Are Your Dogs Related?Are Your Dogs Related? It turns out that he has Moss, the litter brother of Zephi. This is so exciting and I hope to hear more about how Moss is doing. It is also surely a fortuitous coincidence that he reads my blog, but possibly not the strangest coincidence I have had in the context of meeting the relatives of my dogs.
So here are two examples of why I am never, ever upset (and always excited) to be asked are our dogs related?
A couple of months after I drove to Scotland to collect Kainaat I was at a working dog trial competing with my lovely Daisy Dog, hanging around just outside the village hall where the tea and cake was. Someone walked up with the most beautiful collie puppy, smooth-coat, black and white, one ear up and one ear down. We fell into conversation as you do when there is a puppy around. She (Teela) was utterly adorable and just a few months old. John (her owner) said she had come from Scotland, that her grandparents were both international sheepdog champions and working dog champions. This all seemed suspiciously familiar. I found myself saying I think our dogs might be related and I opened the back of my car where Kainaat was sitting. Out he jumped – the spitting image of his sister Teela.
A couple of weeks later at a different trial I then met Kainaat’s brother Rory (and his Dad) who are both gorgeous red and white collies and another sister Lark (who looks like Kainaat and Teela). It has been lovely staying in touch with many of the family and following their achievements in working dog trials – they are all doing really well. You can see a photo of Kainaat, Teela and Rory at a trial here
Then a couple of months ago, earlier in the summer, Ann (who has Kainaat’s sister Lark) rang up out of the blue. I have met her once or twice at trials and we have emailed once or twice, but – and this is important – we have never talked to each other about getting other dogs. I should also probably mention at this point that I never research the dogs I get. I know some people like to look at all the options, study blood lines and think things through. I am not that person. I jump in with very little thought and then figure it out afterwards – I do this with dogs, with buying a house, with deciding to become a cheesemaker, beekeeper, shepherd, campsite owner etc.
Long before I got Zephi I had come across Gill and Andy’s sheepdog training website and I knew they sometimes bred their dogs. I thought that having a puppy from them would be lovely one day.
Anyway Ann asked if I was sitting down as she had a surprise for me. She said she had just got another puppy and that her new puppy was related to my new puppy! Her puppy Ghyll was from a repeat mating of Meg and Ezra (Zephi’s parents) – so not actually a litter brother of Zephi but a full genetic brother.
So now it turns out that both Kainaat and Zephi are related to Ann’s dogs Lark and Ghyll – so yes both our dogs are related – how weird is that?
N.B. The directions I got from the breeders when going to collect Kainaat were the best ever. The told me to take the A1 up north. then take a B road off the A1 for many miles until I got to Scotland. I was then to take the first right in Scotland and follow it for quite some time until I got to their house on the left. If I got to the farm I had gone too far. They lived in the middle of nowhere and I had no sat-nav, but you know what I got there without a problem even without an actual address!