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“Where's the Off Switch?”

Looking for another dog as a companion to my Dalmatian, I came across some very cute black & white eight week old puppies at the local SPCA in Alberta, Canada. I was told they were border collies. I remember my vet friend saying I was nuts wanting to adopt one. I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. To be honest, I didn't know what a border collie was. Jasmine came home with me that day. I went out and bought a border collie book AFTER adopting the dog. I learned from the book that these dogs were sheep herders and extremely intelligent. Cool! I was soooo naive.


Jasmine never stopped moving, that's just a puppy I thought. The book said she was supposed to be very intelligent, so I sat on the floor and taught Jasmine to fetch in under 10 minutes. I couldn't believe it. 10 minutes and a solid retrieve! This opened Pandora's Box as she was now obsessed with fetch. Balls, plastic bottles, potato chip bags, sticks. This dog had no off switch. She was either sleeping or moving (and fast.) I unfortunately made the huge mistake of letting her fence run around the acreage. She was entertaining and exercising herself right? I would never allow such neurotic behavior now, but at that time, I had no idea how bad it was for her. I also didn't realize how bored she must have been.


I moved to Victoria, BC, Canada when Jasmine was almost a year old. Jasmine had very bad impulse control problems. I would exercise her in the park, but it wasn't enough. I didn't realize how badly she needed a job. At the time, I never even heard of agility or flyball. Jasmine's bored or stressed default was pacing or fence running. She ran a foot deep trench at my parent’s house in no time. I felt so sad for her. I just knew she couldn't be happy being this "crazy." I needed help. I learned that there were dog sports, so off to agility we went. I was told she needed obedience to get her under control, then agility would be much more pleasant. This dog was go big or go home, and fast as lightening, yet a fundamentally scared dog when it came to strangers. Jasmine was referred to as "The Spaz", and that she was, and still is. After obedience classes we were invited to flyball classes. It took a full year of sweat and tears, but Jasmine learned to fly! It takes a lot of time and patience to get a dog like Jasmine under control with so much stimuli, but was so worth it. Jasmine has proved to be a solid flyball star with a best time of 3.86.


Jasmine is the love of my life. She means more to me than I can express. She has taught me what having game really is and how closely you can bond with these amazing creatures. I have made so many friends, far and wide, because Jasmine needed me to learn how to get in the game with her. I feel I failed her for the first year, but have been making it up ever since. She enjoys every dog sport there is, including herding. She has led me to adopting two more BC's from rescue, my beautiful Bree and my hero Dima. Jasmine has saved many of her kind for just being her, as I foster for a local BC rescue in her honor. Jasmine is unique. I have not come across another like her yet, and she still has no off switch at the age of 7. Sometimes a lie down is her job! I love this breed like no other.
Tia

 

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