Border Collies became part of our life before our children. In 1983 Stan became the Farm Manager at Codman Community Farms (CCF) in my home town of Lincoln, MA. Stan was responsible for an unruly flock of sheep. Back then he much preferred taking care of the cattle and pigs in comparison to the obnoxious sheep. Two residents and sheep farmers, Betty Levin and Ellen Raja, visited CCF often and began to convince Stan that sheep were indeed great farm livestock. In 1986, Betty provided Stan with a Border Collie puppy that he named Hans. This dog was intense, highly athletic, and energetic. Stan realized that he needed a large flock of sheep to keep the dog happy. Much of his free time was spent herding the sheep with Hans. Simon as a new born infant would be in Stan’s arms while Hans would be running around the fields. Sometimes, baby Simon would become cold while outside. However, you could see that Simon was always a very happy and content child when he was with his father for chores. Simon would fuss and cry if I tried to warm him up in the confines of our small apartment. I realized that for the rest of my married life, that sheep and border collies would be present. A destiny of dogs, sheep, and a rural address in Hardwick was laid out for my future. In 1989, I said Goodbye to employment at MGH in Boston and Hello to a new situation with a hefty commute in Worcester.
Over the years, Betty Levin provided us with more wonderful male border collies that included Taran and Sweep. In 2012, Betty suggested that Stan purchase a female puppy from her favorite dog Tyne and carry on her legacy of breeding these wonderful working companions. Stan chose the largest dog in the litter and named her Taff, As a young puppy, we soon realized that we had a very special dog that would be excellent for breeding. With lots of guidance, encouragement, and many long drives, we were blessed with a litter of seven puppies during the Juno Blizzard on January 26th, 2015. The first pup was born in the master bedroom by Stan’s pillow at 1:03 AM. The last was born at 4:24 AM in a beautiful whelping box made from pine timbers by Simon from trees felled near our driveway. The Governor issued a Blizzard state travel ban and so I was able to stay home from work and admire the new litter on January 27th and 28th. I took many photos and videos and some of the best are here: https://plus.google.com/108850610896746033939/posts You will need to scroll down, since there are some photo albums related to my previous employment at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Stan and I are committed to the betterment of the working Border Collie breed. We could not run a farm without these energetic and capable herding dogs. On a daily basis, Taff and Lenna follow Stan’s eyes in the paddock and figure which goat among the herd needs to be restrained. When moving sheep from pastures, Taff will run very fast the perimeter of the field checking for straggler and lost sheep without any prompts or commands. In the middle of the night, the dogs alert us to the presence of coyotes and fisher cats. They are great companions that love to lick hands and faces clean. Soccer and tennis balls offer entertainment and exercise for hours. We hope to have these wonderful dogs in our lives for another 30 years. We would like to have a second litter of Border Collie puppies in the future. We do not see this happening for a while. Please do not hesitate to contact us with inquiries and questions.