Bordercollie "Gillie & Irish Wolfhound "Saoirse
Welcome to the Family!
As we all know, life is filled with ups and downs, gains and losses and that is what keeps it interesting and exciting at the same time. Life for us is a constant adventure and I feel grateful for all of the positive and negative experiences, our life is anything but dull!
A year ago we lost our beloved Monty to an unfortunate accident on our last photography “Ranch” project in Northern California. Both Monty and Val had severe heat-stroke and Val pulled through and Monty did not. Monty’s tragic death was one of the most devastating and traumatic happenings in Val and I’s life together. Even though Monty was not human... his friendly and loving personality captured our hearts and won the admiration and love of many....he was a “superstar” used in our photo sessions, and going everywhere with us. Monty was my life and that kind of spirit can never be replaced.
Months before the tragedy, Val and I had already been on a waiting list for a new border collie pup to be trained for sheep and livestock since we were retiring Monty and he was losing his hearing and could no longer work effectively. Our Border collie breeder’s current litter was small with no males available so we were taken off of the list till the next litter... but when the breeder had heard of our unfortunate event she called us to tell us of the happy and crazy news that one of the families in line for one of the 3 little female pups from the current litter, once hearing our story had “bowed” out and we could now have one of the 3 limited pups in the litter. Amazing how god works.
Val and I picked up our dear little “Gillie” from Oregon in September of last year. Val and I both expected her to be a “Monty” but we were to be pleasantly surprised by her ability and talent and she proved to be her own spirit and make her own mark in our lives. Val assumed that Gillie would inherently become my dog and companion filling the gaping void that Monty had recently left so open... again Gillie was there to surprise us with picking Val as her undeniable leader and looking at me like “chopped liver” ha!
Val is where the excitement is for Gillie and we found her true talent in herding livestock with her being able to move sheep all by herself at 16 weeks of age.
Gillie’s adoration for Val is indisputable and fun to watch. She lives to go with or do anything Val asks of her, their relationship is pretty incredible. Herding sheep and trailblazing are what fuels both Gillie and Val. Just like Monty, no matter where we go we take Gillie with us. Last May we took Giilie with us, as we had to take 2 horses to Montana. Renee Mantle of Montanahorses.com, Big Sky Hounds, Headwaters Ranch and one of our dearest friends greeted us with tears, hugs and with the new love in her life “Clooney,” a giant Irish Wolfhound. After saying quick hellos we watched in amazement as Gillie and Clooney ran laps playing and wrestling with each other... Gillie resembling the smallest flea compared to the enormous Clooney... luckily speed and agility are on Gillies’s side and it made for some pretty awesome entertainment for all of us. Clooney is Renee’s shadow never leaving her side and seeing this gave Val an idea to provide the same companionship for me as Renee had found in Clooney.
Val asked me on our drive home if I ever considered owning an Irish Wolfhound... silly question! He already knew that I have been enamored with the breed since I was a teenager and dragged him to pet every IWH we see on the street and look for them on our travels through Ireland. Val was then on a mission to find me.... my own gentle giant. We picked Renee’s brain for all of her resources from a recent trip to Wales and started our research online and making phone calls to breeders all over the US, Canada, Ireland, UK and Germany. I took a quick peek online myself and came across a breeder that had the most beautiful pup with a heart on her chest.. how perfect!
I downloaded the picture and took down the info and told Val that even though this one was probably sold, I would want one just like her. “Poof” just like magic... Val made a phone call and a few weeks later plus a 30 hour road trip we had Saoirse (pronounced Sur-sha). This name is pure Irish Gaelic, Saoirse is the Gaelic word for freedom, which patriotic Irish parents adopted as a girl's name starting in the 20th Century.
We picked her up for my Birthday present in June, in which, she was 8 weeks old and 20 lbs ... it is now the end of July, she is 3 months old and 50 lbs.
Her mother weighs-in at 165 lbs, father is 195 lbs and we expect to go through quite a bit of dog food!!
She is athletic, sweet, calm, snuggly and brave. Saoirse goes with me everywhere. Now I have my own little buddy that thinks Val is “Chopped Liver” HA!!! I’m smitten and so grateful for god and Val to bless me with such a gift.
So on to our next adventure with our super-hero pack of dogs, cats, parrots and horses!!! You’ll never know where we’ll be or which animal will show up to your next photo session, expedition or seminar, so keep track of our Epic Adventure that we call our life and we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop!