A Good Recall


Recently we enjoyed meeting our new brother in law, and providing day care for his 4-year-old Border Collie, Sis. Arriving from northern Idaho, he was totally unprepared for the reality of traveling with a dog during a northern California heat wave. We were more than happy to offer our home and shady fenced yard to Sis so her owners could sightsee without endangering her in a hot car.

Sis proved to be a pleasure. I thought how alien this world and we must have seemed. Transported from life on the ranch bringing in cattle and following pack mules, she cheerfully and quickly adapted. She blended into our little pack, tolerating my cranky senior Australian Cattle Dog and the energy of my 6-month-old pup. Although she clearly missed her owner, she seemed content with us and even learned our family’s favorite game of “retrieve the bouncing Kong.”

Encouraged by the successes of the first day, I was relaxed on day two of her visit and went about my daily chores and routine. Then suddenly, disaster: Sis was nowhere to be seen. I called frantically to my husband and we both raced around the property in search of Sis. Then we saw her — she was outside our fences and traveling quickly up the irrigation canal. We raced out the gate and both called “SIS COME!” Without a pause, she spun on a dime and raced back to us. She seemed almost puzzled by the praise and affection party she received. I was reminded that there is no more important gift we can give our dogs than a good recall.

Jozette Rutherford, Oroville, CA