Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Mad Dash

I started breaking in Dad quick. Showing him how to get me to stand at street corners, sit, lie down and shake paws within the first four weeks. Dad is happy with me not being Lassie. I don’t know if I could have handled Essex make breakfast, Essex clean the pool or Essex have you saved the world this morning. Pawsha, I don’t even get my water stirred let alone shaken, so you can’t even call me Essex 007.

During our first couple months we would walk about a half mile to the little league games down the street, where some of Dads human friends would gather. That walk always makes me nervous. There are loud noises and cars driving down the street. About fifteen minutes into one walk, a van suddenly pulls out screeching its tires about fifteen yards from us. I bolt, there is a ping, the collar feels loose and Dad is behind me running and screaming Essex come back, Essex…..” Heck, I am scared; I’m not stopping for Dad or even the Great Dane. I ran all the way home, checked both gates in an effort to get in my yard, no joy.

I started wandering down the street some more, when I hear a friendly voice. It is Dad’s friend and neighbor Frank. Frank was driving to the game and saw my mad dash and subsequent attempt to get in the yard. Frank makes my tail wag. I let him picked me up and I see Dad franticly searching and calling my name.

Next thing I know Dad is in the car beside me. Some Dads might scream or hit you, not mine. He gave me a big hug and talked to me in that calm voice. He said he was scared and worried I might get hit by a car. Dad latter figured out that he had attached the leash to the metal clip my rabies tag was on instead of the metal loop on the collar. Dad now double and triple checks that attachment. I don’t have any pictures of the mad dash. So instead here are some pictures from those first two months in Key West.

Before signing off, I, Deacon and Dad want to wish following two things on today, 30 June. Dads nephew, Matthew, and his bride to be Janet have a pawtastic wedding; and a dog gone Happy Birthday to Rick, his college roommate.

Dog Speed,


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Collies Support 10K

You can bet your dew claw if the Key West Collies sniff out something worth supporting they will bark out the word . The Perfect One, Tosca brought this to our attention. A most excellent friend of Tosca is doing the Dogs' Aye View 10K. Then a little birdie told us, that the Great Dane gave this four paws too!

The Mom of Opie and Gomer will provide the most excellent to gift to those of us in search of forever families:

- For every visitor during a ten day span (ending 6 July) their mom will donate 10 cents to the Friends For Life Animal Sanctuary, where she adopted Opie and Gomer.

  • - Donate 10 cents for everyone that post a comment to their blog ... about anything .. to Southwest Metro Animal Rescue, located in Chaska, Minn where Opie and Gomer Live.
  • - If you click on the purple button on the blog, their Mom will donate another 10 cents to some paw friendly charities.
  • - If you post a blurb on YOUR blog that tells everyone about the site and links back to then their Mom will donate a whole dollar.

If your human won't let you use the computer, the Key West Collies suggest the following steps.

  1. Stick your nose in some nice cold ice water.
  2. Stick that cold nose in the middle of the back of your favorite human.
  3. Keep that cold nose there until they support the Dogs' Aye View 10K. (Essex has done this when Dad is on the computer and it is dog park time, so this is a Key West Collie approved method.)
May your tail wag, your belly be full, and may you have a forever family to rub your tummy and scratch behind your ears.

Dog speed.

Essex & Deacon

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Collie Herricane Binder

Hi, this is Deacon with important news for all our fans in cyber paw land. It is once again Hurricane season, the time of year to be prepared. Dad has a three ring binder with our medical history, pedigree, microchip paper work, printouts about raising dogs and information about collies.

That binder has come in mighty handy. There was the time Essex caught kennel cough while visiting Dad’s human family in Ohio. The animal doctor had all the information he needed. Dad takes the binder whenever we travel or evacuate.

Back in October 2005, storm surge waters from Herricane Wilma covered over 90% of the island. Essex lost some toys, her favorite couch and our house no longer has wall to wall carpeting. However, if anything happened Dad had all her paper work. Fellow dogs, you may want your Mom or Dad to make you a binder too. That way if you are far from home or have to evacuate for hurricanes like us, you can see a new doctor that can review all your important medical records. Dad is collie smart, but then again we trained him!

Dog Speed,


Saturday, June 23, 2007

My First Week in Key West

It has been awhile, but I remember my first week with Dad. The first night without my brother Buddy and rest of the Holmhaven Collie pack was scary. I heard fire works going off outside and people shouting Happy New Year. Were they welcoming me? When it got quieter I woke up Dad by licking his foot, I needed to go outside. We collies learn quickly, I was only 2½ months old but already house broken.

The second night Dad got a kennel. I couldn’t believe it when he put me in the kennel and closed that door. I cursed the Great Dane for making such a big mistake. I cried and whimpered but he kept me in it. He would try to comfort me by petting me inside, but he wouldn’t let me out. The next night I decided to be a brave stoic little collie and was quiet the entire night. I now realize Dad was trying to get me used to the kennel, just in case we had to travel. Looking back on it, it seemed to be just as hard on him. Frequently there would be treats in my kennel and now he rarely locks me inside my kennel. That kennel is my sanctuary.

Checking out the fence at my new home

Arroorroo, does anyone live next door?

Fellow dogs don’t let your human Moms and Dads read this part. That first week I wasn’t sure about the Great Dane’s judgment and I decided on my own test. There was a light rain and we were outside, Dad just turned the corner and was out of view. I scampered after him and wiped out head over heals when I turned the corner on the wet concrete. I went with the old sympathy routine; you know limping and whimpering. What a softie, he fell for it. I had an appointment the next day, but he called the vet! Ten minutes later, I am at the vets and once inside I smell other dogs. I forgot to keep acting. I’m just walking around, sniffing just like nothing happened. The girls at the Lower Keys Animal Clinic joked he was an over protective Dad. The vet looked me over, discovered an ear infection and gave Dad medicine. Yep, the Great Dane had sent me to a loving home. I wouldn’t run over this human, but he had a soft spot in his heart for me.

Outside of that adventure, my first week was spent playing, training, exploring the yard and short walks. I found out about those wonderful things called coconuts. They sure are fun to chew on, poke at and carry around. While Deacon, Dad and I are not perfect like Tosca, we are perfect for each other. I taught a rookie owner like Dad a lot, but he is a fast learner, just like a collie. Sure I made mistakes, but I trained him so well my nephew Deacon adopted him three years later. Well, I don’t hear the weed whacker anymore, time to sign off.

Coconuts are sure good to nibble on!

Look Dad, no paws

Dog speed.


Monday, June 18, 2007

How I Met Dad

It's me, Essex as a puppy at Holmhaven Collies

I know all of you are asking "Essex tell us about how you met Dad. Inquiring dogs want to know!"

I was whelped 13 October 2003, the daughter of Danny (Holmhaven Enchanting Dan) and Valiant Ebony Flash at Holmhaven Collies. My granddogdad Jason (Holmhaven Kings Gold) just turned thirteen there. Dad must have been impressed because he got my nephew Deacon from there. Deacon has a big silly grin on his face right now, harrumph. You can find out about Holmhaven Collies at

Dad Holmhaven Enchanting Dan
Mom Valiant Ebony Flash
GrandDogDad Holmhaven Kings Gold - Jason

By mid-December my litter mates had all disappeared, until only Buddy (Deacon’s father) and I were left. The Great Dane worked his magic, though I was the last chosen, Dad is convinced he got the best of the litter. Sometimes the best things in life are chosen for us. If any of my litter mates read this, sign the guest book, drop a comment on the blog, or bark at us at

Well, it is 31 December 2003 and this guy drives up all the way from Key West. I took one look and come right over to gnaw on his shoe lace. I really liked this guy, and I was smitten when he rubbed my belly. Suddenly I’m inside a truck; I panic, and want to stay with Buddy. I tried climbing up Dad’s arm to get out of the truck and even cried for about ten minutes. Dad, he just kept stroking me and talking in that calm steady voice. Dog gone it, you just have to relax when you hear this guy. Dad stopped at the half way point of the three and a half hour drive to Key West. I really needed go potty, dog gone it, my teeth were floating in the back of my mouth.

Brother Buddy all grown up

Next thing I know the truck stops, I wake up and we were outside his house in Key West. I was a scared and nervous but Dad is a calming influence. I heard Dad tell people he was scared too, but I couldn't tell. He lifted me out of the truck and I took one small step on Key West. It was the beginning of my adventures in a brave new world.

What that you say, why the name Essex. Dad said names should bring back memories of times and places. His story is his one college room mates Dad was an aviator aboard the Essex during the Korean War. Hur-Ruff, all us dogs know it was after Essexmas which falls on 25 December every year.

Dog Speed


Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Five Scent Dog

The school was having a raffle for border collie puppies. Dad pleaded with Grand Ma for some money to buy a chance, just one nickel, five scents pleeeezeeee. We still say a nickel only has one scent, but we digress. Grand Ma gave him a nickel; Dad would only have one ticket, while others had hundreds. The chances were a pawzillion to one. We know Dad is one in a pawzillion, so of course he got to take a little fur ball home. The cute little black and white fur ball that adopted Dad needed a name. One of Dad’s sisters suggested the name Pudgy, it stuck.

Well, any dog is a lot of responsibility for an eight year old and a border collie is a lot of dog for even for an adult human. As Pudgy grew he started taking Dad for a walk. While, Pudgy was Dad's dog, Grand Ma and Grand Paw, cared for him. Five months later Dad’s younger brother and sister were born. With babies around, it was decided to put Pudgy up for adoption. He needed a good home, with a fenced in yard and a lot of room One June day, Pudgy left with a man who owned such a place. Pudgy was sad to go and never saw Dad again, but it was for the best.

Dad entered a nomadic phase as an adult. This period lasted many dog moons and saw Dad live in more places that I have toes. Dad even lived in Asia and Central America. When this phase ended the Great Dane decided Dad deserved a second chance. The chance involved dog sitting for friends. First an amazing sable and white rough collie named Foxy visited for a month. Next, a wonderful dog named Nicky visited for two weeks. Both sent glowing reports to the Great Dane.

Dog sitting is a good way to for Dogs to find out if you have the right stuff. Dog people hate using a kennel, and rather have someone they trust watch us. Well, have to run. Time for our Sunday walk.

Dog Speed,

Essex & Deacon

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Collie Destiny?

Deacon's and my search of the Great Dane’s howled archives revealed photographs and favorable reports about Dad when he was a small boy. These particular pictures were taken by house sparrows that lived at Dad’s home. Small birds like finches and sparrows are ignored by humans and often relay vital information to Dogdom. This data allows us to match dog breed to the proper person. This is where the saying "a little birdie told me so" came from. I was once caught by Dad relaying a report for the Great Dane to one of our feathered friends. Dad thought I was just caring for a poor tired little bird. Whew….

Essex relays a report for the Great Dane

The records show, Dad was felt to be potential collie material. A special person is required for an outstanding dog. Deacon found proof positive Dad had two facsimile collies as a young lad. Humans call these facsimiles stuffed animals. These were given to him during a Holiday humans know as Christmas, but we dogs call Essexmas. The first one Dad received when he was one-and-a-half years old, the second he was 5. The sparrows reported Dad found much joy in the company of his stuffed animals and slept with them at night.

Dad's feeds his first facsimile collie

Five year old Dad hugs a stuffed collie

On a side note, the Great Dane implanted the thought in Dads mind to name me Essex after Essexmas, neat huh. Dad tells a different story about the names origin though.

The wise Great Dane knew another test was necessary. After all, an outstanding dog like a collie is a great responsibility, especially for a young boy.

I have to go; Deacon heard Dad’s truck leaving the store. Gee it sure is nice to have superior hearing.

Dog speed.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Our First Post

Hello everyone. This is Essex along with my nephew Deacon. We are the new dogs on the blog. Dad is out in the yard working, so we have to be some computer time. We have to send barks to Tosca, who inspired us to blog our stories. We bet she is biting her foot right now. Deacon and I couldn’t pass up sharing the tails of two exceptional collies living with their Dad in a strange place called Key West.

Essex and Deacon taking it easy.

We’ve heard Dad say “Well, Toto I guess we are not in Kansas any more” when talking to other humans about Key West. I know not where Kansas is, but I know Toto was an important dog.

Some say Dad was destined to have a collie, but we all know dogs choose their people. After all it was Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman, not Sherman and his dog Mr. Peabody. Growing up Dad had a facsimile collie that young boys and girls sometimes sleep with at night. We will see if we can find a picture in the record books of the Great Dane.

The Great Dane passed the word throughout Dogdom that Dad should have a puppy. For only a nickel Dad got his first puppy, a border collie mix, named Pudgy when he was only eight. The Great Dane’s log indicates that Pudgy lived with Dad for less than a year. Unfortunately, like many young boys, he wasn’t ready for the responsibility of a dog. Many, many, many dog moons later, the Dog God informed the Great Dane to give Dad another chance. The Great Dane decided he should test him first.

Dad was chosen to dog sit for two dogs. The first visitor was a veteran female collie named Foxy, who stayed for a month. Several weeks later an outstanding mixed breed female named Nicky, who cared for a large family, visited for two weeks. Both sent most excellent reports and the Great Dane decided Dad was collie material. The great Dog God planted the seed in Dad’s mind to find me, and I adopted him on 31 December 2003. Sadly, Foxy was called to the Rainbow Bridge in 2004, while I was still a puppy. We were sad to see her go, but Foxy had lived a very full life. I continued submitting favorable reports to the Great Dane, resulting in my nephew Deacon adopting Dad on 10 December 2006.

Tosca contacted us about a week ago and said we should share our stories. Deacon and I will tell you about Pudgy, Foxy, fill you in on our past adventures and relay the most excellent collie stories we over hear at the dog park.

Deacon just came running into the room. Dad just finished the yard work. It must be time to go to the dog park. May your tail wag, your belly be full, and may you have a forever family to rub your tummy and scratch behind your ears.

Dog speed.

Essex and Deacon