Dog Squad Blog – Border Collie Skai

This week’s post is from Craig Gowans. We served together in the Army in Germany and I worked and socialisedwith Anji Gowans who is great fun (and also barking mad!) Craig gave me loads of information and anecdotes regarding his time as a Royal Military Policeman, which helped shape the first book in my ‘Unlikely Soldiers’ series. http://smarturl.it/m202d6

Here’s the story of the Gowans family K9 pal, Skai.

Skai is a Border Collie originally from Holland.  Her Dad is actually a Dutch National sheep dog champion, which is pretty cool!  We got her in January 2007 and so she is now 12 years old, although you wouldn’t think it!

Border Collies are famous for their herding abilities and working with farmers and shepherds to herd sheep and goats all over the world. Watching them work is really impressive as they operate on commands using whistles.  But why whistles?  Wellit’s simple, a whistle carries over much further distance that voice.  So when they are working across large distances and in bad weather, they can still understand exactly what the shepherd wants them to do.

Having Skai as a member of our family has been and continues to be tremendously rewarding; her love is undivided and she is always there whenever we need her for a hug, or just to talk to.  Sometimes she even helps our youngest daughter with her university work!
Skai is a people person, but sometimes can get a little close to your feet if you are in the kitchen (so my wife says!)

Skai has a myriad of facial expressions, like a human I suppose, some of them do make us laugh.  Whether it’s serious herding mode, elegant and beautiful mode or just ‘what are you doing Skai?’ mode, you can almost tell what she is thinking by the way she looks. And if you are lucky she will give you a squinty look, which we all now means ‘I love you’.

Skai loves to herd, she just cannot help herself and I genuinely think it is all that matters to her from waking up, to going to sleep! Being from working stock it is literally part of her DNA where she has an unbelievable urge to watch and herd the cats!  She follows our 3 cats and literally every single waking minute of every hour of every day she stares at them!  Just waiting for them to move.  When they do, off she goes ‘Come by to the left, away to the right’ lol it really is non-stop.  The cats will go round the coffee table and Skai will go the other way to herd them, when she gets there she just stops and stares.  Poor cats think this is normal as she has always done it.

The cats are used to her, but for visitors who don’t know Skai, they find it funny.  But to Skai, it’s not funny, it’s serious, she’s working!

Skai loves to go for her walkies and is very obedient off the lead and listens to verbal commands and whistles.  We have the ‘Wrekin’ hill near us and she loves to go up there for a walk with us, always good for photos too, all the smells and long grass and heather are just what
she likes.

Skai has seen all of our four children grow to adults and met their children too!  She is a true part of the family who brings us all happiness and lots of love.  She has been with us since we lived in Germany with the Army and moved to five different homes in total.  Skai is getting into her twilight years, but there is literally no stopping her.  She is really healthy and just won’t slow down (It is the Collie way!).

I hope you enjoyed reading about Skai, she really is quite special to us.  I will leave you with my favourite picture of her at the top of the Wrekin, if you look closely you will see those ‘Squinty eyes’ I mentioned earlier.

What a beautiful dog and a lovely story. Thanks Craig.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *