Photo by Rebeca Andrews
Our family has grown since the Christmas 2009 picture (above).
This was taken on Christmas 2010.
This was Christmas 2012.
How fast time flies!
Emma with Girly & Joni with Reece. ♥
I grew up in rural northern Idaho sixteen hands off the
ground competing on 3-day eventing horses.
That understanding of a training relationship allowed for a natural
transition to working and training border collies on sheep and cattle.
I graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in
Animal Science and Dairy Science. While
working as a herdsman on a large dairy in southern Idaho, I attended a sheep
dog trial in Sun Valley. It wasnít long
after that I purchased my first border collie pup from Patrick Shannahan. She is now 12 years old and has taught me
more than I could ever put into words about training, trialing and life in
While I bought that first pup as a hobby, as well as the
sheep to train her with, my dogs and livestock are now a way of life and a
necessity. I married a 5th-generation
South Dakota cattle rancher, and we now use working border collies in our
everyday management of the ranch. Together
with my husbandís father and brothers, we run black baldy cow/calf pairs, as well as
backgrounding calves each year. I,
myself, also run a flock of rambouillet ewes and continue to grow those
numbers every year. We, and I especially,
could not do all of this without the help of good dogs.
I truly believe the border collie is the supreme working
dog, and I work hard to maintain the integrity of the breed as such. I know there are multiple other venues where
the border collie also excels, but my love for them is rooted in those
incredible traits carefully selected for and protected by shepherds generations
ago. I also know that without those
traits I, and many others with lifestyles like mine, would be without a
As a breeder I work hard to produce dogs that are well
rounded. I strive for dogs that are physically
and mentally able to handle long working days in tough situations and that we
enjoy both as partners but also as members of our family. I so appreciate innate talent on stock, yet
also have the highest regard for a dog that is biddable, honest, and offers its
heart. I also work to stay informed
about and prevent health issues by taking advantage of genetic and radiographic
testing before breeding any dog.
I also work hard to promote the border collie as an
unmatched ranch resource and working partner.
Each year we host a training clinic with Patrick Shannahan at our ranch,
and next year will be our 8th annual. I
have done working dog demos at local events and have loved being a part of an
Ag Day event for the urban 3rd and 4th graders of Rapid City, SD. Not only am I able to share with
those kids a piece of my way of life, but I am also able to show them through
my partnership with a dog what is possible when you share a relationship built
on respect and hard work.
My husband Lee and I hosted our first USBCHA sheep dog trial
in 2008 and have continued on from there.
Last year we hosted a smaller summer 2-day trial, as well as our bigger
3-day fall trial. This year we are also
adding a few small Novice trials late in the fall to offer an opportunity for
beginners to have a good experience.
While we live in a very rural, fairly isolated location, these trials
have offered a great opportunity for ranchers and locals to come and watch and
maybe visit with an experienced handler or trainer. Many of them who use dogs on their ranches
arenít even aware of the potential there, and I find great joy helping them