In 1999 my son, Francis Kenneth, asked me if he could have a dog of his own. Being a father and making sure the best of everything can be his, I had to make a decision on which breed of dogs would be best for him. The collie was one of my favorites since my childhood days, so I focused my research on collies. It was not easy though, as I had to make sure my son would be prepared for this long-term responsibility “taking care of his own dog” almost like a younger sibling, as he would be responsible for things that would best for his dog.

In November 2000, after much research and preparing my son for this new step in his life, I decided to get a dog for him (This was not an overnight decision. For me, having a puppy is not a decision I want to make today and change my mind the next day. In the pet world, the reasoning would not make sense. The pet’s life and happiness depend on it). We went to a collie breeder in New Jersey and were able to see all the puppies but out of those 10-15 puppies, there was one puppy that attracted Kenneth the most. (Tricolor collies are almost the same, one just has to look further to see details of their difference.)

The puppy came from a whelping box of 7 puppies September 3rd of 2000 (she is the 4th one). We named her Dipsy Galore. Everything changed when she came into our home. Now I had two kids to handle, but it’s fun, as we now had another one to play with. I had to start training Dipsy (I decided to train her myself). Smart as she is, training was never difficult and she enjoyed every minute of it. Forget about those expensive doggie treats — she preferred fortune cookies (until now). She knows how to stalk (that’s part of her training) and fetch, which she enjoys also. Ten throws are enough and she will be in the corner having her beauty rest… try running like she does and you’d get tired too, right?? Months passed by and I decided to get a Blue and Gold Macaw. Not a good idea?? You’re wrong; both of them were trained to be together, play together, and even share their own toys.

Every afternoon, I made it a point to train Dipsy and after her training, Porvette (our Blue & Gold Macaw) would have a ride on Dipsy’s back. That’s their routine every morning or afternoon, aside from their daily play in our family room.

Having Dipsy truly has taught Kenneth a lot of responsibilities. Have you tried brushing your dog’s teeth after brushing your own? (Separate toothbrush, I should say, for hygienic purposes….smile). I think they are starting to share their crushes for the opposite sex (they are both teenagers now). Am I afraid? For Kenneth no, but for Dipsy, no first date yet, if she does… Kenneth will be her chaperone… And I’ll need to check with that guy’s parents first… as the dog world says …show me the pedigree. Having a puppy of her own is not really a priority on my part, as this entails a bigger responsibilities. I’m not ready yet… maybe when Kenneth will be in college.

Something I need to say? It’s fun to have a dog of your own….especially a collie.