The Bonz: Tina the border collie herds mom to the dog park

VERO BEACH — I’m a pushover when I receive a compliment. So you can imagine my puffed-up chest when I recently received an email saying: “I am most favorably impressed by this lovely town – especially your column.” Wowsa!

So I quickly arranged to meet with Tina, a 6-year-old smooth-coated border collie who moved here from Colorado a few months ago to live with Lisa and Dennis Kelley in Central Beach.

“I’m glad you enjoy my column, Tina,” I began.

“You’re welcome, Bonzo,” Tina replied. “But I also wrote I was impressed with the barrier island’s dog park and wildlife habitats.”

“Uh, yeah,” I said humbled. “So what brought you to Vero?”

“My wonderful, beloved mom passed away,” Tina told me. “It was my mom’s wish Lisa and Dennis inherit me and become my new mom and dad.”

“So Vero must be a quite a change for you Tina,” I said.

“It is, Bonz,” Tina said. “In Colorado, I was pretty much a Lone Ranger – roaming the range in wide open spaces. But it’s all good for me here except for not being used to wearing a leash. I’m an ‘off leash’ kind of a girl.”

“What do you do instead of roaming the range?” I asked.

“Well Bonzo,” Tina began, “My day starts off with me giving my mom what we border collies call ‘the eye’ until she wakes up.”

Huh?

“As I’m sure you know, Bonzo,” Tina said, “the border collie is the best herding dog ever. ‘The eye’ is a fiercely intense stare which we use to intimidate and control livestock. I proceed with ‘the eye’ tactic until mom walks me to the dog park, rain or shine. Of course I always have my ball in my mouth.

“When I’m good and played out, mom and I trot back home and I leap into the pool to do the doggie paddle and cool off. Then I take a nap.”

“Sounds pawsome,” I said.

“When I wake up, I go and find my mom to give her ‘the eye’ again,” Tina told me. “Mom knows to either take me back to the dog park, walk me on some nature trails or take me to the beach where I can chase my ball and play in the waves. Afterwards it’s back home and time for a treat and another nap. When I wake up it’s time to go to the dog park and more doggie paddling in the pool again.

“My day ends with dinner, a snooze and finally a walk around the block before bedtime,” Tina said.

“That sure sounds like an active day, Tina.” I said.

“Oh, I forgot to mention my new hobby, Bonzo,” Tina said. “My mom found a sheep farm in Ft. Pierce where I can do what I was born and bred to do – herd sheep.

“I love it, Bonzo. It was crazy fun, wild and wooly. I nipped at the sheep’s heels and rounded up the strays. Everyone said I was a natural, which made me smile and feel sheepish.”

Geez, I thought I had a lot of energy.

But this interview with Tina left me exhausted.

I think I’ll take a nap.

Till next time,

The Bonz

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