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Our Wild Escape Artist - Mojo Mac

Posted 11/1/2014 7:32am by Julie Hurst / Roy Brubaker.

I feel we need to say more about Mac’s three-day rendezvous with the neighbor’s dog, in part because a customer has expressed concern about an intact male dog being allowed to run loose and because we know all of our customers and friends care about animal well-being. You have a right to know how and why this to happened. It is not lost on us that many unwanted dogs are euthanized every day due to irresponsible dog ownership. We don’t want to contribute to those problems.

Mac is a registered Border collie out of good herding lines. We bought him to raise as a working dog and potentially, a stud dog. Since Mac quickly demonstrated the quality of his breeding, he has been somewhat in demand as a sire of working dogs since he was two years old and he has sired a few litters for other responsible Border collie owners. His services were not cheap and we know many of the farms or country homes where his progeny now live. Of course he has become a pet as well, but our intention has always been to have him sire a litter when we found a female whose bloodlines and working characteristics were a good match for Mac. We found that dog in Pip, a young female Border collie we bought from a breeding program in North Carolina. Unfortunately, even though she has cycled a few times, they have not produced a litter. When they do, we will likely neuter Mac and retire him from stud dog service.

We do not as a matter of habit allow our dogs to run free all the time. They are only out of their pens off-leash when we are with them. We try to organize our days so that they get as much time as possible accompanying us while we work on the farm, but when we are away (which is more than we would like given Roy’s job and the amount of time Julie spends on the road making deliveries) they are kenneled or leashed. That said, Mac can evade us when he wants too in the blink of an eye when he is loose. He is also a masterful escape artist. We have had to reinforce his pen because he learned to scale 6.5 feet of wire, open the door to the outside by biting and turning a round door knob, and even chewing off the bottom of the exterior, aluminum-clad door. He is athletic, intelligent, and clearly has a lot of mojo. However, he’s well known in the neighborhood and we’ve quickly learned his pattern and either we or neighbors who care for him frequently intercept him along his escape routes quite early in his efforts to go walkabout.

In this recent case, which was a far longer disappearance than ever before, we are in contact with the family whose female dog Mac was with during his escape and have offered to help them find good homes for the puppies if she is bred. (Past attempts to have her bred have been unsuccessful, so who knows what will come of it.)

I’ll admit, I feel both confessional and a little defensive in writing this. A farm is an open ecological system in which we are participants in the types of forces and energies that make the natural environment work. Over the past seven years of having Border collies, what has amazed us is how much beauty, energy, and efficiency they bring to this place in spite of the fact that we are not totally in control of them. In that respect, they mirror all of life.

We endeavor to be transparent and we have never claimed perfection in any aspect of our lives. But we are continually trying to improve what we do.