My first love was a collie bitch. Her owners were our neighbours. She was five years when we met and I was nearly four. Her name was Kleopatra. Sometimes she was allowed to walk me around in a lead though I believed that I was leading her. This happened in 1948.
My parents never let me have any pets- it passed thirty years before I got my own collie. Then, in 1979, fortune brought me to a wonderful collie bitch John Blund's Xantippa (Silka). As she was also pregnant, I ordered a puppy from her on the spot. Three months later, I could bring my first collie home.
As all puppies should have names on C. I was allowed to give her the name, Cleopatra - of course. We also called her Cleo. She was the first prize in the collie lottery. She became a fantastic collie lady. She was one -quarter smooth collie, and with that quarter followed her temperament. She never got the glorious coat that we usually see in collies in these days, but instead she was mentally very strong, totally unafraid, and she never hesitated whatever happened around her. She loved life and the more that happened the happier she was.
Her lively temperament led me to an obedience class at the Working Dog Association. That was the starting point of my dog life. Since then, I have been more or less involved in dog training and working dog competitions. My dog life has been fun, sometimes exiting and very rewarding, also because of all the new friends I have made, all the nice dog people I have met, my puppy buyers, people in the Swedish Collie Club, in the Working Dog Association, in my local club for working dog training, and also all the co-competitors I have met at all the trials I have participated in through the years.
I got two litters from Cleo. From the first one I kept Opus, whose father was a very successful working collie (Swedish and Nordic Working Dog Champion). Opus and I worked together for many years and he participated, not without success, in many working dog competitions. Unfortunately, I never got a bitch after Cleo. So hoping to keep some of her qualities I bought a bitch from kennel Almdalen, Farah and mated her to a son of Cleo's, Convoco's Orfeo. From Farah's one and only litter I kept one bitch, Convovo's Acapella (Trolla), who is still with us, 11 years old today. Her daughter Convoco's Marimba was mated to Byrilstorp's Andrew. She gave me a new collie male, Banjo, who still is in his childhood but who is promising concerning temperament and working willingness.
The more I have worked with my collies, and with individuals of other breeds, the more impressed have I become by the abilities and the capacities of the dogs, human's best friends.