Tag Archives: border collie

Its all about the name!

     Its time for you to meet all the members of Cacia Farms.  We name our pets with nice strong good names and yet, that never seems to be what we call them daily.  As our pets grow and their personalities shine they get many nicknames to match their personalities.

    Meet Aengus this is our border collie he comes from Ireland so we spelled his name the Irish way.  We never call him Aengus.  Aengus quickly became Gus he was by far the goofiest little dog ever.  He was always so proud of  all the mud puddles he made in our yard.  We also sometimes called him Goose like a geese he might herd.  While teaching Gus loose leash walking I would often say “Come on Goose” which quickly got shortened to Mongoose.  He loves it when you sing his name Gus Gus Gus over and over needless to say the little dog with the huge personality quickly got many names and, actually answers to all of them.  I personally think that is because he thinks we should only ever talk to him.  Some of his other name include Gustoferson and Gustaf.

     This is Sheba our Labrador who is name for The Queen of Sheba as she is so spoiled.  She will turn 12 in February and has had many names over the years.  Her most recent one came from her song (I believe every pet should have their own theme song).  Sheba became Doopy because she is the Super Duper Labrador, which she truly is.  For a girls first dog I could not have asked for a better dog! 

      Meet Georgia Peach…that turned out to be not so peachy after all.  George was my first cat, I brought her home very young.  She was a barn kitten and was not that socialized when she came home.  I thought having no other cats she would bond with me…she had other ideas.  George claimed my labrador as her own and they quickly became fast friends.  This relationship however led to George’s identity crisis in which she thought she was in fact a dog until we got a second cat.  Although friendly with the labrador she was not so friendly with people.  When I met my husband Jeff he quickly renamed her George Cat … like a bobcat she will eat you.

     This would be Macaroni Jack the Sanfransico treat.   This sweet little orange ball of a maniac was found under a dumpster how could I not bring the little dumpster kitty home.  Macaroni was his shortened name for the first year or so of his life as he was a little orange ball of wild and crazy.  When we moved from Sanfransico to Rochester NY he became a little more dignified and also much larger.  It was at this point we started calling him Jack or Jack Jack.  He is still very much the kitten of the house and never ceases to amaze me the trouble he gets into.  It was also this big orange cat that taught George how to meow instead of trying to bark.

     This little black monster would be Remington.  Anyone who know us well is probably thinking they don’t have a cat called Remington, well we did.  He lasted as Remington for all of maybe 2 months at which point he became overly loving.  He was so loving and snuggly infant he got his own theme song, this is the cat whose pants are made of snuggles.  Remington became snugglepants and now only answers to pants or snugs, yes I have a cat named Pants.  If you find Snugs he is almost always with Jack as they are buddies.

      Our rabbits don’t have quite as interesting names.  Our first pair of Giant chinchillas were Bunny and Clyde.  We now have Sly and Annabelle but they came with those names.  When we added a second doe Jeff named her Dixie and I asked “like the cup?” so she is Dixie like the cup.  Our second buck which I drove all the way to Oklahoma to get we name him Pistol Pete after OSU’s mascot which is where Jeff and I met.

     Lastly the only member of Cacia Farms not to live on site is Ace. He is too big to keep here and he needs his horsey friends.  Ace came with his name, however he got his nickname the first day.  I bought him on St Patrick’s Day of 2014 meaning he had just started shedding his winter fluff.  I had never owned my own horse and didn’t know the enormity of what that meant.  He quickly became know to Jeff and as Fuzz and actually answers to Fuzz.

     This is what I like to call our herd I hope you get a good laugh out of this.  Be sure to go to our Facebook page and enter our cutest nickname contest winner get a 20$ visa gift card.  All you have to do is like our page and share the post.  Post your entries in the comments below the contest post, including a photo of your pet with it original name and nickname.  The link to the left will take you straight there.


The struggle is real…

     I finally convinced my husband last year that we were in fact going to get a border collie.  Well,,, neither of us had owned a purebred border collie before.  We had a border collie mix but he seemed to lean more towards to lab side.  I remember growing up watching my Papa’s herding dogs work the cows. I thought  that it was so amazing that such a small creature (in comparison to the cow) could move so many cows.  It made me think, if this little border collie can strike fear in the hearts of these cows, then what can I do?  This brings me back to our own border collie.  He just turned a year this past June and neither of us can image a life without Gus.  Gus came into our home and from the get go he filled the house with his presence and love.  We did soon discover that border collies are in fact uniquely different that all other dogs….one day they may rule the world.  I learned very quickly that Gus never stops and that specifically, he is learning ,,,always.  He proved to be far smarter than even I had guessed.  We started Gus on sheep early and he proved to know instinctively that this was what he was made for.  Another difference between the sweet loving labrador in our house and the border collie is the level of affection.  Sheba our lab is so wonderful but mostly stays to herself and only seeks attention when it is offered.  Gus on the other hand is always with you and if you happen to stand still for 1 second, that is 1 second Gus thinks that you should be petting him.  Most dogs also snuggle up all nice and lay with you …  Gus does not.  We call it struggling it’s a mix of snuggling and trying not to let the border collie suffocate you hence, struggling.  Gus tends to push his nose right into your face to make it easier for your to kiss him while struggling for air.  Gus has brought a wonderful amount of joy to our life and I can’t imagine a life without a border collie.

Wonder dog needs a cape!

We went yesterday to Cherry Hill Training Center where our border collie and I are learning to herd.  In the video above Amanda our trainer is handling Gus so I could see what I was doing differently.  I have not been to our herding lessons in several weeks since I sprained my ankle.  Gus of course, preceded to be amazing and herd like a pro.  I often joke with Amanda that Gus probably thinks he could do better herding without me.  I have always thought that watching bird dogs work was amazing …until I saw Gus herding.  Gus herding sheep is so amazing how he just knows what to do with his long hair blowing in the wind.

Gus can also herd squirrels….

PictureI was sure I was going to sleep in this morning, so sure I had Jeff lock Gus out of the bedroom.  Gus had other ideas.  We taught him to ring the bells when he needs to go outside which I thought was brilliant.  This was great right up until this morning when I am laying in bed at 8am trying really hard to sleep in.  All I can hear is Gus frantically, endlessly and oh so annoyingly ringing his bells.  I thought maybe he really needs to pee so I got up and let him outside.  Being as I was up now I figured I might as well eat breakfast and have my good morning coke.  I wasn’t paying attention when I let Gus back in so I did not see the body in his mouth.  Now you might think since I used the word body that it was dead….not so.  My oh so wonderful border collie whom I love so much (I am trying to remind myself of these things right now) had brought a not dead squirrel into the house.  When I turned around and saw him he immediately thought oh boy that is not mama’s happy face and dropped the squirrel.  The squirrel took this opportunity to make a break for it …inside my house.  George Cat happened to be in the living room. She was so delighted by the fact that there was what she I’m sure thought was the largest mouse she had ever seen took chase.  George proceeded to chase the squirrel through the dining room and into the living room where she cornered it in front of the front door.  Now most cats would be intimidated by an angry squirrel that was not at all small.  George descended on that squirrel like a bear on honey.  My house now sounds and looks like a war zone and I’m trying to figure out how to separate George from what she has decided will be her breakfast if it kills her.  This is when my trust labrador decided to intervene.  Sheba does this often when she thinks anyone is playing to rough or being naughty.  Sheba walked right over and like a bulldozer walked into the fray.  George let go of the now once again free and very traumatized squirrel.  I opened the back door and locked the kitties in the bedroom and now had to tell Gus meanwhile had done a very beautiful job of holding the squirrel in our entryway with his magic border collie eye.  This made me wonder if I could get Gus to herd his squirrel back outside.  Well that thought lasted about 2 seconds when squirrel made its break for it once again Gus gave chase thankfully to the kitchen and the open back door.  I am going to look at this as a learning experience.  First always check gus before coming back into the house.  Second my cat is much more frightening than I ever imagined and I thank her for every day she lets us all live.  Third and I already was aware of this but this is why we can’t have nice things.

​Surprisingly little damage for the battle this morning!  I also find Gus’s I’m so sorry mom face rather cute.

“If chaos is a work of art, then my heart is a masterpiece.” – D. Antoinette Foy

The Not So Day Off

PictureI decided yesterday I would take the day off, well that lasted about 1 hour.  People who own border collies do not get days off.  He made a record 40 minutes after Jeff left for work before he began to struggle in the bed with me.  We call it struggling with Gus because he doesn’t really snuggle.  He pushes his nose up into your throat (which makes it difficult to breath) all while flailing about wildly its extreme snuggling hence the name struggling.  After Gus had successfully let me know we would not be sleeping in I got up to conquer the day.  I decide to make some chicken stock as I was almost out.  I put my chicken carcass in my stock pot with celery, onions, and carrots.  We had also cooked a rabbit in the crockpot the day before so I added the bones from the rabbit aswell.  I left this to simmer for several hours while I caught up on some sewing.  I have been working on the same wall hanging for several years.  Every year I bring it out around fall and think I will have this done by christmas to hang on the wall.  Christmas comes and goes and then I would put the wall hanging back in my unfinished box of projects. (UFO)  Yesterday I finally finished it!  It did however take me twice as long since my cat George stole all the border pieces to play with and kill.  After chasing her all over the house and snatching my fabric back from one very angry kitty  I finished it!  Unfortunately I still won’t be able to hang it up this year for christmas as it still needs to be quilted.  All this time I have been being productive Gus is sound asleep in my bed, so helpful.  After straining the broth and putting it in cans to be pressure canned I put the pot in the sink.  I put dish soap inside and turned on the water.  I thought now would be a good time to run out and quick feed the rabbits.  I would like to take this moment to just mention how cute and distracting baby bunnies are!  When I was done snuggling squishy bunnies I returned to the kitchen (now swamp).  Apparently you shouldn’t leave the water running in a giant pot with dish soap because It goes everywhere!  I also decided today would be an excellent day to start socializing the rabbit I have picked to keep!  Gus was super excited that there was a small squishy rabbit on the couch.  I just have to pick an amazing name for it!  All in all it was a very productive and relaxing day even if I didn’t get to sleep in.





Adventure is out there…!

Escape was the theme of the day yesterday.  My border collie escaped the yard and the bunny decided he was going to live in the house  I was sitting at my mother in-law’s counter talking to her while Gus had a play date with their dog Cabela.  I looked out the window only to see my wonderful border with his head under the fence.  As I was opening the door to call him back to me the whole border collie disappeared!  I, of course, had no shoes on and ran to the front door to jam my feet into my Bogs.  Ace had just freshly stomped on my left foot and lets not forget about the right ankle being sprained.  I ran around to the side of the yard that he disappeared on only to find no border collie.  At this point I am envisioning my beautiful border collie squashed by a car.  When I got up the hill and through the woods there is Gus making friends with the neighbor behind the house.  I called Gus who came running over with the “Mama look what I did” face! He was so proud of himself and I couldn’t really yell at him since he did come when called.  Gus and I went home where I proceeded to ground him and tell him he can’t talk to any of his girlfriends for a week!
Pete one of our herd bucks enjoys hopping around the garage while I’m out there.  I believe he likes to go check on his ladies.  I had swept up after all the rabbits, fed everyone and given annabelle her meds.  I too a short trip into the house to fill the watering can. I left the door open that leads from the garage into the kitchen, as I would only be a minute.  Gus went out which I didn’t think anything of as he is very good with the rabbits.  What I didn’t know was that Pete had hopped inside while Gus went out.  After filling everyone’s water I realized that Pete was no-where to be found.  It was then that I realized Pete was not actually in the Garage.  Complete pandemonium doesn’t quite explain what you see when you walk in to find one giant rabbit chasing a giant cat followed now by Gus who had followed me in.  I grabbed Gus an threw him outside with our lab.  Now the hard part of catching Jack or Pete.  Luckily Jack is a very food motivated cat so I busted out the liver treats and called him.  Jack amazingly ran over jumped on the counter for his treat.  I snatched a very happy Pete up who was not so impressed when I put him back in his enclosure.
Needless to say there is never a dull moment in my house.  I sometimes love to see the reactions on peoples face when I tell them how many pets I have.  The chaos that is my house has a peaceful rhythm that I could not survive without.

Stewart Freeze Dried Treats

As a dog trainer and wife of a veterinarian I always strive to find high quality treat that are not only affordable but palatable.  I have been using Stewart Freeze Dried Liver treats for some time now.  We got our border collie last year and he is a very picky eater.  He enjoys working for liver treats and rarely gets bored with them during training.  I also love how they come in many different sizes so I can use them in different ways.  I stuff the largest pieces into kongs for my dogs which occupies them for a while trying to free the treat.   My husband is a veterinarian and likes that they have a single ingredient of liver.  They come in seven different flavors and are made with no preservatives or additives, which makes the husband and picky border collie very happy (and the cats).  I would definitely recommend this product to anyone.  Gus gives this treat 9 out of 10 paws he wishes more flavors came in the giant bucket.

The links below will bring you to their website and you can also follow them on instagram, twitter and Facebook.




 Welcome to Cacia Farms!  We have a tiny plot in upstate NY where my border collie and I raise food for our family.  We have 3 dogs, 3 cats, 4 breeding rabbits and a horse (the horse is boarded off site so he has friends).  I love to raise my rabbits under the ever watchful eye of Gus our border collie.  Gus and I also enjoy watching T.V. and quilting.  We often visit Cherry Hill Training Center where Gus channels his inner border collie to learn to herd sheep.  I hope you enjoy following Gus and I in our journey to provide a healthy and sustainable home for our family.  
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