Thursday, September 13, 2012

Violet is a Spokescollie!

So, just a couple of days ago I got a Facebook message from Marilyn, a fellow Indy volunteer for TriState Collie Rescue. She is also the treasurer of the organization, and I've met her a few times for hand-offs while transporting. Very, very nice lady. It just said that she had just left me a voicemail and it was urgent. I'd been lolling around on the couch, dying and doing homework (I have a cold), and the phone was buried in the couch cushions.

So I called her back and it turns out that TSCR was going to do an interview for a local news channel and they needed some Collie representatives. Marilyn was having hand surgery the day before the interviews, so she couldn't handle her dog as far as traveling is concerned, and her dog was also a Collie mix. I moved around a wedding dress fitting a little bit and said sure. Violet got recruited, along with two other Collies owned by a volunteer.

I won't lie, I was nervous. Several reasons, like:
  1. Violet is a Collie. I don't know if you've met a Collie, but they bark.
  2. Now and then, Violet hates people. 90% of the time she is your normal, happy, loving, gentle, sweet Collie, but occasionally, she meets someone that she just can't stand. Of course she's never aggressive, but she will bark, she will back away if they approach her, and she will not accept treats from them. There is no rhyme or reason to it. She hated the photographer for our engagement pictures, and I can tell you that the photographer was a very, very nice lady. I do not know what her deal is.
  3. Violet has anxiety. We've found that melatonin vastly helps her remain at an even keel, but I'd be lying if I said that she didn't have a couple of issues.
  4. I hate being on camera.
  5. Oh, also I hardly have any voice. I've been sick all week and now I sound like a teenage boy at puberty.
So I said yes with the contingency that I didn't have to speak and that she'd be given a few minutes to acclimate to the room. I cut up a ton of little cocktail weenies and put them in a travel cup, gave her some melatonin and off we went, downtown.

She. Did. Amazingly.

Oh my gosh. I have never been more proud of that dog. We were there for nearly an hour before shooting, and she was calm, focused, working her commands, doing tricks, being sweet and friendly and perfect. She started to spook halfway through filming because a giant camera-thing on wheels (not attached to a person, just a free agent camera thing) started moving right toward the stage, but come on. She's a herding breed. Other than some jitters when we first started - she'd had tons of time to acclimate to the building and people but only about 45 seconds to acclimate to the actual room - she was so perfect.

You'll note that I had absolutely no idea where I was supposed to be looking, so I just looked everywhere, basically. Oh well. It's not an interview about adopting 24 year old social work students, so it's okay. The video:

You'd better believe, she got every last cocktail weenie when she was done. I feel like she's come a long way.


  1. Very cool!! You and Violet looked great and that was a really nice presentaton about collies. Having a dog with anxiety issues, I can understand your trepidation. But time to acclimate does really help. And sometimes they surprise us--like when we are ready for every last problem behavior we know they can do--they don't do any of them! :) Good job both of you!!

  2. Wow! that was so much fun seeing Violet and you in a video and she was such a good girl! It's a wonderful cause, of course, and thanks so much for sharing :D

  3. Congrats to Violet. Hmmm, maybe she can run for Paws-ident. She could run on the Doggone Party Ticket.

    Essex & Sherman