Well, that's a tale to be told :)
By the time our daughter Leslie was in the fifth grade (she graduated from college in May 2000! :) she had been pestering us to get a dog for a long time. Since my husband and I both worked full time, we had resisted this idea totally, feeling that it was important that at least one of us be home full time to be able to care for a dog. Well, in the spring of 1989, it finally happened. We had recently moved to Charlottesville, and I was not working, so I guess the time had come!
We lived in a townhouse at the time, so size and activity level were very important to us. I'd grown up with Cocker Spaniels, and my husband with "mutts". We couldn't agree on what was the best breed for our little family. Not having had a dog since either of us were still living with our parents, we decided to do the research and see what we turned up. We did all the various books in the library, and ranked doggy characteristics that were especially important to *us*. We wanted a dog with spunk, but not TOO much spunk, a dog that was easy to train, not TOO independent but not too "clingy" either, but first and foremost, any dog we got HAD to be excellent with children. Even tho our daughter was 10 at the time, this factor was (and still is) crucial to us.
After sifting thru all the books, doing list after list on paper, we narrowed our selection to two breeds. In all the categories and characteristics that were important to us, they ranked "exactly" equal. Given the townhouse tho, we eliminated one of them immediately, and settled on the other one. Those two choices were a Golden Retriever or a Border Terrier. Huh? What's that?? I'd never heard of a "Border Terrier".
As I'm a programmer and 'net savvy, naturally I would have turned to the Web for my research. BEEP!! Nothing! There was NO Internet back then!! I watched the newspaper ads. BEEP! Nothing! And so it went. Plenty of Golden Retrievers, but no Borders.
So how did we find Poppie, then? Several months after starting our search, I was in the parking lot of a local sports club we belonged to, and lo and behold!! There was a car with a sticker saying "I love Border Terriers"! Dashed hopes! Nobody in the car! Over the next few weeks, I "lurked" around everytime we were in that parking lot, hoping to see that car again, and even more so, with its owner, but nothing :( Finally, our luck turned. I saw it again, but this time had the presence of mind to write a note to the still unknown owner and begged them to call us. They did, but they were "merely" owners, and had gotten theirs from a breeder outside of Virginia. Dashed hopes again :( A few weeks later, tho, they called us, and told us about this big Border Terrier show coming up not too far from here, and maybe we might like to attend it. Would we?? Does it get dark at night??? :D
The big show was the Montpelier Rally, then held at President James Madison's historic home in Orange, VA, a mere few miles from Charlottesville. We went, expecting nothing but the opportunity to FINALLY see a Border "in the fur". Remember, up to this point we had never even seen a Border except in photos. Boy, did that change!! Borders all over the place!!! And all three of us fell hopelessly in love with those Little Brown Dogs on the spot!
One of the breeders had brought puppies with her to the Rally, the only one who had done so. My daughter spotted them first, and before we knew what hit us, she had a wiggly and furry little girl in her arms :) How could anyone resist? WE sure couldn't! Leslie and Poppie-to-be had to be surgically separated :) Luckily the pups were old enough to go home, so after an EXTENDED conversation with the breeder, the rest was history. Ever since then, Poppie has been an integral part of our lives and a cherished member of our family.
So what does all this, mildly interesting tho it may or may not be to you, have to do with the web site? Everything. We were extremely lucky to have run into that owner in Charlottesville as we did, and the Rally, and I realize full well that it may not have happened that way. As I believe strongly in the concept of an "informed" owner, I decided to create this web site as a place where owners and breeders and prospects could come together. This is not a common breed, and as duly noted elsewhere, it's really not for everyone. Plus, given this statement, a breeder, who by definition is something of a "professional dog owner", at least in my opinion, would most likely have a very different perspective on life with Borders than "regular" folks who are merely owned by a Border (or two). Thus the birth of this site. The "Breeders" part of it should be self-evident, and I make the assumption that ALL breeders will gladly chat with a prospective owner on any and all facets of life with Borders. However, non-breeders may have a very different take on this subject, hence the "Contacts" part. These are folks who are on the whole non-breeders, or "just plain folks" who happen to be sharing their lives with a Border. THEIR experiences are often QUITE different from those of the Breeders, I assure you!
It's not an official list of breeders, nor a definitive Border Terrier information site, but rather more of a "yellow pages" of folks who have chosen to add themselves to the list.
In any case, all folks on this site have agreed to make themselves available (by appointment or email or other specific invitation only, please!!) to chat with prospective owners on that subject we are all vitally interested in, Life With a Border Terrier.
UPDATE. Rudy, aka 'The Rude Boy' and other far less printable names, joined us in 1999 and changed our lives completely. You have no idea what life is like with two Borders until you are lucky enough to experience this. Sadly, tho, this happy state of affairs lasted for only 5 years, because we lost our beloved Poppie on December 13, 2004 at age almost 16.
UPDATE. After 10 riotous and fun years with Rudy, we were devastated to learn he had diabetes, as well as a couple of other things that hadn't quite shown themselves yet to the eye. He had survived a fatty tumor, Ehrlichiosis, another vascular disease, and a torn ACL, only to cross the bridge on September 2, 2009. Like Poppie, he is still with us in our hearts, but sorely missed. Rest in peace, Rude Boy. We will always love you and Poppie, but you are my Heart Dog forever.
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