Through the years those who have been with us know that there is always one collie who is my lieutenant who takes charge when I tell the collies to calm down or to stop doing something and makes sure they respond. There was Niamh who was the Alpha Female and Alpha Supreme. Then came Trevor and his sister big Hallie. Trevor would just lay down the law and Big Hallie would grab the offender from behind and would twist just a certain way and the rowdy collie would be laying down looking up at her quiet, stern look that let them know “YOU MIND!”
Well, now that Smoke and Branwen are the Alpha Male and Female I have been wondering how it is going to work. Smoke and Branwen lay down the law according to their will until today. Whipped into a rowdy group I let i be known I wanted them to stop and while half responded the other half didnt. Not until all of a sudden darting from my side went lil Hallie in the same little head down determined strut her Grandmother did. She grabbed Rutherford and laid him down and he was not happy until he looked up into her glaring eyes and he decided enough was enough and ended his role in the upheaval.
Then, Lil Hallie turned and grabbed Mick who is 125 pounds and laid him down and he took one look at her eyes and decided he was going to be good too. The other collies who were being rowdy stood there quietly for a minute and looked at her and lil Hallie strutted over and sat down in front of me and glared and they all laid down and that was that.
It was a stunning display of quick, decisive action and done with authority and determination. My reaction was one to praise her for she now has truly become my right hand collie who enforces my will and commands when I give them now. The Alphas accept that and everyone else saw I was backing her up so she has finally filled the role I wanted her to fill. Its so much easier with a large group to have a enforcer who when I give that rare command or the rare time I put my foot down they handle it so I dont have to say it twice.
The hardest part of it was watching lil Hallie who looks just like her grandmother dart from my side with that strut and take the same decisive action her grandmother did. It was like watching a film of Big Hallie and I have to admit it was disturbing in that it was like watching her grandmother, whom I dearly loved. It was eerie and I caught myself looking for Trevor who you all know died last July. Taking a deep breath and wiping the tears from my eyes I praised lil Hallie to high heaven. She did her job and while firm and strong, she didnt overdo it, was not mean or hurting anyone, she just laid down the law and they saw I was backing her up. So, once again I have the lieutenant who makes sure that those collies who decide they dont want to listen will do so now. It makes it so much easier for the collies will now police themselves and lil Hallie will spring into action to enforce my wishes and other older collies will back her up for they know she has my backing and they will want praise too. It makes it very easy with a enforcer as you can imagine.
I very purposely try not to over control things here at the Meadow for I want them to have fun, but sometimes they need to calm down, or to stop barking for me to be able to talk on the phone or whatever needs to be done. But, when I do give a command they need to listen and with Lil Hallie I know they will respond which is very important for sometimes it can stop a catastrophe or a injury from happening and that is my main reason for giving orders to any collies. Otherwise they can play to their hearts content…
As some of you know Lil Hallie was born the day after her Grandmother Hallie passed. They could almost be twins and their personalities, actions, mannerisms and even fur patterns are almost identical. Its a weird, sometimes wonderful and sometimes heartbreaking thing loving her for there are moments when I forget which Halie I am looking at.
So, that is the strange, somewhat unusual story of today’s activities. Lil Hallie has shown sparks of this role in the past…. but today was the day she really fulfilled it. Those with bigger groups of dogs know it is important to have a hierarchy and to have one dog who is known to represent you and your wishes who will enforce them and who all the dogs know has your backing. It keeps order and keeps any trouble within the dog family almost non-existant. Its nice to have that here again at the Meadow 6 months after Trevor has passed…… Yes, its been 6 months since my ol’ Boo was called to the other side….. its taken 6 months for the realignment of the hierarchy to happen…. but my heart will never stop being broken from missing him….
Lil Hallie- My new right hand girl………