We have two Shelties and four house cats.
I read yesterday that a study of dog intelligence showed that the Shetland Sheepdog ranked number six:
Spock is our old man. He just turned eleven. He’s got arthritis but gets around well with meds. He’s very smart and very empathetic and, unlike most shelties, is (almost too) outgoing and friendly. Fergus, our two year old, is wary of strangers (the sheltie norm). He’s also, sadly, dumber than a box of rocks and probably would knock the breed down to number ten if he were included in the study group. Like many animals and most people, what he lacks in brains he makes up for in cuteness.
They both live by the sheltie motto: “We bark at anything that moves.”
A story: Back on July 13, my wife and I celebrated the third anniversary of our first date. We sat in the Fox & Hound, taking up valuable seating space long after we’d finished eating, and talked for over six hours. Dawn took me to her home to meet Spock. Following her there in my car, I mused, “Wait a minute? What are you doing? No one knows you’re on a date with this girl and you hardly know her! For all you know you might end up on a meat hook in her basement. It’s your long weekend! No one would notice you missing until next Monday night when you’re supposed to show up for work…” I arrived at her home to be greeted by barking. Loud, almost constant, sheltie barking. Spock is big for his breed. I was afraid of him. Dawn pointed out that, as he barked, he was wagging his tail. All he did was want to play fetch. To this day, all he does is want to play fetch.
Sometimes…actually most of the time…it’d be all right with me if all I had to do in life was bark, wag my tail and play fetch.