Collies (think Lassie) are a majestic breed of dog. There is something about their quiet, loyal dignity as they watchfully assess the world around them. Their poise communicates intelligence.

Just like all pups, though, they mature into this stature. One of my favorite Collies is Dakota. While brilliantly smart, he is still working on the maturing part. Dakota’s mom recently shared part of his adoption story with me.

She was at the breeder’s home and asked to meet the dam (a wise request when adopting a pup and assessing a breeder!). The dam came out and calmly took her position on the front stoop to assess the new human visitor, steadily staring at her. These are the moments when you wonder what dogs perceive. Meanwhile, Dakota was doing his puppy thing, obnoxiously and rambunctiously barking and jumping, vying for attention. The dam, without breaking eye contact, gracefully descended the stairs, picked Dakota up by the nape of the neck, and shook him. She then effortlessly returned to her spot on the stoop, continuing to stare with a corrected and quiet puppy. Maybe this should have foreshadowed the amount of training and instruction Dakota would need, but his two-legged mom is the right person for the job!

At least his antics usually bring a smile. At four, he is slightly less intrigued by the spring door-stoppers and thinks about it before he paws at them. As it turns out, though, the noise that it makes is still fun!