Here are 99 images that document the last two years of my dog life and the two special dogs that wrote the story, Dublin and Celeste.
Dublin is an athletic tri-colored male from pure working lines. He has a heart of gold and a playful charisma that you can’t help but adore. He talks, especially when he’s hungry or wants to play Frisbee, and the morning doesn’t officially start until he’s climbed up my lap, placed his paws around my shoulders, and gotten his fill of hugging. He sleeps on his back, on my bed, or even cuddled in my arms and when he was a puppy he’d sleep on my pillow and suckle on my hair. He’s a soft dog who always aims to please, and he loves riding in the car with his head (or most of his body) out the window.
His full name is Dublin Rex. Dublin is Gaelic for “black pool” which fittingly describes his deep saucer-like black eyes and the depth of his calm character. The Rex is Latin for “king” and stands for the regal quality I so admired in my last Border Collie male, Black Jack, hoping that the name would instill the same confidence and air in Dublin. As a pup and even now, he loves to play King of the Hill, perching on the back of the couch, at the head of the bed, or crawling up to the highest vantage point in the car.
Celeste is a gorgeous classically marked female from American Agility and show lines. She’s razor sharp and an outstanding athlete, always topping her class at anything she tries. I’m no judge of conformation, but if she has a fault I can’t find it. Her feminine charm has gotten her dubbed ‘Miss Priss’ around the house (or Miss Piss when she was a puppy, despite the fact that she house trained herself before we used even one box of puppy pads). She’s the most affectionate Border Collie that most people have ever met, but she’s in no way needy. Her excited wiggle and generous kisses win over hearts wherever she goes, and her complete lack of standoffish neuroticism that is common in Border Collie bitches makes her quite the exception. Her uncharacteristic warmth is juxtaposed with an amazing tenacity, she is proof that the female of the species is more deadly than the male. She’s swift enough to run down a rabbit and agile enough to catch and dispatch squirrels as they try and escape the apple trees in the center of the yard. I’ve seen her catch at least three in mid air as they leap from the tree to make their escape. She’s a hard dog who is easy to train, an independent woman who is self assured as any, and in all respects a force of nature.
Her full name is Adventure’s of Arabelle Celeste. Adventure is the kennel name of her outstanding breeder and Arabelle Celeste is a combination of “beautiful Earth” and “heavenly” which suits her personality as both grounded, beautiful, and exceptional. The Gaelic for Comet is “Realt Eireabail,” with Realt meaning ‘star’ and Eireabail meaning ‘blazing tale;’ so Celeste’s name evokes a star streaking brightly across the sky. It’s also a play on “Belle Star” the famous Wild West female sharpshooter, and Celeste embodies the tough girl who hasn’t lost her feminine side ethic. The “belle” in her name is a legacy from my previous Border Collie female, Bonnie Belle.
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