Why have one all-consuming hobby when you can have two?

If you’ve been following along, you’ve probably figured out that in addition to railway modelling, I’m a big suck for border collies. My wife and I have two, and the eldest one and I are learning to work together to herd sheep.

If there’s a zombie apocalypse, it would be nice to have a useful skill – and “shepherd” might be more in demand than “writer”. But since that’s unlikely to happen – and since I’m equally unlikely to buy a sheep farm – I’m doing this primarily because it’s a challenging sport and I like what the work does for the dogs, and for me.

But, my eldest dog is getting older and while he has many years left in him (knock wood), there’s going to come a time – sooner rather than later – when he’s too old to work sheep. So some succession planning is in order.

That’s why last Sunday, my wife and I went to the Owen Sound area to look at border collie pups – and in a couple of weeks, this little guy is going to join us:

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We’ll call him “Roy”. It’s a good herding name (trust me on this) and I’ve met at least one other working dog named Roy who has really impressed me. I’m hoping some of the magic comes from the name…

Roy is one of a litter of four, and it was tough to pick one. We wanted them all. And who wouldn’t?

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The puppies went bananas when mum showed up…

(You can also watch this directly on YouTube, where you may be able to enjoy it in larger formats)

While this post has nothing, directly, to do with modelling the line to Port Rowan, I was reminded on the way up to Owen Sound of just how extensively the CNR (and CPR) covered province at one time. The road to Owen Sound passed through many small towns once served by the railways. Several branches radiated out of the CNR yard at Palmerston and the CPR yard at Orangeville – and any one of them would make an excellent subject for a layout.

Both railways had lines to Owen Sound, which was an important grain terminal. Elevators still line both sides of the harbour:

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The CNR station in Owen Sound is now the city’s visitor centre, and a display out front includes a passenger car and a CNR van:

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Owen Sound is the main hub in the region. That said, it’s a city of just 22,000 people – and on Sunday, they’re all at home: The downtown was pretty much closed. Fortunately, all we wanted was lunch – and The Curry House was one of the few places open for business:

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And… it was delicious. We’ll definitely go back for more.

We’ll get Roy in a couple of weeks – and my time will disappear into puppy stuff. Not that I mind. But before that happens, I have a project or two I hope to finish. I might even get them done before the owner of this bike retrieves it from the snowbank outside The Curry House…

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10 thoughts on “Roy

    • Thanks Gene: he will! That said, I should also have time when he’s passed out to work on projects. Maybe I’ll get more done…

  1. Many years ago we house sat for friends for the year. Among the duties was caring for Battle, a Border Collie in late middle age. As with other working dogs like terriers, he was extremely intelligent. After eight months, we discovered by accident that he could do all sorts of tricks.

    But he had a mind of his own. He would only drink from the toilet, and he herded everything — us, our cat, cars coming up the drive. But he was great company, and I built my second model railroad (and only one in N, so far) in their basement that year. Between Battle and making scenery, it was a busy year!

    I think it is good that your layout is so far along!

  2. Trevor:

    After showing the photos and video of those adorable puppies, my daughters, Cara, 11, and Jaime, 13, wanted the other three. Not sure our two cats would be so enthusiastic to welcome them though. Great post!

  3. What adorable puppies! Good luck with Roy; he probably will be a great “herder”.
    I really enjoy these posts as much as the layout ones. They make us feel part of your broader world; a friendly reminder there’s more to life than modelling.
    Cheers, Gord

    • Thanks Gord!
      Yes, there’s more to life than modelling. I try to keep the blog focussed on my hobby – but it’s also a diary of what I’m doing (or not doing) in the hobby. It’s for me as much as it is for anybody else. I hope that I look back on it in a few years and can say, “Oh yeah: we got a puppy. That’s why I didn’t get anything done in the first part of 2016.” Or, “All that time minding the puppy in the kitchen sure paid off because I got a lot of details built for the layout.”

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