Brandy and Ace

Fictional story, a part of the novel I am currently writing.

The loft room was actually a very small studio type apartment above the horse stalls in the barn. There was a small couch, a bed, small table and cooking area with a separate room containing the bathroom. All the comforts of home. Brandy unrolled her bedroll on the bed, and prepared for bed and sleep.

“Ace, you are sleeping on the floor tonight buddy. I did not get your blanket out of the horse trailer.” Ace circled three times and plopped down on a rug beside the bed. Ace was Brandy’s constant companion, her border collie dog. Brandy turned off the light and both were sound asleep.

Brandy awoke seeing two large brown eyes staring and a black nose breathing in her face. Ace was awake and ready for the day. Brandy had purchased Ace as a twelve week old puppy. When he grew big enough to jump on the bed, he started starring at Brandy to get her up every morning sharply at 5:00, which was ok as Brandy gets up that time each morning, unless she is sick. Who needs an alarm clock when they have an Ace? Unlike an alarm clock there is no snooze button on Ace, if Brandy was not awake from his warm breath, his jumping on the bed and licking her nose and face would wake her up. When morning arrived for Ace, it arrived for Brandy. Healthy or sick, when Ace woke up, Brandy woke up and had to get out of bed.

Ace danced in circles as Brandy dressed for the day. He acted like such a puppy at times. Eager to start the day and work, Ace would run ahead and back to Brandy as they went down to the stalls to feed the horses before heading to the ranch house for breakfast. Since Brandy could not take Ace to the ranch house, she put him in an empty stall with food and water. Ace’s eyes showed he was hurt by having to obey his master and enter the tall.

“It is only for breakfast. I promise I will return and we will go for a ride.” Brandy reassured Ace. Ace laid down in the stall, and placed his chin on his crossed front legs, looking upward at her with his sad looking eyes. Brandy turned to go to the ranch house. Not everyone appreciated the bond of a border collie with their person. Ace was housebroke, but shadows Brandy’s every step. He thinks if the furniture is for Brandy, it is also for him and will sit or lay on the couches and chairs. During meals Ace sits watching Brandy put every bite in her mouth. Perhaps Brandy had taught Ace to watch her eat, as they shared meals most of the time. Ace never offered to eat off a plate or get food from a table or counter, but Brandy would hand him food from her plate as she ate. Brandy understood that Ace could not be with her when she went into other’s homes. When Ace was not shadowing her, Brandy felt there was a part of her missing.

Author’s Note: I have spent years raising and training Border Collies to herd. Border Collies are very intelligent and affectionate. I train using praise as their only reward for doing well. A Border Collie knows when they do well, and expect the praise. Border Collies are also very high energy dogs. They require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation each and everyday. A Border Collie is not for everyone. When considering a dog for a companion, please consider your established lifestyle and pick a companion that will match your lifestyle.

The post photo is of my partner, MHT Hank, the best hand I have on the sheep farm.