The House of Border Collie: Driven by a single-minded obsessive nature, Border Collies pursue their passion with sometimes fanatical intensity. These folks may possess traits shared with members of other houses, but, ultimately, what singles them out from their peers is their daily devotion to their craft. Even when in ill health or with little time to spare, collies will make that trip to the distant yarn store or stay up late to analyze a detailed lace pattern.
Kathy Davis a “Canine Behavior Series” at Veterinarypartner.com states that “the Border Collie’s hunting behavior has been selectively bred to create a dog extremely trainable to herd livestock, sheep in particular—all day, every day." She adds, “Is it any wonder that dogs bred to do repetitive behaviors vigorously for long periods of time could easily develop obsessions if not given enough to do to keep their minds and bodies occupied?” Perhaps her words sum up what would surely be my plight if I didn’t have an English teaching job and a family with which to occupy a large portion of my time and energy. Like a collie fixated on a stray wanderer from the fold, as I leave home each day I carefully make certain that at least one knitting bag is placed in the rolling cart I drag behind me through my school’s parking lot. At work I never touch my knitting—except maybe for a few moments when I have outside lunch duty—but am always painfully aware of my bag's presence and of my yearning to sketch knitting designs and create chart patterns.
|Here a border collie enthusiastically performs his duty. Image used with permission of Creative Commons. (Border Collie Exhibiting Collie Eye, Date=14 August 2006, Author C. MacMillan)|
By the end of the day, when I’ve returned home, I’m usually too tired to do much but sit on the couch and knit. I wonder what designs I could create if I had time and money to allow me to pursue my passion “all day, every day.” Perhaps I'd end end up like the canines Davis discusses, creatures who require the following techniques to curb their obsessive behaviors: interruption, supervision, alternate behavior choices, confinement, attention, and exercise. Wait, I already could benefit from such intervention strategies, so I can only imagine how I would be if I have the leisure and luxury to devote myself full-time to my hobby.