Eggy’s Corner: Maya on the Phone

By Dixie Marroquin

My name is Maya and I love the smell of my owner’s perfume. I am a Border Collie. I am 10 years old and words that describe me are: intelligent, athletic, agile, acrobatic (my owners say I can spin on a dime when I am catching frisbees), and lastly but not least, I am sweet and caring. I live in the Pacific Northwest, at the top of Mt. Scott, overseeing the snow top of Mt. Hood. In the morning, I go out to play fetch and catch frisbee. I have a lot of grass space to run around. If you ask me, I would play fetch and catch all day long, and then do it again the next day.

Eating, drinking water, catching my red tennis ball, fetching my blue frisbees, resting from time to time, and attentively hearing everything that happens at home and outside are my favorite things to do during the day.

My parents were working dogs. They worked in a sheep and cattle ranch in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. My parent’s trainer Rafael was originally from Chile, he was a Huaso, which means he was an expert horseman. He trained my dad so well, that at the sound of Rafael’s whistle, my dad would guide the dogs to herd the sheep and cattle in formation. Watching my dad work was like watching flocks of birds fly by in perfect order. The dogs and sheep and cattle would move to the right, to the left, would stop, then go; everything methodically coordinated using my dad’s high intelligence and trainability skills. If there were sheep or cattle that went stray, the dogs would bring them back.

This week, I had a friend visit me from Washington, D.C. and after a long day of playing frisbees with her, we sat by the fireplace to rest. She told me about her friend Eggy. She mentioned that Eggy is well informed about everything from politics to health to networking and other exciting activities in the nation’s Capitol.

She said that recently in Capitol Hill, they had an event in which veteran puppies came to visit and that Member of the House of Representatives debated a bill that seeks to create a pilot training program for training therapy puppies through the Puppies Assisting Wounded Service Members (PAWS) for Veterans Therapy Act.

One of my owners works with Veteran Hospital projects throughout the United States. I, myself am a working dog; I work at home. I keep the house safe and I provide companionship to my owner’s 98-year-old mother who loves me very much and has cared for me since I was a puppy.

At home we have a book called The Border Collie by Tracy Libby, the book says that “First and foremost, the Border Collie is a working dog who needs a job. The dog does not necessarily need to be herding, but you will be required to take up a variety of other sports, such as obedience, agility, flyball, flying disc, jogging, swimming, or hiking, in order to give your dog a job.” Being a Border Collie is a full-time job.

Usually, when the phone rings at home, I run to fetch a squeaky toy and bring it back to the phone to make sure the person on the other side of the phone call can hear me. I asked my friend if I could talk on the phone with Eggy to ask if this Spring we can team up to work on raising awareness and remind our owners to schedule our physical exam and our annual checkup appointments.

When we go to the veterinarian, the doctor does a thorough examination of our skin, coat, eyes, ears, feet, lymph nodes, glands, teeth, and gums, listens to our heart and lungs, feels the abdomen, muscles, and joints.

This may sound like a lot, but it’s important work. The Spring season is a great time for our owners to schedule their own dentists and doctor’s appointments for the year and while at it, also schedule our veterinarian appointments, that way we can both work towards achieving our health and well-being goals together.

Here are three tips on how to stay healthy and hydrated this Spring season:

1. Drink plenty of water.

2. If you attend Easter egg hunting events, stay away from eating chocolate to avoid poisoning.

3. Avoid heat exhaustion by doing outside activities during the cooler part of the day rather than when it’s too hot.

In the Pacific Northwest, the weather changes often. You might have snow one day and sunny weather the next. Our region of the country is a super dog-friendly place and great place for tourists to enjoy. When Eggy comes to visit we can go swimming in the river, play on the beach, and run-up in the mountains.

Although we are all different breeds, it’s fascinating how aware of the genetic makeup, and working with our owners to achieve common health objectives is a rewarding experience for our family, friends, and neighbors. Our owners are like our mom and dad, it’s important for them to know about our physiology; how we see colors differently, how we smell scents differently, how we can help them make discoveries about the meaning of life, how we help them laugh, and how we want to communicate with them because we are loyal to them and will always be there for them.

My owner has a book called the Odyssey by Homer. In the book, there’s a dog named Argos. When Odysseus, the main character of the book, returns home the only one who recognizes him right away is his faithful dog. Our relationship with our owner is simple but runs deep in the heart that we will always remember each other with genuine and abundant love.