The Staff here at “The Sunflower Farm Blog” were thrilled to be able to arrange an interview with that Border Collie everyone is talking about, Jasper T.W.D. We have had a number of requests to the blog for more photos and news about him, so we thought it better to actually feature him in his own blog post. So now, without further adieu, we’re one-on-one with the “J Dog.” (Editor’s Note: We’ve had more snow since this interview was conducted, so muddy paws aren’t so much of a problem anymore!)
SUNFLOWER FARM BLOG (SFB): Thank you Jasper for taking the time to sit down with us today.
JASPER: You’re most welcome. Although I will probably wander a bit during the interview. This concept of ‘sitting down’ is kind of alien to a Border Collie.
SFB: Absolutely, no problem. Won’t bother us a bit.
SFB: So first off, should I call you “Jasper,” or “The Wonder Dog” or as you are often referred to as “J-Dog,” or even “Buddy.”
JASPER: Those all fine Guy. I like them all. More importantly, is it okay if I refer to you as ‘Guy,’ ‘cause that’s kind of how I refer to most of you upright walkers.
SFB (GUY): Guy is perfect. So Jasper, how has your winter been going?
JASPER: Thanks, that’s an excellent question Guy. It’s been an awesome winter. Much milder than last winter which has meant way better conditions for running, chasing, catching Frisbees … that sort of thing. It’s better too for when the upright walkers head out for the day and I’m left here alone outside on my own, allegedly ‘protecting the chickens’ … whatever that means. But I have a pretty thick coat, so I’m not complaining.
GUY: So no complaints about the weather?
JASPER: The only downside to warm weather is that we keep having these thaws so what should be covered in snow gets melted and muddy, and … well … I spend the whole day running through it, so I get pretty mucky. At the end of the day that Guy takes me over to wherever he can find some snow and makes me crawl around. I’m not sure whether you know this, but Border Collies are the only dog that can drag ourselves around on our stomachs … makes it easier to scoot under fences and things when we’re chasing sheep. So essentially I have to do my ‘performing monkey’ crawl-around-on-my-tummy routine until he deems that I’ve cleaned enough of the mud off, then I’m inside for the night. Seems kind of extreme to me. I mean, it’s a farmhouse. It was built in 1888. It’s had farmers (including him) wandering around in it with muddy boots for a hundred years. I track in a little mud, like COME ON.. get over it… pul-lease.
GUY: How do you find the food at Sunflower Farm?
JASPER: The food is awesome! Well, it’s awesome but there could be more of it and it could be served in greater quantities … more often. But apart from that, no complaints.
GUY: Tell us about a typical day in terms of meals.
JASPER: Well, the Guy feeds me after he feeds the chickens. I get breakfast with the ‘good food’ that Michelle has researched, then I get the cheaper stuff for lunch, and then the good stuff for dinner. It’s combined with a good variety of people food… leftover pasta, potatoes, some rice…the other day they had Indian food and there was some left over so I was having my regular food garnished with it every day for a week. I LOVE CURRY. I could eat that stuff for… like… EVER! So yes, there’s no complaints in the food department. I love to eat!
GUY: What about snacks?
JASPER: Well they’re letting me hang around more at breakfast which is a good thing. Michelle makes dog biscuits from whole wheat flour and peanut butter and other stuff. I mean, I love all dog biscuits, but I’m “over the moon” about these things. She’s very demanding about what I have to do to get one … “Shake a paw” … “Sit”… “Speak”… I’m mean, it’s kind of mundane stuff, but I’ll do almost anything for one of those biscuits!
GUY: Yes, in the photo I can see you eyeing them on the table. You seem to have this ‘tilted head’ thing you do. Can you tell us about that?
JASPER: Well I don’t think this is unique to Border Collies, but yes, I harness that for its fullest impact. People love it when they are talking to me and I’m staring at them and then I just tilt my head .. what … 15 degrees? It’s like, “What are you talking about, I think I kinda get it but I’m not sure?” I mean, I’m a Border Collie, of course I get it, but I use the tilted head thing all of the time for maximum people manipulation effect.
GUY: You mean you can actually influence human behavior?
JASPER: Absolutely! They call it “Jedi Mind Tricks.” I just call it being darn smart. But yes, I have a whole series of ways I manipulate their behavior to further my own needs. Putting my head on their lap is one of the classics. I just flop my head down and start using telepathy to get them to do what ever I want … a head rub… a treat… or to open the darn door so I can go for a run. These people are putty in my hands.
GUY: How’s the whole ‘fetch’ thing going?
JASPER: It’s going awesome Guy. I think it was compounded by the NFL Playoffs. That Guy who throws the Frisbee seemed to spend an awful lot of time working on his throws to just lead me enough to make the catch. I mean, I like this, and I like how he claps when I catch it, but he seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time prancing around with his hands up in the air cheering himself on … “Touchdown!”… “Cam Newton has done it again, another NFL record…” I mean really. I do all the work. I should be getting the glory. After we watched that final football game a couple of Sunday nights ago, he has really backed off on the whole “Panthers win the Superbowl” routine. Not sure what happened there.
GUY: And the truck rides? They’re still good?
JASPER: Absolutely Guy, I love the truck rides, I’ll not try and deny that. I prefer the longer ones, when we go and get that trailer of smelly stuff from those horses… even though horses kind of freak me out…as does having that thing ‘trail’ us all the way home… but I overlook that just to be in the truck. I was a ‘driver’ in another life, I’m pretty sure of it. You can see it when we’re pulling on to the road… I mean that guy behind the wheel keeps pushing my head back so he can see around me, like he doesn’t get that I’m looking both ways to make sure the path is clear. I might as well be driving the truck the way I see it.
GUY: Jasper, sounds like a pretty good life. Sounds you’re one of the family here at Sunflower Farm. Thanks for the taking the time.
JASPER: Absolutely, no problem Guy. Love it here at Sunflower Farm, life is good. Now where’s that treat you promised me? Come on, cough it up … I won’t leave you alone until you do!
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