The Hierarchy of Border Collie Smugness


Border Collie owner smugness surpasses all other smugness, just like Border Collies surpass all other dogs.  Whereas the pibble rescue people run around acting like watered-down bleeding-heart eco-fascists trying to “save the pit bull” as if it were an endangered species, and pedigree show elitists prosthelytize for minions they can dump puppies off on with breeding rights to outsource their budding kennels and help build entry numbers for majors at local shows, Border Collie people don’t need or want you to join their ranks. You simply aren’t good enough.  Nor do those things you call dogs belong in the same universe as the Border Collie.  Really, what are you thinking?

The pibble people would be thrilled if everyone owned a pit bull, in fact this is their idiotic authoritarian plan to solve the pit bull problem: put breeders of other breeds out of business so that people who want dogs have no other choice but to buy used pit bulls at the shelter.  It’s like a socialist’s command and control economy pipe-dream.  Their epic levels of smugness are only tamed by the sheer volume of self-deception they have to maintain to think this is both possible, let alone probable. They rage against BSL which tells people they can’t have pit bulls, but their alternative is a fantasy where they tell everyone they can’t have any dogs but pit bulls.  They have no sense of irony about this either.

The show people are also want of converts, but they have to be subordinates because they don’t want real competition in the breed ring but like any good Ponzi scheme the only real payoffs come if you can maximize the number of underlings who are servicing your needs by filling out entry numbers and becoming customers for your stock, and minimizing the number of “mentors” upstream whose ass you have to kiss and stock you have to buy. In this manner, show people are sort of like hipsters: they want to be in on the ground floor of the NEXT big thing, just so they can smugly tell you about how they were all over it before it was popular.  When their ego is sated with having the masses appreciate their fine taste in dogs, they have to jump ship and get into a new breed.

Unlike pit bulls and show dogs which are valued by their smug owners for their faults instead of their merits, no such backwards value system exists in Border Collies. We’re smug about our dogs because they are simply superior in every way to that thing you other people own that’s merely a dog.  Really, who are you kidding with that weak-sauce?  If 100,000 years of domestication has left you with that miserable hirsute flesh bag, while it’s graced us  with the divine being that is the Border Collie, there must be a God and he has a wicked sense of humor.  The only thing that can explain your lesser dogs is that they are a punchline to a cosmic joke.

If you don’t already have a Border Collie, you are unworthy of a Border Collie. It’s like Border Collie original sin: you’re screwed before you even get in on the game and only by dog’s grace can you be redeemed, but only after living in sin as a lesser being and a ceremony with water, fire, and an interpretive dance expressing the sacred and profane.  The only legit way to get into Border Collies is shrouded in mystery, but rumor has it that it involves midnight ceremonies of selected initiates who must make blood oaths after being deemed worthy by the sacred elders and enduring humiliating hazing rituals.  It’s more daunting to “ascend” into the Border Collie inner circle than it is to pledge an all male fraternity at a college you didn’t even get into as a fat gay poor ethnic woman.  It makes the Skull and Bones initiation ceremony look like Black Thursday sales at Walmart.

Border Collies have no faults, and you can shove it where the sun doesn’t shine if you criticize them and don’t even own one.  That’s not a fault, that’s authentic Border Collie behavior that you just don’t understand.  You can’t even comprehend.  The fault is in you, not the dog.  I mean really, this is as daunting as explaining the majesty of unicorn-dolphin-hybrids leaping over crystal waters at a blazing sunset on a planet with twin emerald moons rising against an azure-hinted Milky Way to a deaf person. Those assholes never listen.

Your lifetime of experience with that wolf-like-drizzle you call a dog counts for nothing since it’s not a Border Collie.  You might as well be a cat person. Psh.

Border Collies are a lifestyle choice aspiration, if we even let you in the club, and one that comes with a mortgage on acreage and pets for your pet.  That’s right PETS FOR YOUR PET.  Lesser dogs might be satisfied with a tennis ball or a bumper, but not the Border Collie.  Their evolved state requires a much more interesting and expensive form of entertainment.  No sheep, no goats, no service.  A gerbil or a hamster won’t do, but they will herd those in a pinch.  Or eat them.  And we all know that sheep have a death-wish that makes goldfish look well adjusted.  Scientifically this is because they literally have shit for brains and this is also why Border Collie people call sheep pellets “smart pills.”  There’s a special amino-acid in them that fuels the Border Collies highly evolved frontal cortex.  When your animal eats feces, it’s disgusting and you should be ashamed. When a Border Collie supplements its unique intellectual needs with carefully chosen pre-digested nutrient pellets, it’s part of a highly refined balanced diet.

If you don’t have a real economic interest in sheep, you better fake it till you make it with a hobby farm financed by marrying up or inheriting a trust fund you can burn thorough.  And you must be righteously indignant against anyone who calls your hobby farm … a hobby.  It’s WORK fuckers, as serious as that last place to post ARBEIT MACHT FREI above its gates. Yeah, we went there, and we’ll send you there too if you don’t bow to our authority.

You’ll soon realize that mere pets for your pets are not enough.  Your pets’ pets need pets.  That’s recursive pets, yo.  Fibonacci sequence pets.  FRACTAL PETS!  Although there’s no job that a Border Collie can’t do, they are after all the superior dog in both intelligence and athleticism (and really, are there any other qualities? Certainly none worth considering if they are not manifest in the Border Collie), you will find that your Border Collie will demand minions of its own to offload work burden and free its mind for more intellectual pursuits like pondering autological words in French. “Accentué,” n’est-ce pas?

This means that after you acquire a flock of sheep-pets for your Border Collie, those sheep will need a Livestock Guardian pet of their own. And then that LSD will need a Llama pet to keep it company, and that llama will need a Donkey pet to share the perimeter duty. And then the menagerie will pow-wow over dinner one day and decide that they would all enjoy some Pygmy goat pets just for kicks.  This never ending spiral only stops when your animals declare suffrage and vote your ass of the island.

And as long as you’re making pygmy goat cheese canapé hors d’oeuvres to justify your $10k a month feed bill, you may as well throw in some backyard chickens too, because nothing says legitimate farm like dropping a few thousand dollars on a chicken McMansion setup that will save you the embarrassment of spending $1 on eggs at the grocery store.  It’s just unseemly to be seen buying anything with small bills when you’re a Border Collie owner, and really who wants to eat the same foods that normal people eat?

Screw that, you need backyard ducks instead. Nay, SQUAB. Yes, squab.  I don’t care if you think they’re technically the same species as those flying rats down at the park, my Columba livia domestica sleep in a two-story stone dovecote with central air, not on a street lamp over a park bench with a heroin junkie in a soiled parka.

Now once you’ve achieved the thirty second degree of Border Collie smugness, the only way to ascend to the next level is to import a dog from the UK.  I mean seriously, despite the Border Collies here in America excelling in every imaginable pursuit and there being at least 10 times more of them here than in the UK, the real deal can only be found by taking a vacation to the “Old Sod” and bartering with a hobbit for one after you best him in a battle of riddles and fork over a fortune in gold bullion that you acquired by killing a dragon.

Then there’s the written exam.

SAT (Smugness Aptitude Test) Verbal Question 15:

[15.]  Answer the following analogy:

American Border Collies : UK Border Collies :: Sparkling Wine : ?

(a) Dom Pérignon Rosé Champagne 1997 vintage
(b) Mad Dog 20/20
(c) Boons Farm Flavored Apple Wine
(d) Mogen David’s Extra Heavy Malaga
(e) Boxed Franzia Zinfandel

Everyone knows that innovation and adaptation is entirely over-rated and that both class and majesty reside in anything antique from across oceans where the history comes from.  If you aren’t drinking a rare and expensive Champagne®©℠℗™ that you traveled to Épernay to buy first hand after an extensive tasting, you’re just drinking piss water calling itself “sparkling wine” that probably comes in a bag shoved in a cardboard box.  Hand-plucking a Border Collie puppy off of a field in Devon is like visiting the Porche Headquarters in Stuttgart to pick out a limited edition concept car and taking it out on the Autobahn before you put it on a boat back home to announce that your midlife crisis is more awesome than your friends’ midlife crises.

It really only gets more smug if you write a book about it.

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About Christopher

Christopher Landauer is a fifth generation Colorado native and second generation Border Collie enthusiast. Border Collies have been the Landauer family dogs since the 1960s and Christopher got his first one as a toddler. He began his own modest breeding program with the purchase of Dublin and Celeste in 2006 and currently shares his home with their children Mercury and Gemma as well. His interest in genetics began in AP Chemistry and AP Biology and was honed at Stanford University.