Monday, January 6, 2014

Aim High & Dream Big!

Today I learned that the American Kennel Club named me as the first recipient for Agility Performance Breeder of the Year!  I was so taken by surprise when I got this wonderful news!

I even took a screenshot of the AKC page making the announcement!

For many years I have thought, and sometimes told friends, that AKC should recognize breeders in performance events as they have done with the conformation breeders.  I guess they finally saw the light and how thrilled that they bestowed me this honor for producing my versatile Hob Nob border collies!

This award comes full circle for it could not be accomplished without the many super HN owners who have helped to make this possible by competing in AKC agility events!

I was in the process of making this video when a HN owner sent me an email with the fantastic news!

I am still Catching My Breath!

Here are the lyrics to the song Catch My Breath with a few changes by me ;)

I don’t want to be left behind
Border collies are friends of mine
Catching breath in a breeding tie
I’ve spent most of my life

breeding dogs well it’s all that
Choosing mates for the other half
Learning how to react
I’ve spent most of my time

Catching my breath
Letting it go
Turning my cheek for the sake of the dogs
Now that you know
This is my life I won’t be told what’s supposed to be right

Catch my breath
No one can hold me back
I ain’t got time for that
Catch my breath
Won’t let em get me down!
It’s all so simple now

Addicted to the breed I’ve found
AKC choice puts me on a cloud
Making time for the ones that count
I’ll spend the rest of my time

Laughing hard with the windows down
Leaving pawprints all over town
Keeping faith karma came around
I won’t spend the rest of my life

Catching my breath
Letting it go
Turning my cheek for the sake of the dogs
Now that you know
This is my life I won’t be told what’s supposed to be right

Catch my breath
No one can hold me back
I ain’t got time for that
Catch my breath
Won’t let em get me down
It’s all so simple now

Dogs help me see the beauty in everything

Catching my breath
Letting it go
Turning my cheek for the sake of the dogs
Now that you know
This is my life I won’t be told what’s supposed to be right

Catching my breath
Letting it go
Turning my cheek for the sake of the dogs
Now that you know
This is my life I won’t be told what’s supposed to be right

Catch my breath
No one can hold me back
I ain’t got time for that
Catch my breath
Won’t let em get me down
It’s all so simple now
It’s all so simple now

Catching my breath
Letting it go
Turning my cheek for the sake of the dogs
Now that you know
This is my life I won’t be told what’s supposed to be right

Catch my breath
No one can hold me back
I ain’t got time for that
Catch my breath
Won’t let em get me down
It’s all so simple now
It’s all so simple now

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Simply The Best Veterinarian...Dr. Michelle Shoemaker

Since I raise Simply The Best border collies it only makes sense to have them cared for by a Simply The Best veterinarian!  That DVM is Dr. Michelle Shoemaker who is an important part of the team at South Bay Veterinary Hospital in Olympia, WA

As a breeder of my fabulous Hob Nob border collies, having a trusted, knowledgeable and 'breeder friendly' vet is vital to me and Dr. 'Shoe' is truly worth her weight in gold and then some!

I can always breathe easier during whelping time as I know that Dr. 'Shoe' is just a phone call away or text message accessible should I need her advice.  Anyone who raises animals knows how valuable a good vet is and the comfort in knowing they are there when you need them.

Over the 7 years that my border collies have been in her care, my dogs are always so happy to see Dr. Shoemaker by giving her lots of kisses and tail wags!  The Hob Nob border collies give Dr. 'Shoe' 2 paws up in a very big way!

 This is Dr.Shoemaker looking over one of the Trace x Klepto pups after being delivered by C-section

It is a mutual respect that Dr. 'Shoe' and I have towards each other as she listens with great interest at any information I feel necessary to share about my dogs needs, meds and breeding while at the same time I value her opinions and knowledge. 

Over the span of 30 years that I have bred border collies and even more years of living my life with dogs, I have had my share of veterinarians and even worked for several of them in my younger days.  I can easily say that Dr. Michelle Shoemaker is the epitome of what every veterinarian should strive to be like!  

I really could go on and on about Dr. Michelle Shoemaker but simply put, she is Simply THE Best!

The Shale x Lurk puppies are shown having their first vet visit with Dr. Michelle Shoemake!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Breeder's greatest joy!

I have been breeding my wonderful Hob Nob border collies for about 30 years and during those decades I have had some lows but oh-so-many highs!

One afternoon in late July, this email was sent to my inbox from one of my more recent puppy owners. It brought the BIGGEST smile to my face but an even bigger glow that warmed my heart!

Stacey Jones is the mom to Hob Nob Phantom from my Fuchsia x Lurk litter.  Here is her story....

Been awhile since my last update of Phantom so I thought I'd send you an email of how our 7 month old star is doing :)

This boy is so unbelievably handsome and his personality causes everyone to stop and stare. Wherever we go I constantly get stopped so people can love on him. I sometimes forget he is a dog :). By the way he loves everything and everyone, the way he connects with people on a whole different level, and the joy he brings to the world. You just can't help but fall in love with him! I know I may sound prejudice but I wish I could record everyone's reaction to him. Everyone at the park knows him. Children run up calling his name. "Wheel-y Mike" (he's confined to a chair) asks how HIS day is going every day on our walk sat 3pm. The "Crazy Crew" (teen basketball players at the park) roll the ball to him so he can join the competition. His favorite day of the week is Monday because of "moms in the park". His love for children is ridiculous!! Oh! And I can't forget "Mrs. Loopy" (this slightly crazy? older lady)... She's always talking to herself by the lake until Phantom arrives. Then it's all "cutie this", "handsome that" and "my bestie".  It's really... Surreal. I never would have met these people if it wasn't for him and they aren't friends of mine...They're friends of his. Sounds silly but it's true. He knows them and has a special connection with each one of them.  Almost 90% of the time people inquire on where I got him... Actually they ask "where in the world did you find that boy!". And I never know what to say, I don't know how I got so... Blessed. Anyone can breed dogs. Lots of breeders produce outstanding athletes and beyond beautiful canines. But how did I get a dog with all that but with a special heart? My husband, Chris, put it perfectly "Anyone can follow a recipe. But if you don't add love it's just food". That's how I respond to where this angel came from. A whole lotta love!


There should be a warning label on your website.

"You'll get exactly what you ask for... And then some!"

Haha I don't know how you did it but Phantom has everything I wanted in a dog, to the T! I remember asking for a dog who can think for himself, that's Phantom. But its not that he's headstrong... I don't know how to explain it he just thinks for himself. The way we connect is what you see in movies and read in books, not what "actually" happens. Phantom has added so many great things to our family and without him we just wouldn't be complete. Chris and I say all the time how in the world did we live without him or where has he been all this time? Yes, there are times where he tests the limits and causes deep sighs but we always laugh about it later and love him even more! We love him and couldn't think of starting a family without him in the picture.

Ok... Some funny/cute stories for your day.

Last week I was washing dishes and looked out to see Phantom circling a small area in our yard. I then noticed our cat, Askem, trying to get in the middle of his circle. He wasn't allowing it at all and it got me curious. I walked out and saw something small moving in the grass. When I got to the middle I realized it was a baby mouse! My guess is my cat got it and was planning on dinner. Phantom must have seen it and was protecting it. Haha he would look at me, look at the mouse, then back at me like "mom save it!"... All while keeping my cat away. It was hilarious!! I saved the mouse and let it go in the woods and Phantom didn't leave the area for at least 30 minutes!

My son Christopher was playing video games in our living room. All of a sudden I heard him yell "Phantom it's FINE!!! It's just a GAME!!!" I then noticed a worried whine coming from Phantom. I walked in and couldn't help but start laughing!! Anytime a zombie started coming towards the tv at Christopher, Phantom would get in-between the tv and chair he was sitting in. It was a tangled mess... Christopher barely holding onto the controller and Phantom wrapped in the cord bouncing up and down. Haha it was priceless!!

I was putting laundry in the washer when Chris started laughing in the next room. I walked in to find Phantom wrapped in my bra, holding Christopher's sock in his mouth, and dragging an empty laundry basket behind him... How he managed this I have no idea...

I was taking a bath last month with the door closed. All of a sudden I hear, "Stacey!!! Your dog!!!". I jumped out, grabbed my towel, opened the door to find Phantom sitting there with one of my shoes, our "beach" bag, his favorite "beach" toy, and his leash. What?! I yelled at my husband thinking he set this up and while I was mid-sentence about trying to relax blah blah blah I heard this splash behind me. Yes, Phantom jumped in the tub with his toy looking at me with his "lets play" face. I don't know how... Or what... I'm still baffled! And no, Chris didn't touch anything or move anything... I don't even know...

Hope everything at Hob Nob Farm is going well! Jan, those blue Merle puppies had me thinking about adding another one into our family... Phantom would love a friend, right? Haha maybe sometime down the road :) but in all honesty your puppies are SO beautiful!!!!

Much love and gratitude from the Jones family!!!

reprinted with permission from Stacey Jones

Monday, May 20, 2013

If you believe...

 My incomparable Chisel! reincarnation, then you just might smile in reading my story and become a believer!

Chisel was born in my hands on August 19,1996 and since that day she took me on a journey filled with mutual love and adoration that was exhilarating to share!   She showed me a joy and zest for life that was just undeniably euphoric!

While my obedience career was winding down as I was losing interest, Chisel kept my enjoyment of the game alive simply because SHE loved it so much!  Chisel always jumped for joy at the mere sight of the bag that contained her scent articles!  Chisel's tail constantly conveyed the sheer joy she expressed every waking minute.  Whether she was training in obedience, agility or herding, she truly loved doing it all!  What's that saying...jack of all trades but a master of none?  Not so with Chisel for she was THE MASTER at it all!!!!

here is a video I had put together that tells her story in pictures

Suddenly and without warning, on the evening of Mother's Day in 2008, I found Chisel in a coma by my bedside.  While at the emergency vet, I held her in my arms whispering to her that one day we would be together again as I had to stay behind.

For the last 5 years I have ached for her to be back with me as I missed her so very much for the joy I had in my heart when she was with me was becoming faint as I went about my days.

I often watch this video of her to recapture all that we shared...

When I bred Chisel's granddaughter Prism to Klepto, not once did I ever imagine what was about to unfold...

On March 5 of this year, Prism had a beautiful litter of 7 puppies of which included but one female.  I was a bit disappointed but was soon to realize 'why' the single female:)  The female, whose litter name was Victoria, was about to emerge into a phenomenon that my mind slowly started wrapping around!

Could this be my beloved Chisel come back to me???

The signs just couldn't be denied...there was just too many instances that I would have such strong senses that Victoria was indeed Chisel!

Just the other morning, I had an epiphany in that I no longer missed Chisel nor cried for her being gone.  I then knew why...

 If anything I have learned in my 59 years is to acknowledge my inner senses and trust them that they are real.

Victoria was given her new name of Hob Nob Proven Plan, aka Proven, as I truly believe that this was Chisel's plan all along and she couldn't have chosen a more perfect girl to come back and start our new journey together!

How could I be so lucky!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Journey to the Rainbow Bridge...

On the morning of September 19, 2000 I was born via C-section with my handsome brothers Rhett, Roady & Stoner along with my 2 lovely sisters Spree and Luna.  My human mom Jan dubbed me "her perfect red border collie" that she long waited for!  I must say that I did grow up to be quite a dapper and handsome fellow! 

My adventures were many as Jan taught me to love running agility even though I had fears of that moving teeter board when I was just a wee pup.  Sister Spree and I learned together and she was so much braver than I.  Seeing as we were sibling rivals, I just couldn't let her see her big brother as anything but brave so I quickly pulled up my big boy pants and became one fierce teeter slider!  Look, my mom Jan even has the proof on video!

Along with having fun in agility, what I loved to do most was work the sheep!  After all, this is what I was bred to do!  While I did train in large open fields, my intensity was fierce and often my mom had to hold the reins in on me when competing at arena trials.  I had those woolies running scared just by my presence...what power I felt!

As Jan retired from competing so did I but my days were spent happily running the fields for many years with my beautiful red haired wife Kindle along with my spunky wife Posh and our lovely girls Prism and Prima along with my talented daughter Cachet.  My handsome son Prada was not allowed to run with my pack...he had his own:>)

Although we didn't get it often, I loved snow days at Hob Nob Farm!

I well remember the day my youngest daughter Prima surprised me with a glorious adventure for my 11th birthday and as usual, mom Jan captured it all on video!  

photo digitally painted by

But as all good things must come to an end, that fateful day was today.  Yesterday, Jan noticed that something just wasn't right with me although I did my best to hide it.  Sure, I was eating, drinking and doing all the normal things that healthy and younger dogs do but if anyone knows my mom Jan like I do, she seems to have a six sense about her when it comes to those of us she cherishes.  

She took me to her wonderful vet Dr. Michelle Shoemaker at the South Bay Veterinary Hospital and there I spent the night.  I did hear Jan telling them that she suspected I had a tumor in my nasal cavity because of the sounds I sometimes made in the last few days.

This morning, Jan came and they took me in a room to see her.  I had this tube in my front leg which also had a contraption on wheels that followed me with a bag of fluids hanging from it.  Jan reached over to me and whispered in my ear that she loved me and things would be alright.  She even hinted that  there was a chance I might even see my birth mom Chisel although at that time I wasn't sure what she meant.

Chisel and baby Bezel

Awhile later, I seemed to drift off to sleep and found myself dreaming.  I vaguely remember hearing Jan and Dr. Shoemaker talking about a tumor in my nasal cavity.  I could hear soft voices and sensed they were somehow able to see this tumor.   I didn't feel anything except a light kiss to my cheek telling me that I would soon be running with Chisel...

That'll do Bezel...that'll do         September 19, 2000 - February 1, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

MDR1 mutation...learn the facts

MDR1 gene…learn the facts

For those of you that own or breed dogs affected with the MDR1 mutation, you may want to read further.

"the discovery of the mutation of the multi-drug resistant gene (MDR1), establishment of testing procedures, and development of all reagents was made by Washington State University (WSU).  It is also a patent protected diagnostic test offered exclusively by Washington State University that has not been licensed to any other entity in the United States." taken from

I was aware of the MDR1 mutation when it first came out several years ago but border collies were not even listed as being one of the breeds commonly affected.  This gave me no reason to test my border collies for this gene back then.

Some time ago, Kimmy Acres informed me that Hob Nob Patron was tested for the MDR1 mutation and in her words was "positive/positive".  With this information, I had no reason to doubt her as she was very adamant with her knowledge as she also worked at a vet's office.   As this unfolded, it became increasingly difficult to communicate effectively with Patron's owner.

Patron's parents are Hob Nob Perfect Ending aka Sequel and Hob Nob Jump Start aka Juice.  Patron  was from a frozen semen litter.

I was very surprised to learn that a Hob Nob border collie was tested 'positive' for having the MDR1 mutation and proceeded to learn more about it in this present time.   In early December, I posted to my fb wall asking where the MDR1 mutation could be tested and the unanimous response was WSU as being the ONLY facility that could test for this gene.   This response lead me to do my own google search to which confirmed that WSU is, in fact, the only facility that exclusively tests for the MDR1 mutation

For the first batch I sent an order in to test 10 of my border collies to which all came back NORMAL/NORMAL.  I informed many Hob Nob owners that they may also want to test their dogs especially those siblings of Patron.  One by one, all the tests came back with the same NORMAL/NORMAL results.

At first, I was reluctant to test Sequel and Juice due to the fact that their son Patron was tested as carrying the MDR1 mutation which would therefore conclude that Sequel and Juice would have to be MUTANT/MUTANT or MUTANT/NORMAL as each parent gives one gene to the offspring.   I was also unsure if Juice's frozen semen could even be tested.  
I then called VCPL to which Neal Burke, Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory Manager assured me that they could test Juice's frozen semen for the MDR1 mutation.   For the 2nd batch of testing, this response then gave me the confidence to test Sequel along with several more Hob Nob dogs.   Juice's testing was to follow once ICSB was notified and sent a Frozen Semen Release form.

To my delight, all the dogs in the 2nd batch for testing, INCLUDING Sequel, came back as being NORMAL/NORMAL!!!!!!!

This then posed a dilemma for me because the results of Sequel (Normal/Normal) meant that it was impossible for Patron to be positive for the MDR1 mutation.  I put a call into VCPL and asked if there were such things as false readings to which I was assured that it was not possible and the tests results were 100% accurate.  I was also told that there is less then 1/2 of 1% of border collies that carry the MDR1 mutation!

How then was it possible for Patron to be positive as carrying the MDR1 gene?

I then emailed Kimmy Acres and asked her to send me the actual test results for Patron.  To my utter shock, in seeing the test pages that she sent me I could easily see that he was not tested for the MDR1 mutation at VCPL!!!!!  Instead, he was tested through the Wisdom Panel Professional Mixed-Breed Genetic Analysis

With this information, this company was contacted asking if they specifically tested for the MDR1 gene and this was their response:

Thank you for your interest in Mars Veterinary's Wisdom Panel® tests. Our Professional version of the Wisdom Panel test includes a health pre-screen that checks for a patient’s breed-related risk of developing over 30 different genetic conditions. This can help you take early preventative care measures and watch for the warning signs. Those conditions are listed at Multi-drug sensitivity (caused by a mutation in the MDR1 gene) is included in this list. Please note that we do not test if your dog has the mutation specifically. For more information on multi-drug sensitivity and testing for the MDR1 mutation please visit

If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at or 888-K9 PET TEST (1-888-597-3883).
Mars Veterinary
Customer Care Department
Once I had Sequel's results back, I informed Patron's owner to let her know that it was highly unlikely that Patron was positive for carrying the MDR1 gene and that he should be tested correctly to which she refused.  Thankfully, I was able to test Juice's frozen semen to which his results came back today as being NORMAL/NORMAL!!!!!

The best thing to come from all of this is that with Sequel and Juice being tested for the MDR1 mutation and results as being NORMAL/NORMAL, this insures that their son Patron is also NORMAL/NORMAL!!!!

While the mental anguish, breeder bashing and personal expenses of over $1,000 in MDR1 testing was not something I wanted to go through, my purpose for writing this is for those of you with breeds that can be affected with the MDR1 gene to have the correct information as to the only facility that has the patent to test for the MDR1 mutation is WSU and no one else!

Sincerely, Jan DeMello proud breeder of Hob Nob Border Collies for over 25 years and counting!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Puppies for Christmas!

Fuchsia's pups came a little earlier then anticipated as they made their arrival in the wee morning hours of Saturday,  December 22.

Everything went so smoothly and Fuchsia is being a terrific first time mom!  The puppies are thriving and gaining weight.

They now have a webpage of their own with links to their photo album that will be updated with new pictures weekly.  Here is the link to their webpage:

You can also view their individual videos on 

I will be sure to post lots of videos as they grow!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!