The Dog of a Lifetime

sheepdogs tributes Jan 11, 2021

By Mary Lou Campbell with Kathy Keats

An era has ended at Boywood Border Collies.

On Thursday, Jan 7, 2021, I said goodbye to one of the kindest, most courageous, biggest-hearted dogs I have ever known.

I remember the day I picked her out.

I looked down at the brand new litter of Border Collies, their eyes still closed, saw a tiny little half-white, half-black face and said, “She’s mine!”

Little did I know the adventure she was about to take me on.

I named her Dyna, short for Dynamite.

Dyna was unusual looking, a tiny smooth-coated dog with huge upright ears and a subdued personality that often had people questioning whether she was truly a BC, but then again, Dyna never really fit the Border Collie stereotype.

I could’ve set Dyna on the porch with a ‘Welcome’ sign around her neck like a garden ornament and she wouldn’t have budged. Definitely not typical for a working-bred sheepdog.

Dyna came into my life just as my two older sheepdogs, Boy and Jill, were nearing retirement and I was in desperate need of a new working partner. 

I had my hopes pinned on Dyna and in my mind she had big shoes to fill.

But Dyna didn’t start out living up to the ‘Dynamite’ origin of her name, despite being my once-in-a-lifetime dog.

She was a quiet pup, unsure, timid even. But if I could say one thing about Dyna, it was that she had heart—the most heart in the tiniest package of any sheepdog I’ve ever seen. If she was unsure, she would still try. If she was scared, she would still try. No matter how hard the task, she would fight to try to do the right thing.

I persisted with tiny chores and microscopic wins, and the wee Dyna began to blossom.

We started to trust each other, so much so that a January trial in Georgia caught my eye and I decided to travel down and compete with Dyna—her first trial.

I remember standing with Dyna at the post of that big field looking at the tiny dots of sheep at the far end, feeling terrified to send her because she had never gone so far on a strange field before. But I did send her and Dyna did what she always did—she took care of me. She went up that field like she had done it a thousand times.

That little dog gave me confidence every time I walked to the post or went out to do a chore. She taught me what a good partner was—and every dog after will owe her that debt.

Dyna took me around North America and across the Atlantic Ocean … to meet, learn from and befriend incredible people and to compete against some of the best in the world.

She made my life easy in too many ways to count—she read my mind, she rarely put a foot wrong, and she was the mother of a line of wonderful working dogs and companions. She was the dog everyone wanted to take home.

Dyna taught me courage and perseverance, loyalty and trust. She was a constant in my life, one of the things I could depend on.

There is a huge hole in my heart. I miss her comforting presence, her calm assurance that everything will be okay.

But I know she is loyally waiting for me and we will see each other again. I trust in that. Because that’s who Dyna was. She never disappointed me. Ever.

Thank you for it all, Dyna. You taught me so much. I’ll never forget you.

That’ll do, Dyna. Your work here is done.

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