It's a good thing that Gemma is so darn cute because sometimes she is so darn hard to live with! She is eager to please but also willful, sweet but stubborn, smart but obstinate, obedient but headstrong...hmm, what some might say is the behavior of a typical smooth coat Collie!
Gemma is usually the instigator in any hi-jinx in the kennel. If gates are left unlocked, she quickly releases her pals and off they go for a run around the dog yard. If she can only get out of her own kennel, she goes directly to the plastic poop bags and shreds them. Once, she even distributed bags to her locked kennel mates so they could enjoy the fun--what a mess to clean up!
Running is Gemma's passion. I usually use a lead to walk Gemma from her kennel to the big yard on play days or else she will spend about ten minutes just running around and around the kennel. And, nothing tires her out! After a long sprint like that, she still has the energy to chase Jackson or her brother in the yard, making them pay when they can't stay one step ahead of her. Only Dixie is able to keep pace with Gemma and match her energy.
Gemma is also a hoarder. She will steal every toy from the kennels from either side of her and keep them just out of reach so the rightful owners can't pull them back under the fence. And any stuffed toy is a goner within minutes. She eviscerates the toy and scatters the stuffing so it looks like a sudden snowfall.
Gemma oozes attitude but sometimes it's not good! Out in public, she will make someone complete mush, getting them to make over her and coo at her, then she will turn and look at me as if to say "Hah"! and completely ignore me once her adoring fans are gone. In one very memorable show, she looked unbeatable--outside the ring. Once the judge was watching her, Gemma refused to cooperate, wouldn't stand still, wouldn't move properly (unless the judge was looking at someone else) and when the judge was giving me advice as he handed me my second place ribbon, I swear she narrowed her eyes and went "pbbbt" at him!
Her newest bad habit is to start a barking contest with Ref as I'm taking the food bowls into the kennel. Ref is always torn between quieting down when I tell him to stop, or listen to his sister. His head turns back and forth as Gemma and I both command his attention and he tries to please us both by making a huffing sound. He always looks relieved when I give him his food bowl so he doesn't have to chance displeasing his sister!
And Gemma's response when I tell her to quiet? Usually, she turns her head and continues to bark--I guess she thinks if she can't see me, she can't hear me. When I am adamant that the barking will stop, she goes outside, pushing the limits just a bit further before snuggling up to make amends.
She is an exasperating character but we wouldn't want Gemma any other way!