Nicky, with the impressive full name of Autumn Sky Saint Nicholas, is a Shetland Sheepdog. Resembling a Collie in miniature, the Shetland Sheepdog (“Sheltie”) developed on the barren Shetland Islands, an area known for producing very small livestock. Shelties were used to herd both sheep and Shetland ponies around the islands in search of enough to graze on, and charged with keeping the ponies out of vegetable gardens when food was scarce.
Fun Fact: Early dogs were referred to as "toonie dogs" (toon being the local Shetland word for farm).
Shelties are known to be intensely loyal, affectionate and responsive to their owners. They love their families but may be reserved toward strangers; however, they are also bright, sensitive, and willing to please. Properly socialized, Shelties like Nicky can be gentle, playful, companionable, and excellent with children.
Slightly taller and heavier than the breed standard, Nicky is not a show dog but he excels in many other ways. He has earned 19 titles in obedience and agility, and Marie, his owner, hopes he will earn a tracking title someday. Marie and Nicky belong to Mo-Kan Partners and volunteer at grade schools in the Kearney/Holt area of Missouri. After being approved by the school district, they began at two schools. They spent 1-1/2 hrs at the first school, where the second grade children had searched their library for dog books to read to Nicky. Nicky really enjoyed the contact with the children and just lay there looking at the book the child was reading to him. Afterward, a treat was in order, something he always enjoys as do the children when they get to interact with him.