MacKenzie doing nothing in particular.


It's just a cool name.  Since he appears to be mostly Border Collie, it seemed like he needed a Scottish name.


Wooly or Wool.  He has a very thick, long coat and when he was a baby, it had a kinky, frizzy appearance like wool.  He gets called Wooly more often than his real name.


Around September 1, 2001.


We figured he was primarily Border Collie and Australian Shepherd and we were pretty sure he also has some kind of hound in him - possibly Basset.  He tends to carry his tail straight up and down like Bassets and Beagles do. When he was a baby, speculations about his breed ranged wildly from Sheltie to St. Bernard to Bernese Mountain Dog.

Finally, we had him DNA tested, which we'd also done for Creedence. Like Creedence, he is very mixed and the test was unable to determine primary and secondary breeds, but could pull a few breeds out of the DNA "soup."  Actually, an employee of the company running the test called me when the results came in to ask whether I'd possibly uploaded the wrong picture to go with his DNA sample.  That's because the three breeds they could identify are:
- English Coonhound (aka Red Tick Hound)
- Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)
- Chihuahua

Though the second two breeds were the source of much amusement, the English Coonhound is spot-on. We figure Coonhound must be a larger part of his ancestry and is probably more recent, while Yorkie and Chihuahua are more distant and more minor.


Quite handsome, and taller and stockier than the average Border Collie.  He weighs about 70 pounds (32 kg).  We always joked about him being Spook's son, since the two of them had similar builds and the same long, very thick coat.

MacKenzie, despite being a happy dog, tends to look mildly depressed because of his hound dog eyes.


He has a deep, authoritative bark that sounds like it's coming from a much larger dog.  He generally only barks when something is going on, but every so often, he seems to bark just to hear himself talk.  He tends to go for a bark/howl combination, rather than a true howl.


On the morning of November 29, 2001, I had already left for work and Chris was getting ready to leave when he spotted a small puppy wandering by himself in the desert near our property.  It was obvious he'd been out there for a while, and we suspect he was dumped there and left to die by his former owners.  That happens fairly frequently in this area, unfortunately.

He managed to grab the puppy and took him inside, and somehow, there was never any question about us keeping him.


MacKenzie is affectionate, good-natured, and easy-going and generally gets along with everyone - dogs and people.  A while back, Finian and Bobby kept getting into arguments and on several occasions, MacKenzie inserted himself between the two of them and began licking both of them.  He's the "make love, not war" type for the most part.

MacKenzie is a very cautious dog.  He is nervous around people - especially men - and when he was younger, tended to cringe whenever anyone tried to pet him.  We're pretty sure that his former owner hit him.  He's overcome his nervousness with us, but when strangers come over, he is much more reserved.

As he gets older, he's getting a bit more assertive.  These days, he actually growls if another dog tries to steal his food or boot him out of a nice, warm napping place.  Physical confrontation with his fellow dogs are rare, however.


When he was still a pup, I came home from work one evening to find that he'd had the stuffing beat out of him by another dog.  Initially, we were worried that Finian had done it, but we're now convinced that he'd slipped under our gate and encountered some dogs running loose in the neighborhood.  He had to be hospitalized for some time and had several surgeries.  For a while, we were pretty sure his tail would have to be amputated, but luckily, that didn't happen.

In the summer of 2004, he was diagnosed with Ehrlichiosis (Tick Fever).  He fortunately doesn't appear to have a severe case of it and is on antibiotics to knock it out.


Playing with other dogs.  Despite being attacked as described above, he tends to seek out other dogs and want to play.  He also loves to sunbathe during the cooler months.


Confrontation, loud noises, and inter-dog hostility.  He's also frightened of the cats, which is somewhat amusing.  He's starting to make friends with Dubh, however.


He gets along with everyone but was best friends with Lily and loved Finian when they were still around.