Border collies are known for their abilities in rounding up sheep, obedience, agility and playing games such as flyball. So playing soccer is going to be even more fun. I have even seen elephants on a wildlife programme enjoying a kick about.
Mark Lukas came up with the idea of soccer collies after his son Zak tragically died in a jet ski accident.
His son Zak loved sport and was particularly good at soccer. But Zak wouldn't practice on his own that was the problem. What he needed was someone to practice with.
The solution came after father and son went to see a soccer match. At half time a collie dribbled the ball onto the centre of the field. So if Mark could train a collie to play soccer then Zak would have someone to practice with. Sadly Zak died before it could become a reality.
Grief can threaten to take control after the death of someone in your family. The tragedy that hits you causes all sorts of emotions. The lost of a child is something that is with you forever. I asked Mark (Zak's father) how he managed to turn his grief into a positive outcome.
"The grief never goes away; it just changes and affects me differently with more time. I have a great spiritual life and the principle of 'good always comes out of bad' is how I go through life. It is important to accept everything that comes into our lives as it is..change the things we can and accept the things we can't as necessary for our growth in this life. We all have lots of blessings, focus on the blessings." He said.
Working with the collies helped Mark cope with Zak's death.
The first dog he got was called MS. Z named after his son Zak. Next to come were the sisters Keeper and Sweeper. Beck completes the team. Beck is the only male of the 4 and is named after the England star David Beckham. Keeper had 6 puppies on the 15th January. These will be trained to play soccer by the beginning of July. The dogs don't play or think like humans when it comes to soccer. Ms. Z controls the action. The problem is they are possessive of the ball. This is just how they would be if it was a nice juicy bone. They might want it but they are not going to just take it. Beck has now become more assertive and the ball is being shared more. Sweeper and Keeper play defence. They attack the ball and push it away from the goal. This is very helpful to the human goal keeper. But be warned Ms. Z may not have the power of a human. She does however have great skill and can score goals. Beck is living up to his name of becoming a star player. The great thing about soccer collies is that you can be apart of the team. They are often booked for birthday parties or other events. People of all ages can get involved. It could be great for the whole family. This is a game that is enormous fun as the soccer collies see to that.
The soccer collies have shown off their skills at soccer tournaments, a back to school event for Radio Disney as well as other events. They have also played with crippled children from the Shriners Hospitals in Tampa.
Mark (Zak's father) is hoping that soccer collies will become widely known. This would certainly be tribute to his much - loved son. On Monday the 10th March they will be auditioning for the TV show America's Got Talent. So you never know this could be the start of something big!
The soccer collies are based in California U.S.A. If you would like to find out more visit www.soccercollies.com
© Children's Web Magazine 2008