2) I keep doing this thing where I forget that Sammy is missing a limb. I mean, I always know intellectually. But sometimes I'll be watching her play or run or just stand still and I'll be almost startled, 'Whoa, this dog of mine only has three legs! Weird.'
3) I called her former owner and got a little more information about where she came from. She is a bona fide ranch dog of the type that I keep running into around here (and that I plan to do more writing about later). They're working dogs, mostly used with cattle. When asked what breed they are, the owners say "border collie". When asked what they are, the owners say "cowdog". They don't go to trials or shows, so they are never registered with any breed registry. In fact when I asked the rancher if Sammy's parents or grandparents were registered anywhere, he laughed a little and said, "oh no, I don't have show dogs. She's a homegrown working dog".
This is what I know of her pedigree: both parents and at least all four grandparents were working cowdogs. Her dam lives on a neighboring ranch and Sammy's previous owner has owned Sammy's sire since he was a puppy. He apparently is an aggressive, hard-eyed dog who is especially good at heading the cattle and holding them away from the timber when they're at open-range summer pasture in the mountains.
It's really too bad Sammy won't be a real working dog like her relatives. Though I'm sure if she had to choose between being a dead collie and being a condo* collie, she'd choose the latter.
*though if all goes well, we'll only be in this apartment for another year or two.