I haven’t been groomed since last April and I have a very dense undercoat that served me well this morning in the single digit temperatures.  My Dad was not too happy this morning…long underwear, two hats, three layers on top, a North Face fleece topped off by his Eddie Bauer hooded storm coat… and ski goggles, too.  You can tell that Magic is a baby, he wanted to come back inside after five minutes.  My Dad kept muttering, “I hate winter, I hate winter, I hate winter…”  Six inches of new snow expected for tonight to be followed by temps COLDER than we had today…a high of 9 F.  Oh joy, as My Dad would say.

Magic is discovering the joys of squirrels.  He and I both agree that squirrels require the Border collie reign of terror.  Magic is quite adept at wanting to climb trees to  pursue squirrels, he gives it a very good effort.  Magic becomes HIGHLY agitated with squirrels playing around on the patio.  Barking, growling, standing against the slider.  My Dad always says, “Good boys…”  Magic stays on alert for squirrels and I gladly provide back-up barking and logistical support.

Magic definitely needs some fine-tuning on his recall skills, and that brings us to his first visit to a fenced-in dog park.  At the Prairie Wolf dog park, I am the cranky King of Aloofness…no, I am not going to play with you, step to the side so I can keep an eye on my protege, Magic. Sorry, I’m trying not to chuckle.  Yes, in our apartment, Magic comes when called, he can sit, he can shake, he keeps an eye out for squirrels on the patio, and is very adept at alert barking.  Magic’s behavior at the dog park needs some work.  Every time he ran within earshot, I yelled at him, “Don’t ignore Dad, pay attention, don’t you hear Dad calling you, stop walking away with other humans and their dogs.”  And then he’d walk away with other humans and their dogs.  But I will state that Magic is friendly, very friendly, with all dogs and all people.  Regardless of the dog’s size or breed, he just walks right up.  No timidity in this boy.  No growling, no fear of dogs, no fear of people.  And he is brave, he stands his ground with his ears up and that alert look with those golden eyes.  When other dogs initially become upset with his presence, he is Mr. Persistent.  “OK, you may not like me right now, it’s only been a minute, but I am going to stand here with my tail wagging until you give in, c’mon, I won’t hurt you, c’mon, let’s play.  And he does play….ran ran ran ran ran and even got taken out a couple of times.  But the boy has spirit…he would get right back up, and continue the chase-me, chase-you, games.  This spirit and daring make Magic an excellent back-up to have at home.

In social settings with humans he can be like a politician working the crowd.

“Oh c’mon give me a kiss, oh c’mon give me a hug, can I nibble on your earlobe?”

"Did I ever tell you guys about the high quality of the garbage in Quincy, IL?"

“Did I ever tell you guys about the high quality of  garbage in Quincy, IL?”

"Really?  They said about me on the Internet?"

“Really? I didn’t mean to hit ENTER!  I hit ENTER…ME?”


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