AFRAID OF STAIRS, ME? and THE INSIDE DOG

starved rock stairs2

These stairs were FUN!

Last Sunday, My Dad and I went on a SECRET MISSION to Dwight, IL, a quaint rural community in Livingston County, some 90 minutes southwest of Chicago.

“Hey Magic, remember when you were afraid of stairs and bridges?”

“I can’t hear you, I’m writing the blog, my blog…what did you say about stairs?”

“Never mind, I’m going to clean the windows on the Scion…you OK?  I’ll be outside.”

Mmmmm…why would he bring that fear of stairs up, now?  Yes, last Sunday, as I was saying, My Dad and I drove to Dwight on a SECRET MISSION to give court papers to some guy who drove a big white pick-up truck…no big deal, unless I am used as a diversion, or a lure.  Think about it…who would suspect some guy walking with an off-leash, well-behaved, Border collie.  Come to think of it, the use of an off-leash Border collie is sort of the ultimate in “social engineering.”  What person would suspect me of being a nefarious tool of deception, of entrapment, of misdirection, of trickery.  Exactly!  Well-behaved Border collies are so believable, so trustworthy, so credible.  I’m rambling.  Back to the more important part of the day’s adventure.

My Dad was a bit frustrated after our arrival in Dwight.  The white pick-up truck was at the target’s house, but no one was home.  My Dad asked me, “How about an adventure?”  Yes, of course!  As a VERY well-behaved Border collie who is an excellent traveler, I am always up for an adventure.  We had to drive about an hour and I kept a very close watch for livestock in need of discipline – cows, horses, sheep.  And when I spot these blubbering bovines, these blockhead ruminants, I alert My Dad, and he always says, “Good boy!”  And when we slow down to drive through the small towns, My Dad rolls down the rear windows.  Smelling the air, looking for dangers and staring at people in the car next to me is GREAT entertainment.  People will often roll down their windows, talk to me, ask me questions and take my picture with their phone.  “What kind of dog is that?”  Are you KIDDING?  Don’t you see the BORDER COLLIE signs on the car???

Scion Border collie mags

“Yes!  I am a Border collie!  Can’t you r-e-a-d?

ENTERING STARVED ROCK STATE PARK  –  After My Dad parked the Scion, he warned me that people have died in falls at this park, mainly because they did not stay on the marked trails.  “OK, I’ll be careful.”  And I surprised My Dad.  I was running up and down the long stairways and staircases, and across the bridges – WITHOUT HESITATION.  My Dad was amazed!  He kept asking me, “Where is your fear of stairs?  Where is your fear of bridges?”  And I was off leash.  When other hikers approached, My Dad would repeat, “He’s cool, he’s cool, he’s a good boy.”  And so it was.  I usually ignore other people, but if they talk to me, or greet me, I’ll stop, say HI!, smell them, let them pet me.  No big deal.  I really like people.

20171119_145937

No FEAR!  Stairs and bridges are no problem.  I’m a big boy.

After our hike, we stopped in Streator, IL for a (yum-yum) HAMBURGER at McDonald’s!  And upon out return to Dwight, the white truck guy was home and it was MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.  Of course, while My Dad is doing his investigator-thing, I am closely watching for signs of danger, with my head out the rear window of the Scion xB.

As all of my faithful and loyal readers know, I am a neighborhood celebrity.  I have many canine and human friends. But one of my canine friends rarely comes outside.  She is never taken for a walk, not even an on-leash walk.  Her owner’s idea of “going out” is letting Jazzy (that’s her name) out of the patio sliding door ON THE END OF A LEASH.  That’s it for Jazzy’s walk – FIVE minutes or less, on the end of a leash.  Yesterday morning, My Dad and I were walking past Jazzy’s condo just as the slider opened and Jazzy came out – at the end of the leash.  I could see Jazzy’s Mom standing inside the condo, bare feet and pajamas.  Jazzy’s Mom shocked us.  She stepped outside and unhooked Jazzy so she could play with me.  I know Jazzy likes me and she went all submissive on me.  We ran around for a couple of minutes, then her Mom had to walk outside, in BARE feet, to put Jazzy on the leash.  And that was it, just TWO minutes of play with THE KING of play.  Poor Jazzy…every time I walk by her condo, I see her head in between the vertical blinds looking at me and crying.  Should I bust her out?  Mmm…I’ll discuss this as a SECRET MISSION with My Dad.  Later, Love, MAGIC.

 

 

Advertisements

Building a Dangerous Dog – the indicators

When I see reactive dogs with growling, barking, pulling on the leash, my first thought is, “How is that poor creature being socialized?”

Nancy Tanner

Sometimes a bark is just a bark, squinty eyes are just squinty eyes, and standing still is just being still.

But sometimes they are not.

Sometimes when a single innocuous behavior appears in a cluster of behaviors, it becomes a sign of something very serious that is underlying, and professional help is needed.

As with all symptoms, sometimes it is something and sometimes it is nothing, and that is on a very large spectrum. It takes keen observation and diagnostic skills to sift through what is really going on.

For example, growling in play is not the same as a hard growl, with tight body posture, tip toeing forward, pilo erect, and hard staring eyes. It is important to always have context and perspective.

Dogs are allowed to have opinions, just like we are. But it is what they choose to do with these opinions that interests me most.

Believe it…

View original post 1,186 more words

Comforting the Comfort Dog – The Conundrum

More thoughts to ponder when we’re wondering, “Is that person faking it with that dog?”

Nancy Tanner

If you have been on an airplane in the last couple of years, perhaps a bus, or in a store of any kind, chances are you have seen someone with a dog.

I am not sure that the world has become more dog friendly necessarily, but rather more people are finding a need to have their dog with them.

PUBLIC ACCESS DOGS – The American Disabilities Act has guidelines and definitions for dogs in service for medical, physical, or emotional/mental needs. And in-between these guidelines is a gigantic gray area of interpretation. The only aspect that cannot be misinterpreted is the need for any dog in service to be a public access dog, meaning that the dog will not cause harm to people, places, events, things, or other animals, while out in public. So a polite, well socialized, stable temperament dog, shouldn’t all dog owners shoot for this criteria!

LEVELS…

View original post 897 more words

SECRET MISSION TO PRAIRIE DOG TOWN, A/K/A PRAIRIE DU CHIEN.

“Hey, Magic, you updating your blog?”

“Yes, just finished downloading the photos and thinking of a title…”

“What title did you decide on?”

“You know, something about dogs on a prairie, I was thinking of a colony of Border collies controlling fur trapping and trading along the Mississippi River in the 17th century…”

“No, wait a minute, we talked about this…Prairie du Chien was named by the French fur trappers who named the town after the Fox native American chief, Dog.  It meant Prairie of Dog, and Dog, the chief, lived on the prairie at that location…”

“Wouldn’t it be more interesting if Border collies had settled the prairie, or, maybe, it was a prairie full of prairie dogs…”

“Prairie dogs are NOT dogs!  They are burrowing rodents, like squirrels or chipmunks.”

“Mmm, OK, I’ll stick to the Border collies controlling activities around Prairie du Chien, we’re pretty good at running the show, controlling things, keeping creatures in line.  Why don’t you make a salad?  And thanks for dinner.  I’ll finish up here.  Wow, My Dad forgets whose is writing the blog…”

Yes, yesterday morning we were up and on the road by 6:00 am.  It was still dark when I jumped into the back of the Scion xB.  My Dad said we had a (secret) mission to Wisconsin, about a 4 1/2 hour drive from our home.  With a bathroom stop for each of us in Dodgeville, WI, we drove across Wisconsin on U.S. 18 and pulled into downtown Prairie du Chien about 10:40 am.  My Dad soon discovered that the “target” of the investigation was not working until tomorrow.  So, instead of completing our assignment and driving right back to Chicago, we would have to spend the night in Prairie du Chien.

We found a Country Inn located just north of the Cabela’s headquarters.  My Dad introduced me to the staff and I walked around checking everything out – the breakfast room, the maid’s closet, some garbage cans, the back office.  I, too, have a bit of investigator in me.

My Dad said we were going to the Yellow River State Park, just north of Marquette, Iowa.

20171107_130933

On the backpacking trail along the Paint Creek, Yellow River State Park, Iowa

20171107_131748

I stole My Dad’s right glove…I get pretty clownish after I steal his glove.

20171107_132843

Getting a drink of water after our walk on the trail.

20171107_141127

The view from the highest point in Marquette, IA, a dead-end street.  U.S. 18 is the blue-arched bridge.  We also met the Mayor of Marquette,  Larry Breuer.  Larry said that if anyone has any problems that they want to call him about, his phone number is…JUST KIDDING, LARRY!

20171107_143025_001

Running along the west shore of the Mississippi River is a single track managed by the Canadian-Pacific RR.  This image is just outside their crew building in Marquette.  The train in the background was awaiting a crew change.  Stretching off to the north was it’s load, at least 100 flat-black tanker cars carrying oil from North Dakota.

20171108_110852

On our return trip today, we stopped in Dodgeville, WI, named for Colonel Henry Dodge who made a pact with the Winnebago Indians, and formed the town with 40 miners who built a smelter and mined lead.  I bet they wouldn’t be allowed to open a lead smelter now days….just sayin’.