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???
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.
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.