Christmas Eve and we’re looking for something to do – together.  Let’s go to the airport, hang out in UAL baggage claim and actively petition for human contact, see how may stressed travelers will notice our little sign, or even notice the presence of a dog!

“Let’s go work.”

MAGIC knows what that means.  Bye-bye in the car, putting on the vest, driving to the airport, riding the elevator, up the stairs, right into UAL baggage claim.  I sit down in one of the many chairs that line the baggage carousel areas and without a word or a look, MAGIC lays down and just pays attention, watches.  Everything, everybody, even the so-called comfort dogs (we saw five).  MAGIC know the dogs are walking by, he TOTALLY ignores them.  Several weeks ago, during a trip to pick-up @marnbear, a bomb-sniffing dog walked by and was quite upset at MAGIC’s presence.  MAGIC was like, “I see you, I mind my own business, I will not give you the pleasure of even putting my ears up.”


MAGIC’s demeanor suggests that he is “invested with authority.”  Calm, watchful, unobtrusive, unassuming, so much so, that people are tentative in approaching him for “a scratch.”

Our two hours in baggage claim were very successful, very heart-warming. A lot of: Merry Christmas-Thank you-So nice of you to share your gorgeous dog-What a wonderful idea.  MAGIC has turned into a very proficient and seasoned practitioner of canine good will.  The moment he becomes aware of an interested party, he will stand up and walk right to them, usually pushing his head into their legs or waist area.  After the initial petting and rubbing, he lifts his head, exposes his speckled neck, and looks the person right in the eyes.

Earlier in the day, MAGIC had a visit from his best neighborhood play-fighting buddy, ASTRO, a one-year-old German Shepherd dog.  This will be ASTRO’s 3rd appearance on the blog.  In earlier stories, the topic has been MAGIC’s mentoring of ASTRO in the fine art of “don’t do that, you idiot!”  And, bless his heart, ASTRO not only has learned his lessons well, he and MAGIC have become daily play-fighters, usually for 45 minutes to an hour every day.  And not just play-fighting…chase-me, chase-you, bitey-face, surrender-kill-surrender which includes exposing the abdominal cavity and neck.  The surrender-kill-surrender moves are the true test of full trustworthiness, the stability of the canine relationship with each other.



MAGIC controls ASTRO’s  annoying behavior with cheek-pulling corrections.  ASTRO get’s the message and life goes on…


MAGIC and ASTRO have ID tags from



MAGIC’s level of control with ASTRO’s provoking approaches (grabbing the neck from the back, for one) is actually a bit harsh when compared to MAGIC’s interactions with other dogs.  For the most part, with female dogs, MAGIC will ALWAYS defer to them.  BRANDY likes to put MAGIC down, just because she can, and MAGIC just let’s it happen.  KAYA just gives MAGIC a “look” and MAGIC stops whatever he doing – immediately.  If dogs act wacky, as in uncontrollable, MAGIC will give them a low-growl warning, show some teeth, and then dis-engage.  With his good friend BEAR, the three-legged Shar-pei, BEAR can do just about anything, including neck grabs from behind, and MAGIC tolerates these approaches without any show of aggression.  With smaller dogs, MAGIC reads the situation as presented.  Aggressive displays from small dogs will ALWAYS result in a “walk-away,” sort of MAGIC’s way of saying, “you’re a nut case…you better work on that…”


The “speckled-tummy squad,” PATRICK and very good friend, MAGIC.  From their first meeting, they have had a very strong, respectful friendship.  While they are almost 50-50 in the dominance-submissive category, PATRICK usually defers to MAGIC.


  1. I love to see dog playing like this for extended periods almost too roughly it’s a natural behaviour based on trust and respect and understanding that if either taps out that’ it.

    My youngest “Fleet” is built like a tank and supremely confident in how he approaches and engages with other dogs. He was raised on a farm by about ten other working sheepdogs and didn’t have much human contact so he’s well versed in the art of natural dog behaviour and communication.

    The older one “Puddi” is typically female in the same way mares are with the menfolk horses in a herd. She starts trouble, goads and gets the other thinking they’re up for a fight then does rumbling, yowling noises all “Oh he’s horrible he’s a brute!!” and my husband and kids would chip in and think she didn’t want to play and Fleet was bothering her but I’d stop them and say to wait and jut watch what she does.

    Seconds later she’s goading him with little play snapping and running off in the other room “Catch me!!!” and it’s all on her terms as and when it suits (As my husband says “Female… that’s what they do”)

    Fleet will grab Puddi by the scruff and it looks like he’s ripping her to shreds but the first noise or change that suggests he might have been a bit too rough and he’s off “Sorry… Sorry sorry I didn’t mean it”

    He puts up with her moods and she takes advantage of his good nature but they are so switched on and finely tuned to each other it’s amazing.

    You have a beautiful dog 🙂

  2. Yes, without a doubt, MAGIC is a handsome dog and a very unique canine. I am so lucky to have him as my companion and friend. As far as dog interaction, my neighbor, ASTRO’s owner, understands what is NORMAL dog behavior. He is OK with MAGIC teaching ASTRO the ropes. Thank you for your LENGTHY response. All our best, Tom and MAGIC.

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