As my loyal readers (and fans) are very aware, I have a number of Lady friends who enjoy spending time with me. Last week My Dad and I picked up Kaya and her Mom for a drive to White Pines State Park, about two hours west of where we live in the Chicago area. Since it was a week day, we did not see any other dogs or people during our three hour hike on the trails.
“I’m taking the train downtown this morning, will you be alright for about three hours?”
“Mmmm…not really…why don’t you bring me with?”
“Traffic will be a pain, taking the train downtown will be more relaxing, I will be back by 12:30.”
“Hah! That is not three hours, that is more like four hours and 34 minutes. OK, I will entertain myself, can you leave your gloves on the table, or a hat?”
“Blackmailed by a Border collie…is that how it’s going to be? My gloves and my hats are already displaying Border collie damage…divots, gouges, nicks, pieces of fabric missing, fingers missing…”
“Oh, c’mon…we’ll drive together…we can go for a walk downtown…I know you love to show me off…right?”
Easy stuff for a determined Border collie…pushing My Dad around, manipulating him, he is so ruminant-like, at times. Yes, we are going bye-bye in the Scion xB to downtown Chicago on a “mission.” And the traffic on the Kennedy Expressway was just fine – I love sticking my head out the window at a leisurely 17 miles per hour…sometimes 2 miles per hour.
After My Dad had successfully completed his mission, serving a court summons on a very cooperative Registered Agent, he returned to the Scion xB on the 7th floor of the parking structure. I am still getting comfortable with elevators. While I will no longer hesitate to board an elevator, once I am inside, I have a tendency to spread my legs and drop into a crouch – I feel a bit more steady on my feet this way.
My Dad told me that the prior weekend, the City of Chicago had dyed the Chicago River GREEN (as if it was not green enough) for St. Patrick’s day (My Dad’s birthday) and this event coupled with the Saint Patrick’s Day parade encourages a lot of humans to drink a lot of alcohol…and this results in numerous puddles of VOMIT – EVERYWHERE. While these puddles were interesting for a Border collie, especially the pink puddles and orange puddles, My Dad kept telling “NO” in his very calm voice, and I listen VERY well!
By the way, I have a large number of canine friends who visit frequently. I am not food-aggressive, so when my canine friends visit, I will watch them have a meal at my place.
“We are leaving in the car in an hour, will you be ready?”
“Remember Maisie, that Border collie you saw in National Geographic Your Shot? She sent me some pictures. I’m writing about the handsomeness and beauty of herding dogs…yes, I will be done here within the hour…maybe we can visit Maisie…”
“You better include your buddy Patrick on this post, and don’t refer to him as the Cattle Collie, anymore…he did not like that. And as long as I’m thinking about it, don’t forget to mention your sudden success with squirrels…the corpses are starting to add up.”
“Mmmmm…good point about Patrick…I’ll start with him…”
My good friend Patrick lives in Shannondale, and I refer to him as Patrick of Shannondale. IT’S A JOKE, PATRICK! My Dad thinks you are very handsome and I’ve got to tell you, I owe you an apology. Your Mom sent me a picture of your sister (I’d like to know her a little better) and your Mom sitting together in the Sheriff’s Prison Transport (just kidding) and without a doubt, your mom is an Australian Cattle Dog, and quite beautiful, too.
“We’ll be leaving soon, wrap it up, Magic! Don’t forget about the squirrels…”
HA! It has taken me over a year to catch a squirrel…I was always overplaying my moves…too quick, too straight, too reactive. But, that changed last week…patience, pursuing a bit slower, and not reacting to their little deke-out moves, their trickery, their sense of superiority. They are actually idiots, they wait too long to make their break for freedom, they get a bit too choosy in which tree to climb, or they choose one tree and just as they get there, they change their mind. Three squirrels, two last week, and one yesterday (who did not die very pretty). Pretty simple stuff…grab ’em, puncture ’em, crunch ’em, shake ’em. Time to go. Thanks, Maisie, for the great pictures. I think I’m in love. -Magic
“How did you find out that my birthday is today?”
“Why can’t you just go with the flow…like you usually do..why are you over-thinking this?”
“I’m a rescue, picked up as a stray…right? What…did you drive down to Quincy, Illinois and find my parents…snoop around the truck stop where I was found? That would make you a pretty good investigator…”
“We guessed…your birthday was assigned by what Dr. Preiser saw when she examined you…remember, the week after you were adopted, remember being fostered at Kathy’s house? Remember Cody and I picked you up at Kathy’s house”?
“Duh…of course I remember, Border collies remember everything…and my date of birth was determined how?”
“Dr. Preiser said you were 8-10 months old…max…based on your brilliant white teeth, your weight, your demeanor. Dr. Preiser said you were just a baby. So, we did a little math and came up with a birthday of February 8th, 2014. And that makes you TWO years old, today.”
“What did my weight have to do with my age?”
“That is the simple part of the guesswork. When you were picked up in Quincy you were only 33 pounds. And Dr. Preiser said you didn’t have much muscle…even Kathy said you needed to build some muscle. During you weigh-ins at the vet in August, September, and October, your weight was right around 55 pounds. A couple of weeks ago, you were 61 pounds, I don’t know where you are putting the weight. I know you been getting a lot of exercise with all of your girlfriends – Kaya, Sophie, Erin, and Olive.”
“Can we go the woods again today, I had a great time yesterday…I like being off-leash in the woods. What was the name of that park? I really had fun chasing the Canada geese into the river.”
“White Pines State Park…and you were VERY good with every command I gave you – EVERY TIME – you really pay attention…GOOD BOY!”
“Thanks, but Border collies know how to pay attention.”
My Dad poured some old cereal outside today and the squirrels were there within…
“What? Well, the squirrels eating the cereal happened a few minutes ago. No, I don’t believe I need a new title… Yes, yes, yes, I’ll get to my skills as a canine-therapist…yes, I will not forget to mention what happened at Patrick’s house. Isn’t there a National Geographic that needs to be read?”
My Dad is always sticking his nose in when I start posting to MY blog…mmmph. Well, anyway, I sat by the slider today watching the devil-may-care antics of six, maybe seven, squirrels, who were all jostling and positioning and arguing over which of them was going to sit on a pile of cereal My Dad had poured on the grass. A mere seven feet separates me from my furry tormentors; their tails twitching, all hunched up as they chow-down on the cereal. Last week by the dumpster, I out-smarted one of the garbage raiders…he chose the wrong exit point just as I was coming around the southwest corner of the trash enclosure. I had him in my front paws, like trying to juggle…..a moving squirrel! My Dad said that my squirrel catching efforts reminded him of Devil Sticks (see image).
My Dad keeps asking me,
“And what would you do if you caught a squirrel, is that really your goal, or, you just like to scare them?”
My Dad continues to be amazed and flabbergasted at my ability to size up dogs, male and female, engage in some subtle communication, and have them playing with me within five minutes. Although, I’ll have to admit, that getting the girls to play with me is pretty easy. Crabby dogs, aggressive dogs, shy dogs, and dogs with self-esteem issues are no match for me. A few pushes with my nose, backwards hopping, butt-up, head tilts and just ignoring them works the magic. If I haven’t convinced them within 5 minutes, or so, I sit down with my back to them – they can’t stand it. One Shi-Tsu, I met last month, whose name shall remain CONFIDENTIAL, was very yappy and snarly with me. So, I ignored him. Within minutes, while I was enjoying a chewy, he climbed on my back and started some suggestive movements – over and over and over – for the next hour. Next time I looked at him he was taking a nap, go figure! My Dad told me that Shi-Tsu was Chinese for moron…I’ll have to Google that.
Oh yes, I was a Patrick’s for a post-Thanksgiving dinner. Patrick and I are good friends but throw another canine into the mix and he becomes MR. BOSSMAN…a character flaw I must stay alert to. But Patrick does have a lot of toys and chew toys and I enjoyed rounding up those toys on the couch where I was relaxing.
And some sad news…my dog-friend Bob, the Shar-Pei, was walking with his mom, Mary (I like her a lot!), one morning, and he was attacked by an Akita who had pulled away from his owner. Bob was mortally wounded and was euthanized at the vet.
But, some good news also. Mary adopted a young Shar-Pei, last week. He is from Texas and barks with a d-r-a-w-l. He is an “open-carry” guy. He has had a tough beginning to his life and he can prove it – HE HAS ONLY THREE LEGS. I stopped by his new forever home two days after his arrival. He is a nice guy and we became friends immediately, go figure!
“You’re looking at the map…you have it open to Nebraska…”
“Why are we stopping in Scottsbluff…why don’t we just drive right to the beach…we ARE going to a beach, aren’t we?”
“We have three nights in Scottsbluff because I am teaching at soccer referee clinics for an AYSO region. Don’t worry, you’ll have your own bed…”
“When do we get to the beach…you said the Pacific Ocean, mountains, rain forests, sea gulls to chase, cool temperatures, bye-bye in the car, when do we get there?”
“We are meeting Mary at PDX on Friday morning, we’ll be at the beach Friday afternoon.”
“This is an OFF-LEASH beach…right? You keep telling me I will be OFF-LEASH…”
“Yes, yes, yes…an adventure of a lifetime for a young Border collie. And from Scottsbluff to Portland, we are taking US Route 26, through the Rocky Mountains, small towns, National Forests. You will see Wyoming, Idaho and Oregon. Believe me, you will LOVE this trip!”
“I’m going to miss my dog friends…Brandy, Ellie, Sophie, Olive…”
“Sorta funny that all your friends are female…just sayin’ and you let them eat your food while you just watch…you certainly are the Romeo…don’t forget to tell your followers they can follow our trip on your blog…”
“Hey, all my faithful and loyal followers…follow my trip to Oregon on my blog!”
Dear Mr. Magic:
Your questionnaire is INCOMPLETE. Please answer ALL questions by July 15, 2015.
Please provide information on your sense of hearing:
Just one look at my ears should provide all the information you need.
But My Dad wants me to provide two examples:
1) While sleeping near the sliding door to the patio one evening, I suddenly awoke and walked fifteen feet from my sleeping position to an entry table by the front door. My Dad saw me place my head under the table and stare at something….that SOMETHING was a quarter-sized spider walking on the carpet along the baseboard…REALLY!!!
2) While sleeping on My Dad’s bed one morning, I suddenly awoke and ran 30 feet to the CLOSED sliding glass door that looks out onto the concrete patio…a small toad was hopping across the concrete from north to south…REALLY!!!
I have a very rich and involved social life…some examples:
“Can you explain Doctor Killer to me one more time?”
Blah…blah…blah…the important part of the story is that My Dad and I drove up to the Burlington, WI Municipal Airport (KBUU) in the Scion xB to retrieve a young female Border Collie who was being flown in from Campbellsville, Kentucky. Her flight was on-again, off-again, on-again, due to weather and pilot availability issues, and we finally got the green light to GO at 2:00 p.m. When I jumped into the back of the xB, I got worried…the CRATE had been installed in the back. My Dad didn’t say anything about me having to go in the crate. He did make a comment about an adventure that featured hamburgers. Hey, I’m IN! The drive was about 80 minutes up to Burlington (population about 10,000) and My Dad always seems to know where he is going.
The co-pilot of the flight in-bound from Kentucky was texting My Dad that his ETA was 5:00 p.m. Right at 4:59 p.m. a Beech V-Tail, landed to the west and back-taxied to the terminal. So, as I understand My Dad, this aircraft type, BEECH BONANZA, has a reputation as a tricky aircraft to fly with it’s high performance capabilities and “ruddervator” V-Tail. Buddy Holly died in a crash of this type in February 1959. See Wikipedia piece below:
The “Doctor Killer” got it’s reputation from being too much aircraft for an amateur pilot. The Beechcraft Bonanza is a radical design, low-wing, fixed landing gear aircraft with a signature V-tail introduced in 1947 by the Beech Aircraft Corporation of Wichita, Kansas. It is currently still in production by Hawker Beechcraft. It is one of the most influential aircrafts in history. More than 17,000 Bonanzas of all types have been produced.
The V-35 Beech Bonanza is the first truly modern high-performance personal aircraft. The signature V-tail is unconventional structuring of the tail. By replacing the horizontal design of the tail with a V-shaped configuration made up of two hinged pieces, the tail now combine the tasks of rudders and elevators – now affectionately called “ruddervators.”
My Dad left me tethered at the xB and he met the V-Tail at the terminal. NILLA was unloaded by the two pilots and the first thing she did was to put her front paws on My Dad and gave him a hug and a kiss on the ear – something I like to do.
NILLA is learning to go the bathroom OUTSIDE, and she is a quick learner. She had a few accidents but My Dad has been very patient with her. She can really eat!
“Magic, you have an email, looks important…”
“What…something about my $23 million inheritance from Nigerian relatives, and I am required to pay a $1,000 transfer fee?”
“Ha! I can tell you are on my laptop WAY too much. Wait, you don’t respond to those scam emails…do you?”
“Mmmm…sort of, I tell them I will meet them at the airport in Lagos, give them the tail number of my Gulfstream IV, and that I will be arriving with my security force of 12 former special forces dudes…they never get back me…what a shock…so just what is this important email?
“They want you to answer some questions, looks sort of personal, something from the BCBCI. looks VERY official.”
“Yawn…OK…why don’t you wash the Scion xB, or play Scrabble, or something…let me take care of my own affairs…mmm…let me see…”
BORDER COLLIE BEHAVIORAL CONTROL INSTITUTE
COWLEY ROAD, CAMBRIDGE CB4OWS, UNITED KINGDOM
Dear Mr. Magic,
As you are well aware, ALL Border collies are required to submit to an annual behavioral review. The required form is attached and should be reviewed with ALL questions answered by midnight, 15 July 2015. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.
Please provide information on your relationship with other canines, including Border collies:
I get along with everyone. My main girlfriends are Kaya, Brandy, and Coco. Siri is a female Border collie and I am in negotiations with her for play fighting that is a bit more aggressive. Coco is a small Maltese and I will lay down next to her so we can play. She allows me to nibble on her legs. Bob, a Shar-Pei, is another good friend. I am his first dog friend.
Please provide information on fears, anxieties, and unusual behaviors on your part:
I am not afraid of thunder. I am not afraid of fireworks. I am not afraid of any dogs…I stand my ground. I enioy going with My Dad in the Scion xB. My Dad always has water for me in the car and we frequently stop for hamburgers. I have some concerns about sewer grates, manhole covers, and drainage openings…I am very careful when walking around them.
Please provide information on your favorite chew toys:
My Dad’s sunglasses are a favorite. Bully sticks, any squeaky toys, My Dad’s shoes, watches, Sheepdog caps, his soccer referee red and yellow cards, his Samsung cell phone, anything from the recycling bin, especially Dasani water bottles. Anything that is within reach in the front seat or on the dashboard of the Scion xB
Please provide information on your current jobs that DO NOT relate to herding of animals:
I am a Therapy Dog in-training, blogging, providing play-fighting and pursuit game tactics to any canine who will listen, providing Private Detective security.
Please provide information on your relationship with moving motor vehicles:
When I was adopted in December, I really enjoyed LUNGING at passing cars. With careful and thoughtful guidance from My Dad, I have suppressed that urge (unless I am showing off to my canine friends). My Dad wants you to know that I do not care about FedEx, UPS, or U.S. Mail trucks and that I do not bark in the car…and why is that important? OK, OK, I will get back to work…
Please provide information on your obedience inclinations:
My Dad and I are always working on something different. I am VERY good at SIT, SHAKE, DOWN, UP, and minding my own business, especially when strangers and other canines walk by. The humans passing by always make comments about my good behavior (and how good-looking and handsome I am). Last week, I finally realized that a Frisbee will not hurt me and My Dad is very happy when I catch the Frisbee.
Please provide your current weight AND your weight when you moved into your current residence:
I was a skinny guy when My Dad adopted me from Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue in early December of 2014, around 33 pounds. My Dad had me weighed at the vet, last week. I was 58.2 pounds. My Dad keeps asking me where I am putting the weight.
Please provide your age:
When the vet examined me in December 2014, she thought I was just a baby, 8 to 12 months old. My Dad gave me a birthday of February 8th, 2014. I have VERY white teeth.
Please provide the circumstances of your current living situation:
I live with My Dad, I sleep wherever I want, I get 5 or 6 long walks every day, I get off-leash play with my main girlfriend, Kaya, almost every day, and I go for a lot of rides in the car.
“What were those words that Brandy’s Mom called me?”
“She calls you a lothario and a romeo.”
“Are these words complimentary for a Border collie?”
“Mmm…perhaps…you are VERY friendly with all the dogs you meet, especially the girls…”
“You seem a bit uncertain, what are the definitions of lothario and romeo?”
“You’re at my laptop, you do the research, you can Google both words…and put the glasses down, you don’t need glasses!”
“I like their crunchiness…”
“DOWN, put them DOWN, Magic!”
a man who behaves selfishly and irresponsibly in his sexual relationships with women.
“Mmm…what was that other word…ah…ROMEO…r-o-m-e-o…Ro·me·o
I like to engage in playful “gripping” when I am playing with my friends. I will pretend to bite the back and the backs of legs during chase me – chase you play, and I love to nibble on Flip’s little legs.
Have a great weekend my faithful followers! -Magic