Magic turned four years of age on February 8th.  There is a level of maturity, confidence and situational-awareness comfort that has really blossomed in him over the last eight months.  We took the Therapy Dogs International (TDI) test in May of 2017 and he was “dinged” on the portion, BEING GREETED BY A FRIENDLY STRANGER.  Since the dog requires 100% to pass the test, MAGIC failed.  However, looking back on that part of  the TDI Test, last May, I came to the realization that in MAGIC’s brain, the approach of the so-called friendly stranger probably didn’t look too friendly.  Bent-over from the waist, arms bent at the elbow, a slooowww approach…sort of like this, at least in MAGIC’s mind:


A frequent activity for MAGIC and me is taking my sister, Mary, to O’Hare International Airport (ORD) for business flying and picking her up at ORD upon her return.  For the pick-up portion, I will arrive 60 to 90 minutes early, park in the short-term garage, and bring MAGIC into the United Airlines Baggage Claim area.  We have never been challenged.  The Chicago Police will stop by for a  friendly chat.  And we just sit and wait and watch.  The goal with the airport visit is exposure to people, people approaching, being approached by friendly strangers, different smells, different noises, activities that MAGIC does not normally have in our homogenized suburban complex.  MAGIC is wonderful with whispered verbal commands and subtle hand signals.  He settles IMMEDIATELY and at ORD loves to just…watch.  Watch without reacting or responding.  Just watch.  I find it very interesting how a very black dog laying quietly on a white terrazzo floor is simply not noticed by the large majority of people.  But, MAGIC is watching, observing, assessing, smelling, taking it all in – and being a VERY good boy about it.  Dogs walking by, usually very small dogs, do take notice MAGIC, and they keep a very close eye on him.  Still, not even a twitch from MAGIC.  During one of these baggage-claim visits, two women on their way to Europe had a several hour lay-over and chose UAL baggage-claim to relax and check their phones.  Without a word or a look, they sat next to me and MAGIC.  MAGIC noticed them, was aware of them, looked at them, but did not move – at least for the next several minutes.  But after a few minutes, he stood up and approached the two women who were obviously comfortable around a well-behaved dog.  His approach was respectful, inquisitive, but his approach also had an element of friendliness, “Hey, my name is MAGIC, I’m a cool dude, you can pet me, I won’t hurt you…”

“May we pet him?  What is his name?  He’s so calm…”

So it went with the visits to ORD baggage-claim.  Calm, cool, collected.  Friendly strangers, smiling and eager to say HI to a dog, as if MAGIC was the last dog on earth.  MAGIC’s comfort level  and confidence rising with each approach.  And I realized that MAGIC was coming into his own with greeting people, and being greeted by people.

20171206_184524Mr. Smooth Operator watching EVERYTHING at ORD.

A dog at the airport suggests at least two reasons why the dog is present:

The dog’s presence is in an official capacity.  Think law enforcement, drug interdiction, explosives sniffing.  MAGIC’s prick ears, coloring, and, let’s call it, “attention to detail,” certainly give him the look of Mr. Official Capacity. Or,  the dog is a Service Animal,  accompanied by it’s handler.  MAGIC is NOT a Service Animal.

MAGIC and I tested again with TDI on a Sunday afternoon at the end of January.  By this time, MAGIC had transformed himself into Mr. SMOOTH Operator.  Very laid-back, comfortable with himself and his border-collie-ness, no need to mix it up, or even show awareness with the nine other dogs being tested, very content with watching the “testing circus,” so to speak.  I expected to see well-behaved dogs and calm, under-control handlers.  I was very surprised to see and hear skittish dogs, loud commands, taut leashes, repetitive commands, stressed dogs.  In the back of the testing facility, there were three men and two women, all five wearing official-looking black sweatshirts.

Magic’s test was easy.  Whispered voice commands, subtle hand commands, a sense of aloofness with the other dogs being tested.  The Tester commented twice, “You see how this handler is barely whispering to his dog?  There is no need to shout at your dog…”

At the conclusion of the test, MAGIC and I were immediately approached by the “black sweatshirt” crew.  “We want your dog in our group, that is an awesome dog.”  So, the following Thursday, MAGIC and I spent four and a half hours at the VA Hospital in North Chicago.  Long-term care, regular patients, PTSD, mental health, Vietnam vets.  Whether he was greeting or being greeted, MAGIC was outstanding.  Moved well in hallways, stairwells, with the group, kept the pace, never faltered, really an outstanding effort on his part.  However, disturbing behavior with one dog and it’s handler will prevent MAGIC and me from staying with this group.  One of this group’s dogs, a slender black mixed breed female did NOT want to be there.  Her story:  She was being “transitioned” from a Service Dog, whose situation did not work out for her and the previous owner, to a Therapy Dog.  Tail tucked in between the rear legs, ears back, a serious reluctance to engage with patients, this group’s clients, if you will.  The handler was DRAGGING the seated dog on a taut leash up to the patients’ faces.  And some of you may be thinking, “What does a dog do when it is stressed?” I brought this behavior to the group leader’s attention.  Astonishingly,  his reply was, “The dog is going to have to fight through this…”

Wow.  I have decided to return to Rainbow Animal Assisted Therapy (RAAT) where my prior Border collie, CODY, was a valued canine team member for Reading To Dogs and Children with a Profound Fear of Dogs.  Our six hours of additional training with RAAT begins next Thursday.

MAGIC has a new canine friend – a female, go figure!  Her name is TAVA, which is Russian for COMRADE!



MAGIC and his new girlfriend, TAVA, waiting for the soup wagon in Chelyabinsk.  Comrade!  (Photo courtesy of the People’s Canine Welfare League in Chelyabinsk)








Yesterday, I was visited by Patrick of Shannondale and Sasha of the Bloody Stump.  Whoops, just kidding Sasha!  I think her real name is Sasha of Pimlico, SOP for short.  Anyway, their visit was unannounced.  My Dad and I had just returned from grocery shopping and who was awaiting our return?  His brother, Ed, one of my favorite people, Patrick of Shannondale and Patrick’s minion, Sasha the Hobbler (just kidding, sort of, Sasha).  Well, perhaps I’m not kidding…  Sasha has a reputation, apparently very well deserved, for OVER-gripping (gripping is a herding dog term) on the backs of humans’ legs, ankles, and achilles zones.  And the OVER-gripping results in the drawing of BLOOD.  My faithful and loyal readers will certainly remember Patrick of Shannondale, pictured below wearing his t-rex collar charm.  Patrick is an excellent play-fighter and we are very good friends.


As far as Sasha the Maimer is concerned, I was introduced to her when she was a puppy.  Remember, I wrote about my initial training efforts with her?  Sasha the Gnawer is pictured below in her puppy days.20160830_191154

When she came INTO my home, yesterday, I ignored her.  I could tell she was uncomfortable with me.  And, Patrick, was being very protective of her.  There were a few opportunities when I felt like initiating play activities, but Patrick would stand between us and give me, “eye.”  I, too, understand the meaning of “eye,” so I thought it was best to just stare out towards the back yard and mind my own business.  I am VERY good at minding my own business.

Last night, while sleeping on My Dad’s very comfortable down-filled Eddie Bauer storm coat, I had a very unusual dream about Sasha’s true animal ancestry, and here are some images downloaded from my brain:


Perhaps Sasha’s teeth summoned this image?

Peccary Babies Sniff New Digs

And these baby Peccaries do share a very close resemblance with Sasha.

My work is finished for the day.  Off for a walk in our pleasant frigid weather.  Love, MAGIC.


My entire life, I have been told by humans that I am a Border collie.  I was rescued as a stray, homeless, in Adams County,  southwestern Illinois, along the Mississippi River, near Quincy.  A woman found me eating garbage out of a dumpster, I was just a baby.  I was kept in a shelter with other dogs.  A very sad place.  A man from Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue drove me from Quincy to Crown Point, Indiana, where Kathy P. fostered me.  I remember Kathy, she was very nice to me.  She talked to me a lot, and you now what?  I understood everything she said to me.  I had never lived with humans, never set foot in a house.  But I realized, deep in my soul, in my spirit, that humans were good.  My Dad came to Kathy’s house and as soon as he saw me, I remember him saying, “He’s perfect, I will adopt him.”  And two weeks later, I was living with My Dad and his Border collie, Cody.  Four weeks later, Cody crossed the bridge.  My Dad was very sad.  But, I knew My Dad was very happy with me.  He taught me, very patiently and quietly, to not lunge at cars, how to go for rides in the car, how to go for walks without a leash, how to listen very carefully  and also watch his hands.  I have always been a very quick learner.  So, take a look at a few of my pictures.  Don’t I look like a Border collie in the “classic sense?

529920170206_103223 (2)


And Border collies have some distinctive traits, that I have, too.

  1.  Plop and drop – no spinning around in circles for BCs.  When we lay down, its plop and drop…more efficient
  2.   Eye – I use this on My Dad a lot.  Let’s him know I am ready, willing, and able for the next command.  I also give “eye” to dogs who are checking me out.  I stand my ground, and give the prospective friend “eye.”
  3. Very intelligent – I am a quick learner and I respond immediately to My Dad’s commands.
  4. Watchful – My Dad can leave me outside and I watch everything.  I will NEVER run away.
  5. Herding instincts – Gripping is a herding dog’s way a getting the attention of the stock they are in charge of.  I grip My Dad on the back of his left thigh to get his attention.  No damage.  When I am out for a ride in the car, I will “herd” cars when we are stopped – twirling rapidly, always counter-clockwise.

However, I do not have an undercoat.  And my BLACK fur is VERY black.  Think,  deep-black, ink-black, coal black, pure black.  But my fur also has a shiny luster to it.

And this brings us to the “reveal.”  My Dad’s sister, Jean, who coincidentally is the proud owner of an Australian Cattle dog, gave My Dad a Wisdom Panel Canine DNA test for Christmas.  And My Dad retrieved the results today.  Drum roll…….


I know, all of my loyal and faithful readers are looking up Catahoula Leopard dog.  So, seems like my mom or dad were full Border collie and my other parent probably looked like a Border collie…because I certainly look like a Border collie, right?  Everyone says I am a bit tall for a Border collie – perhaps the Catahoula in me?  And I have a great nose, I am very good at tracking, and have a strong prey drive.  The Catahoula, again?

Well, time to go for a walk, the last walk of the day.  And I may keep the results SECRET.  All of my human and dog friends (except for one idiot Newfoundland) like me VERY much and are secure in their belief that I am a Border collie.  I see no need to confuse them.


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.


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.




“Dad, why up so early…? yaaawwwwnnn…”

“You’re kidding, right, Magic?  The Border Collie Picnic is today, in Kalamazoo.  It’s been on your calendar for the last six weeks, we’re on the road with Mary and Bear at 5:45, c’mon, we gotta go for a walk…UP, UP, UP!”

Yes!  The Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue Picnic!  I get to run FREE with other Border collies.  Road trip!

My Dad’s sister, Mary, and Mr. Bear (aka Honey Bear Deluxe…how silly) were waiting outside their house for us at 5:47 a.m. when My Dad and I pulled up in the Scion xB.  For a three-legged dog, Bear can jump pretty good and he has no problem jumping up into the back of the Scion – into MY “bye-bye in the car” spot.  Bear always wants to look out the window that I am looking out of.  He is an excellent example of a Border collie wanne-be, and while he is VERY fast for a three-legged canine, he has trouble handling my deke-out moves when we are playing chase-me chase-you games.  Bear ALWAYS wants to be the FIRST OUT when the door opens, and he gets pretty bossy with me, but, hey, he has three legs and we are very good buddies.  Like I’ve said in earlier posts, all I have to do with Bear is give him some “eye,” and he knows I am the boss.  Sigh, but I pretend that HE is the boss, most of the time.  Bear really likes My Dad and sometimes during our drive, yesterday, Bear would stand behind My Dad and rest his head on My Dad’s right shoulder.

glbcr 2017 013

This is “Skipper,” a rescue from Texas who was here with his Mom and Dad.  My Dad would not shut-up about how GORGEOUS Skipper was.

glbcr 2017 010

“Dad, why another photo of Skipper?”

glbcr 2017 015

glbcr 2017 023

Mr. Bear getting a drink…there is always a film of slime, saliva, and bubbles after Bear gets a drink…he is unable to explain why…

glbcr 2017 036

J.J. was a fun guy to play with.  He liked My Dad’s hat which My Dad kept throwing to HIM!  I had to give My Dad a few two-paw pushes in the backside, “Hey, pay attention TO ME!”

glbcr 2017 050

This is JAKE.  He was VERY concerned that I was sneaking up on him.  My Dad’s Scion is in the background.

glbcr 2017 039

Max, a renowned Therapy Dog, an old soul who really likes people.

glbcr 2017 072

The energetic and biddable, “Captain Hook,” who will be going to a new home in the near future.

glbcr 2017 038

The tiny and shy, Miss Scotia (think Nova Scotia).  She LOVED her Mom.

glbcr 2017 030

A gorgeous “tri” raising a paw.

glbcr 2017 051

Nice ears, YOU BABY!

glbcr 2017 059

Calm, affectionate, and handsome…

glbcr 2017 061

“I’ve been soooo good all morning, can we get a sandwich?”



As my loyal followers and fans are aware, My Dad is a soccer referee and he had been very busy during the Fall season. (He LOVES to officiate soccer and sometimes humans who know My Dad will allow me to sit with them along the touchline) The beautiful November weather here in the Chicago boasted of some days in the upper 60’s (F) and close to 85% sunny skies.

However, all good things must come to an end, or is it, no good deed goes unpunished? (My Dad says that a lot!)    The past two Sunday’s, the change to (real) winter has started and so has My Dad’s complaining.  My Dad tolerates some aspects of winter, especially if the temperatures are close to freezing with no wind.  Our Sunday snowfalls were both very pleasant and I spent a lot of time outside with Kaya – I really like to play in the snow, eat snow, catch snowballs, roll in the snow, relax in the snow.  But, let me clarify – no complaining by My Dad on those past two Sundays.


Kaya and I playing in the snow.  We did not like when the snowman was being built.

The real complaining started two days ago.  My Dad does not like the wind, especially when the temperatures are single digits Fahrenheit.  I demand five to six walks per day and when I give My Dad the let’s go out stare, I watch him put his cold weather gear on.  Over long-underwear and Nike Combat Gear, he will don:  a U.S. Soccer jacket with a high neck collar, a black North Face fleece with a high neck collar, an Eddie Bauer storm coat with a high neck collar AND a hood, two knit hats, and ski goggles.  EARTH TO LUNAR BASE, DO YOU COPY?  Wait, I forget two pairs of gloves – I am not making this up.



Mmmm….ok, he’s in the kitchen.  But My Dad does look out for me.  He puts on my Therapy Dog jacket to keep me a bit warmer and our walks are limited to about 20 minutes, on snow only…My Dad is worried that the salt slush will freeze my little toes.  And when I go poop, My Dad is VERY complimentary, very happy, because we can head home – to WARMTH.

My Dad takes me INTO O’Hare International Airport when we pick up his sister, Mary.  I know I am supposed to be in a down/stay, but people always come up to pet me.  They always smile at me, talk to me, and pet me.  My Dad is very proud of me.


United Airlines baggage concourse, near baggage claim #6.  Being a good boy.


One of those 60F days in November, I needed a drink!



Last Sunday, My Dad and I were up at 4:30 am; we had to drive into downtown Chicago on a “secret” mission.  My Dad is quite candid when he describes me as a “lure,” as in fishing lure.  Who would suspect that a handsome 57 pound, very well behaved, Border collie, would be involved in subterfuge, a guise, a ruse?  However, before our departure in the Scion xB, I needed my morning walk which was completed with typical Border collie efficiency.  But after our return, My Dad alerted me to suspicious behavior in our parking lot.  I saw My Dad peering out the bedroom window blinds, so I stepped up to the lower level of the window blinds to see what he was interested in.  A stranger (stranger-danger) had just parked his older Nissan in the lot, exited his car and was looking in cars using a flashlight and pulling on the door handles!  My Dad was soon on his cell phone.  I followed him to our front door and we both watched the stranger skulking among the cars, we could hear door handles pulled.  I gave a deep growl, My Dad quietly said, “good boy…shhh…good boy.”  I love being called a good boy.  The skulking stranger soon left in his car, and several minutes later, the police knocked on our door and talked with My Dad.  The stranger’s car had been pulled over by the police a short distance away.

As the sky to the east lightened, My Dad and I left in the xB and headed downtown.  My Dad said we would be on surveillance – waiting for someone to leave their condominium high-rise near Millenium Park.


Here I am outside of 400 E. Randolph acting as the “lure.”

As part of the ruse, my disguise, my being a “lure,” I am required to say HI! to a constant stream of people, many with dogs.  As all of my loyal readers know, I am the canine-psychologist, the mentor, the facilitator, the play-with-me specialist.  One of the dogs I encountered Sunday morning was Dante, a retriever-collie mix, and as he approached with his humans they placed a soft, fabric muzzle on his muzzle.  His humans said that Dante sometimes became aggressive with other dogs.  Mmm, obviously Dante hadn’t made my acquaintance, yet.  So, you may not be aware of this, but, dogs can easily communicate by thought-transmission.  Oh, don’t believe it?  Google it…canine thought-transmission…  So the muzzled Dante and I activated our thought-transmission capabilities…easy stuff, really!

why did your humans put that black tube on your mouth?  is that a toy?


you seem like a cool dude, you want to play, i won’t hurt you, you’re not going to bite will you…

mmmpph…play with me…can you take this off….mmmum?

ok…looks easy, hold still, i am going to place my mouth over your mouth, won’t hurt you….easy….easy….ha, it’s off…you’re sure this isn’t a toy, i can turn it into a toy?

And then we were playing, instant best friends.  No aggression, no biting, no growling…just dog fun.  Dante’s parent were SHOCKED when I removed the black tube!

The following Thursday, My Dad went back to the same building for additional covert activities, don’t tell anyone.  And can you guess who we ran into?  Yes, Mr. Dante, who is now my BFF.


Dante with his Mom, Brittany.  She owns the Absolutely Chicago Segway tours which meant she had a constant source of water in a large bowl for us during our play activities!


Marketing!  Are we cute, or what?!


This is a dog-hug.  Dante and I trusted each other from the moment we first met.


Sometimes, Dante wanted to get REAL friendly with me.  But, that does not bother me…a quick word and Dante responded well to subtle corrections.



“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…”

20160317_121709 (1)

My Dad taught me how to remove his hat from his head…some unfortunate damages have occurred as a direct result of my quick learning abilities.

“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!


Wacker Drive with a view to the east…and no puddles of yucchy stuff to be seen!


The Marina Towers “corncob,” and the curved glass of the Trump Tower in the background.  No, those people behind me were not throwing-up.


Jumping into a raised flower bed is very easy for a Border collie.

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.


Brandy (a/k/a Demonic Schizoid) after enjoying MY breakfast…I just watch, why cause an argument?


Coco and Loli visited last night.  Their Mom was out of town.  Coco is a Border collie wannabe, she runs next to me outside and barks whenever I bark.  They are official members of the Magic Fan Club.


And, meet LOLA (Lo-Lo-Lo-Lo-Lo-La, from the song by the Kinks), she is an eight month old Shiba-Inu, who has just joined the Magic Fan Club.  Nice ears, YOU BABY!


“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.

IMG952722 (1)

Patrick’s gorgeous mother is on the right and his sister is on the left.  (Photo courtesy of State Prisoner Transport System)


And, as all of my loyal readers are aware, this is my good friend and play-fighter, Patrick of Shannondale.  He certainly looks like his sister…compliment Patrick!  (Photo courtesy of Home for Deranged Cattle Dogs)


This is my mentor and renowned Therapy Dog, Cody of Lenox (RIP 01-08-2015).  Cody was well known for his fabulous ticking, split-face, and endearing disposition.


And, speaking of ticking, GORGEOUS ticking, this is the beautiful Maisie, recently observed in National Geographic Your Shot.  Photo used with permission of Maisie’s Mom, Tiehrra Alexander.  I’m hoping to get a play-date with Maisie!

maiter 7

Maisie smiling…look at those golden eyes!

maiter 1

And…Maisie after running through the mud…


This is Maisie’s house-mate, Porter.  Porter is 7 months old.  Nice ears, YOU BABY!

“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




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).

devil sticks

Devil Sticks.  Think of my paws as the handheld sticks and the third stick as the squirrel.  Well, that’s what My Dad saw

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?”


“Open the slider  s-l-o-w-l-y   so I can get a better view…”


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.


The Toy Collector at work

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!


My new friend, BEAR.  He is a Tripawd.  He is EXTREMELY sweet.


Showing BEAR that I trust him.  He barks with a d-r-a-w-l…he is from Houston, TX.  BEAR said something about starting his own blog, http://www.adognamedbear.com