MISSION TO DOWNTOWN and PUDDLES OF VOMIT

“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…”

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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!

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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BACK IN CHICAGO, BACK IN THE GRIND

Another seagull, and another, I cannot catch them.  They tease me, wait until I am almost within reach of those tail feathers.  They open their wings and lift from the gentle waves, into the sky.  And then a squirrel is swimming next to them…whimper, growl, yip, yip….HUH?  WHAT?  My Dad is in the waves next to me?  What are you doing?  Here?  Oh, how embarrassing…I am dreaming and My Dad has been watching me, he is smiling, he places his gentle hand on my head.

“Let’s go to work!”

I love to go in the Scion xB to work with My Dad.  I no longer need a leash for the short walk to Scion.  The rear hatch opens and I jump right in.  I sit behind My Dad’s seat and watch everything, herd the cars, move back and forth, window to window.

Last Sunday, we drove to the South Loop area to serve paper.  My Dad was thwarted by a security guard at this exclusive high-rise, but that story has yet to be written…My Dad is very imaginative…he chose me, right?  And we went for a walk.  We found an interesting sculpture with three foxes, or are they Border collies?  The northeast corner of East 11th Street and Wabash, just west of Michigan Avenue.

My Dad thinks these are foxes...I thought Border collies.

My Dad thinks these are foxes…I thought Border collies, reading up on, and discussing herding techniques.

This is the north wall of a 1960’s something parking garage located on East 8th Street, across from the Hilton Hotel on Michigan Avenue.

East 8th Street, south of Hilton Hotel on Michigan Avenue.  I was bored.

East 8th Street, south of Hilton Hotel on Michigan Avenue. I was bored.

CANNON BEACH, HERE WE COME! and FEEDING THE DEMONIC SCHIZOID

Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon...doesn't look that far on the map...

Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon…doesn’t look that far on the map…”Where’s Nebraska?”

“Where’s Nebraska?”

“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!”

Brandy was over the other day, she asked if she could eat my food.

Brandy was over the other day, she asked if she could eat my food…she didn’t wait for an answer…

...and then she eats the rest of my food...it better to just watch it happen...I always want to stay on her good side, right Demonic Schizoid?

…and then she eats the rest of my food…it is better to just watch it happen…I always want to stay on her good side, right Demonic Schizoid?

QUESTIONNAIRE FROM BORDER COLLIE BEHAVIORAL CONTROL INSTITUTE (BCBCI)

Play-fighting with BOB...I am his first dog friend.

Play-fighting with BOB…I am his first dog friend.

“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.

Coco and Lolly are two of my very good friends.  I will lay down to play with them.

Coco and Lolly (foreground) are two of my very good friends. I will lay down to play with them.

On assignment with My Dad.  Nice ears, don't you think?

On assignment with My Dad. Nice ears, don’t you think?

All squeaky toys have their squeakers removed, usually through a small hole in the belly...surgical precision.

All squeaky toys have their squeakers removed, usually through a small hole in the belly…surgical precision.

Coco finds me irresistible, she is always escaping from home and running to my place.

Coco finds me irresistible, she is always escaping from home and running to my place.

GIVE ME A KISS and THE IDLE MIND IS THE DEVIL’S WORKSHOP

I am giving Nikki a kiss.

I am giving Nikki a kiss.

This is the Milk Bone cookie trick, the test subject's name is Chris.

This is the Milk Bone cookie trick, the test subject’s name is Chris.  

If any of you, my loyal followers, were here, RIGHT NOW, I would give you a hug with my two front paws, and a kiss, because I am a sweet guy.  And Chris, one of my most loyal followers has taken that a step further,  She places these tiny Milk-Bone cookies in her mouth and allows me to g-e-n-t-l-y remove  those tiny cookies with my sparkling white teeth.  I am VERY gentle.

My Dad is learning, the hard way, that my very creative Border collie brain needs things to do.  Any object that is within my reach is interesting enough to chew on…for example:

My Dad’s water sandals…the buckles and connector parts were quite crunchy…

My Dad’s dress shoes…he can still wear them…as part of a Halloween costume that has something to do with zombies…

The driver’s seatbelt in the Scion xB…My Dad was not in the car at the time of that project…

My Dad's seatbelt in the Scion xB.  He was not in the Scion when I did this.

My Dad’s seatbelt in the Scion xB. He was not in the Scion when I did this.

I had been caught working on this leash three times...last night we had a breakthrough!

I had been caught working on this leash three times…last night we had a breakthrough!

A roll of gray duct tape, two television remotes, several winter gloves, one of My Dad’s referee shoes, my dog bed, several leashes, an embroidered Border collie tissue dispenser, a shoe shine brush…I believe that is all…what?  Oh, yes.  My Dad just reminded me that I have chewed on some black ink pens…on the carpeting…all under unfortunate conditions…

The seatbelt has been chewed on?  Are you asking me or telling me?

The seatbelt has been chewed on? Are you asking me or telling me?

Now that you bring it up, yes, the hamburgers were very tasty (and so was your seatbelt...)

Now that you bring it up, yes, the hamburgers were very tasty (and so was your seatbelt…)

TIME-OUT AT PRAIRIE WOLF

This is JENKS.  I asked him to play, but he had other things on his mind.

This is JENKS. I asked him to play, but he had other things on his mind.

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A secret mission with My Dad this morning, very hush-hush.  We drove all the way past downtown Chicago and onto southbound Lake Shore Drive.  Past the Museum of Science and Industry to an area of older apartments and condos…My Dad had to serve some paper, and he was successful – no big deal.  But he told me that the intelligence (intel, in secret agent language) he had developed on this person gave him a slight edge, just enough to factor into a successful mission.

“Want to go the Dog Park?”

What?  I was jolted out of my fascination with watching moving vehicles from the open (in the low 30’s here today!) left rear window.  What?  The DOG PARK?

“Yep, won’t be muddy, sun’s out, actually feels warm, so that’s a yes?”

Duh, and when would I say NO to the dog park.  The alertness of my amber eyes and prick ears told My Dad all he needed to know.  Yes, let’s head for the Dog Park.

My favorite play-fighter today was ACE, a young German Shepherd dog.  After Kona and Luke kept tag-teaming me and getting too rough, I ran over by Ace, sat down and showed my teeth at Kona and Luke…they were starting to hurt me and I let them know I did not like that.  After taking a short break to compose myself, I started testing Ace with a few “let’s play” moves and he was OK with playing with me.

This is me testing ACE to see if he was interested in playing.

This is me testing ACE to see if he was interested in playing.

Ace, let's play, but not too rough.  He was OK with that.  He was a nice guy.

Ace, let’s play, but not too rough. He was OK with that. He was a nice guy.

Ace and me taking a snow eating break.

Ace and me taking a snow eating break.

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This is ACE with his owner. ACE was very persistent in taking a Frisbee from his Dad’s pocket.

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This is Wally, very reserved and handsome.  A cattle dog mix.  Hey Wally, NICE EARS...you BABY!

This is Wally, very reserved and handsome. A cattle dog mix. Hey Wally, NICE EARS…you BABY!

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Yawn….time for a nap.  Be Cool.    -Magic

YOUNGER DAYS…

Great Lakes Border Collie Rescue rescued me from the Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society.  My earliest days were spent on the property of a church – somewhere – to keep geese off of their property.  I slept in a garage at night.  Well, (DUH) this first job didn’t work out.  I didn’t give a hoot about geese (or ducks, or rabbits) then, and I don’t now.  NEWS FLASH – herding dogs are supposed to PROTECT their flock.  I guess the pastor at this church didn’t understand that, go figure.  Squirrels are a MUCH different matter, but we’ll save that for another time.  I was fostered in Michigan by Mindy.  My Dad often says that Mindy did a great job with me.  I was ready, out-of-the-box, for my forever home in the Chicago area.

Border collies are always connected with canine athletics.  My Dad was told that I didn’t care much about Frisbee, but he gave it a shot anyway.  I caught on to this right away, so I have no idea where someone thought that I would not be interested in Frisbee.  Our estate, well, actually the public golf course, became my proving ground for catching the Frisbee.  My Dad was always amazed that I could run flat-out, watch the Frisbee’s flight, and be in the right spot – EVERY TIME – to make the catch.  Some mornings my Dad and I would go to a park with large open manicured grass fields.  This is where my ability to f-o-c-u-s is really put on display…when my Dad had the Frisbees, I ignored everything else – other (less smart) dogs, squirrels, people, did I mention dogs, airplanes…I was FOCUSED! Walkers in the park would routinely take a seat on nearby benches or on the ground and watch me work (perform).  People would applaud, ask to take pictures with me.  My Dad was VERY proud of me.  And something else about being a Border collie…people – everywhere- ask my Dad, “Is that a Border collie?”  My Dad loves to show me off, and being a Therapy dog, this is easy!  I like to meet and greet.  I have a very steady, polite, easy-going demeanor – no surprises with me…NEVER.  My Dad wants people to ask about me, ask to pet me.  Toddlers, kids, teens, adults, seniors – doesn’t matter to me…I am always a good boy.  One Saturday morning, I was laying next to my Dad outside a Starbucks.  A woman approached and just stopped dead in her tracks, looking at me.  My Dad said, “Cody’s a Therapy Dog…if you want to pet him go right ahead.”  And she said, “I want that dog on my show!”  Turns out she was a producer for Green Screen Adventures on WCIU, Channel 26, here in Chicago.  So, the next Saturday, my Dad drove me downtown and I spent three hours in the studio for a half-hour show.  Frisbee is way more fun, but I got through it.Image