DREAMING ABOUT CATTLE DOG ANCESTRY

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.

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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:

MORAL EEL TEETH

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.

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AFRAID OF STAIRS, ME? and THE INSIDE DOG

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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???

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“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.

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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.

 

 

GREAT LAKES BORDER COLLIE RESCUE PICNIC 2017, “DO YOU WANT TO GO?”

“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.

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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.

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“Dad, why another photo of Skipper?”

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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…

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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!”

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

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

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

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

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A gorgeous “tri” raising a paw.

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Nice ears, YOU BABY!

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Calm, affectionate, and handsome…

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

 

“EVERYBODY RELAX…WE’RE HERE FOR THE COOKIES”

As my loyal and faithful followers know, I go everywhere with My Dad.  Yesterday I was summoned into the Bank, the girls there wanted to meet me.  And I know what the drive-up window at the Bank means…COOKIES!

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“Hey!  It’s me, MAGIC.  What, no envelope of cookies?”

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“One at a time is OK, but I get more than one, RIGHT?

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“Relax…I’m gentle, I got it…”

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“Thanks!  and yummmm…”

 

Further Commentary from the Cleric of Canines

Going bye-bye in the car is one of my favorite…

“Hey, Magic, get to the point!  You told me you were going to write about your experiences with puppies and young dogs…or, are you too tired from running around with Sadie?”

What’s the rush?  You haven’t shaved yet today, why don’t you take care of that, now?

My blog, my blog, my blog.  You have your blog (www.betterinstructors-betterrefs.com) and I have my blog…relax.

Yes.  I am the mentor, the trainer, the wise man, the adviser, the guru, the cleric of canines.  Let us get to know each other at your pace; some chase me-chase you games, some wrestling and play fighting.  I may correct your behavior with a low growl, I may grip your haunches.  When I roll onto my back and show you my speckled tummy, I am anointing you as my friend forever.  So sniff me, approach from the rear, take your time.  I want you to feel comfortable with me.  I will ignore you, pretend you are not there.  I am confident in my Border collie-ness,  I am confident in my abilities inherited over the centuries from the Border collies who came before me.  And when you are ready for me to work my “magic,” we will be best friends.

CASE STUDY:  SASHA – AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOG (PUPPY)

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Photo Courtesy of http://www.nibblin cattle dogs.au

Sasha was fearful of me at the initial consult.  I was aware of our size difference and our ages.  Just a puppy, given up by her owners because they had to move out of the continental United States. The excuses humans come up with…sigh.  My “I AM IGNORING YOU” approach worked the best with Sasha.  But Sasha was VERY wary – took a whole 45 minutes to take her from great wariness to pursuit games.  She is still a little dorky puppy, but very cute…wouldn’t you agree?

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“I know you are there, Sasha”

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“Take your time, Sasha.  There is no rush, no schedule.”

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“We are both herding  dogs, although I am a bit more intelligent.  Closer, closer, relax…”

CASE STUDY:  SADIE – BORDER COLLIE (PUPPY)

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No fearfulness here, that is for sure.  Pursuit games, play-fighting, a quick learner.  However, Sadie will give a whimper during pursuit games if she anticipates a “gripping” maneuver coming close to her hindquarter (official Border collie terminology).  And if a gripping is going to be applied by the “chaser/herder,” Sadie will “crash + burn,”  a deliberate rolling onto the turf to avoid the gripping.  But then she is right back up and ready for more games, either as the sheep or the chaser/herder.  She already knows how to cut the angles, and I have been required to “butt-tuck,” too.  She has very good instincts.

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Sadie has been fearless from the start.  I believe my good-looks are partly responsible for her bravery and stoutness.

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“Nice ears, you BABY!”

Now, about to go bye-bye in the car…  Don’t forget to check out THE BORDER COLLIE MUSEUM.  www.bordercolliemuseum.org

 

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