TROLLING FOR (STRESSED) TRAVELERS -and- CUSTOMIZING PLAY FOR EACH DOG FRIEND

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.”

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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.

 

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

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MAGIC and ASTRO have ID tags from  islandtopdesigns.com

 

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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…”

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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.

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A DESTINY REALIZED and WHEN IS A THERAPY DOG, NOT A THERAPY DOG?

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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:

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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.

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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!

 

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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)

 

 

 

 

 

GIVING IN TO TEMPTATION and BARKING AT BOVINES

“Your characterization of me as a dog, as a BORDER COLLIE, with poor manners is a bit upsetting…that photo is inappropriate.”

“Which photo are you referring to, the chewed container or the warm turkey breast in the back of the Scion xB with you?”

“Mmmmmmph…they were both taken by you today…the event is over…the event was, like, five or six days ago…you discussed this problem with me already…this is inappropriate material for the blog -MY BLOG-  I might add…I realized I made a mistake dragging the warm turkey breast into the back of the xB…”

“You did a bit more than just drag it into the back of the Scion, and I know, you were apologetic about your actions.”

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Warm, savory, juicy…aromatherapy for dogs…mouth-watering, too, and very tasty!

My Dad and I were out and about last Saturday, and one of our stops was Sunset Foods for some groceries.  And while I will use the photos My Dad took today, I am using these only so that all of my loyal and faithful readers will understand that this event took place on SATURDAY – some six days ago!  For some reason, My Dad feels that my poorly thought out decision to crawl up into the front seat of the xB and  g-e-n-t-l-y  pick up the cooked, juicy ROTISSERIE turkey breast and bring to the back of the Scion requires a full disclosure – must be the investigator in him.  I am referring to this as a re-creation of the actual event – gently pick up the Sunset Foods plastic bag holding the savory, aroma-therapy of the juicy, warm turkey breast, remove the warm plastic container from the plastic bag, chew and pry the clear plastic top from the container and….VOILA!…a delicious, mouth-watering turkey breast.  And I was able to chew off and consume four corners before My Dad returned from his shopping foray at Target, or as he likes to say, “TARJHAY.”  I say, WOOF!  That turkey breast was DELICIOUS!

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This is only a re-creation…makes My Dad feel better…

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While this is the ACTUAL container I broke into, this event took place some six days ago.  The benefit for me was turkey breast mixed into my regular IAMS Natural meal.

“Don’t forget the barking-at-the-cows story.”

“Well, finally, another story that is a bit more appropriate for MY blog.”

We drive through Glenview, Illinois several times a week…My Dad used to live here…and we pass by Wagner Farms located at the northwest corner of Lake Street and Wagner Road.  Part of the allure of Wagner Farms is that it is a  working (allegedly) dairy farm – WITH COWS.  The cows stand around, watch the cars go by, the cows are moronic.  They do not have any herding dogs, of any kind, running around Wagner Farms to keep these cows, these cud-chewing bovines, in line and alert.  So as part of my never-ending job as a Border collie, a very serious herding dog, I bark-bark-bark-bark at these simpletonians, these slobbering, burbling, bovines.  I can see their ears twitch and they look around – “….uhhh…where is the Border collie….?”  Very satisfying to get that reaction.  Time for a nap.  I played with Kaya and Erin today.  Later…….MAGIC.

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!

THE ELEGANCE OF HERDING DOGS and THE GRIM REAPER VISITS SQUIRREL-TOWN

“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.

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

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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)

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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.

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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!

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Maisie smiling…look at those golden eyes!

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And…Maisie after running through the mud…

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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

 

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

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Did Dr. Preiser make any comments about my handsomeness?

“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.”

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30 MINUTE APPOINTMENT WITH THE CANINE THERAPIST

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Meet Bella…her Mom was worried that she would hurt ME…really?  Bella was thinking…”now what?”

“Kelly is going to stop by with her new puppy, an eight week old yellow Lab.  Kelly is worried that the puppy will be a bit unruly with you…you OK with that?”

“Why would I be worried…are YOU worried?”

“No, not in the least…you always know what to do…you’re never aggressive, you are Mr. Steady…”

My Dad pays attention, I’ll give him that.  Mmmm…so, Kelly comes over on Saturday with the puppy and My Dad suggests that we start the therapy session outside.  For December in Chicago, sunny skies and the low 50’s is wonderful dog weather.  My Dad actually had to convince Kelly to place the puppy, Bella, on the ground.  Kelly was very concerned that Bella would be too aggressive with me.  My Dad trusts me…he knows I always adjust the level of play to the participant…easy-going, chase-me/chase-you, some wrestling, you kill me/I’ll kill you…no rough stuff.

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Ignoring the other dog and feigning disinterest encourages my subject to relax.  With Bella, she felt confident enough to engage me in about three minutes.

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Hah!  A surprise attack!  OK, Bella, you can kill me first!

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“Hey, Magic, you are a cool guy!”

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“C’mon!  Let’s wrestle!”

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“Hey, Bella, if you can catch me, you can kill me again.”

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“Awwwww, Magic, you’re not so fast…”

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“Oh, Bella…..you got me…”

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“OK, Bella, your turn…you be the sheep and I’ll be the wolf…”

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“Good work Bella!  The sheep fights off the wolf!”

And Bella took a nap right after we finished our session.   -Magic

THE CANINE THERAPIST FOR CANINES and THE TOY COLLECTOR

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).

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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?”

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“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.

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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!

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

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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

 

 

 

FORCED OUT OF RETIREMENT…AND I AM OK WITH THAT!

My loyal followers are well aware that I have been a Certified Therapy Dog most of my life.  The years are catching up with me, though.  I am moving a little slower, my hearing has become a bit more selective, but I can still spot a squirrel in a tree from 50 yards…HA!  I can be very sassy with My Dad, especially in the morning when he is trying to make coffee.  ARE WE GOING OUT?  I’VE BROUGHT SOME TOYS IN, PAY ATTENTION!  WHEN ARE WE GOING IN THE SCION?  DON’T FORGET A BUSYBONE!  HEY, I HAVE TO GO OUT, DON’T FORGET!  However, I have a VERY sweet personality and I have always been very gentle and very respectful.

Friday evening, My Dad started asking me, “Do you want to work, tomorrow?”  That question will always trigger the to-the-right-head-tilt.  “And then we can go bye-bye in the car to Marengo.”  Wow, working and a long bye-bye in the Scion xB…life just can’t get any better!  So, Saturday morning we were on the road at 9:00 a.m. to visit with the mother of Chris.  Chris is really working me hard…politicking me.  I must admit, she is very talented at rubbing the areas around my ears.  OK, OK, just stick to the story.  I think the Scion windows need some cleaning…hint, hint.  Promptly at 9:30 on Saturday morning, My Dad and I arrived at the Cedar Lake Senior Facility, My Dad attached the leash to my Therapy Dog collar and we head off for some work.  You know how I operate – just walk in like you own the place.  The staff and several residents were talking in the great room entry area and as usual, when I appear, time stops and all attention is on me.  And then come the questions…  Is that a boy or girl?  (duh, I’m a boy) What kind of dog? (I’m a Border collie, here, take one of my business cards)  May I pet him?  (Of course, and please pet me like you mean it)  What is his name?  (Cody, I’m Cody, here is a card).  My Dad, Chris, and I took the elevator to the second floor.  Chris’s Mom, Dorothy, was working a puzzle with two of her friends but she was very happy to see me and took time to visit.  My Dad, the wizard that he is, brought some treats, so everyone had the opportunity to see how gentle I am.

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And after visiting Dorothy, My Dad and I took off for Marengo, Illinois for some “investigative” assignment  – strictly confidential.

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We drive all the way to Marengo, spend three hours there, and then drive back to Lake Zurich.  NO HAMBURGERS!  I am filing a complaint with…somebody.  And to make matters worse, My Dad leaves me at Chris’s house with Melissa (Chris’s daughter) and two cats, although I was given the opportunity to meet only one of the cats, a flighty Siamese named Willow.  All of my loyal followers are well aware that I am OK with cats – no chasing, barking at, threatening – herding dogs like cats.  Soooo, check out the YouTube video of Melissa coaxing Willow to walk past me – while I am trying to sleep.  Yes, I raised my head to look at Willow, but that was more to to show her I was aware of her presence – not to startle her – I think.

 

 

NEW GIRL IN TOWN. I WISH I WAS YOUNGER…SIGH

Several weeks ago,  a new neighbor moved in.  The person is Donna and her (gorgeous!) dog is Brandy.  Donna believes that Brandy is a Border collie mix, maybe with a Lab.  But I was watching Brandy very carefully…she’s tall, lean, golden-brown eyes, and a full, lustrous tail.  (Gulp). I’m thinking Border collie and German Shepherd.  She loves My Dad, go figure.  She leans on him when he pets her.  She has a deep, menacing bark and her eyes have this intensity.  But she is actually VERY sweet.  I told her she would make a wonderful Therapy Dog.
Sigh...this is the lovely Brandy.  She is 2 1/2.

Sigh…this is the lovely Brandy. She is 2 1/2.

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This is me taking a nap...no comments about the weird sleeping position, please!

This is me taking a nap…no comments about the weird sleeping position, please!