A lazy day for two out of the three. I sit in the sun reading my book from my new IPad. Trekker warms my feet and Zoey guards us all. She doesn't like the fact that the snow birds are arriving and now we have more neighbors.
Trekker is lounging comfortable on the loveseat and little Miss Zoey decides she wants to be up there too. She never gives Trekker's discomfort a thought. With a sigh he moves to allow her space. Then he gives me the mournful look of, "Why a girl? We did so nicely as a male dominated household. Now look!"
Last Christmas Luke turned my blog into a hard cover book. It was a wonderful gift at the time, but a soul saver when Shiloh passed away. The day I had to put Shiloh down I sat and reread it's entries, looked at the pictures, and cried. Nothing helped me heal more than that book. I could remember Shiloh in his prime--chasing squirrels, antagonising Trekker, and being my bestfriend. I had forgotten so many of the dog antics that were included in the blog. My memories now focus on the outstanding dog Shiloh was not the dog who struggled to get up in the end. This has caused me to begin writing in the blog again regularly. My memory may be faulty, but the writen word and pictures live on.
Zoey and I have been in obedience classes for the last three weeks. I thought we needed to work on our skills with other dogs and distractions. What I am getting is a lesson on what not to do. The other dog is about the same age as Zoey, a year and a half, and been living with her owner about the same amount of time, a month and a half, but that is where our similarities end. The other owner is soft spoken and petite and her dog is reactive and with a tendency to lunge at other dogs and drag her owner. The owner needs to be firm and with quick corrections and praise which have been demonstrated for her multiple times. At each demonstration the dog quickly does what is being asked of her. But no, the owner says that she feels the corrections are mean and when reminded about the praise she says, “I forgot.” As a result, she is getting welts on her hand from holding the leash so tight and she walks this poor dog walking on his hind legs because the owner is pulling up so hard and continually. I saw her crying to her friends in the parking lot after class and saying that it was just too hard. This is a definite case of a dog being ruined because of a lousy owner. Where is the Dog Whisperer when you need him?
Zoey and I on the other hand are doing well on the other side of the room. We stay over a good leash distance from the other dog and owner. Zoey is a quick learner and wants to please. She picks things up faster than any other dog I’ve trained. After this class concludes we’ll be training on our own or in private lessons. I’ll put her in agility in the spring where she will really shine. Trekker is fast, but Zoey is faster.
As for Trekker’s training, agility training is starting up again on Thursday. I want to say for the hundredth time that when Trekker and I ran our beginner NADAC agility trial, he was the only one who had two perfect runs. Yeah! Yeah! This was definitely a case of a great dog rather than a great owner. He just loves running the course and struts. Now we’ll have to see how we both hold up as the stakes get harder.
If you’d ask me I would say that Zoey, our new addition, and Shiloh are nothing alike. From their size to their temperaments they would be measured as opposites. But as I sat outside this afternoon, I watched Zoey guard the fence line from rabbits with zeal and thought Zoey is so much like Shiloh. No rabbit or squirrel was safe from Shiloh’s watchful eye. As soon as we would go outside Shiloh would take inventory of our yard and run any wayward rabbit or squirrel from it. Then he’d continue to guard its perimeter until it was time to go in. Shiloh was never able to pass the torch to Trekker. Trekker’s interest in the joys of a good chase was always fickled. He was and is a fare weather chaser. For over a year Shiloh had grown too feeble to chase the invaders out and without a good predecessor the rabbits had the advantage. Then in marched little Miss Zoey. Once she decided that this was going to be her forever home she felt that all invaders must be pursued. She darts out the door and races for the fence line. Zoey quickly takes stock and more often than not a hot chase is on. She will not rest until the yard is free of any trespasser. But Zoey has taken the job a bit further. She feels that a rabbit should not be allowed in seeing distance of her yard. She will continue to run and jump until the rabbit just gives up and goes away. Maybe Shiloh is looking down with just a little smirk and thinking, “Way to go Zoey!”
This for you Luke-- I was unprepared for being an empty nester. Luke had gone to college and Shiloh, my lab mix best friend, was wanting to rest more and play less. So after much thought and investigation I brought home Trekker, a ten week Cardigan Corgi. Trekker has brought a joy and an excitement to our house that was missing. Now I am a proud mother of three boys; Luke, Shiloh and Trekker.