Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Brother, the "Artist"

Buzz has decided to pursue a career in the arts. So says my mom. Apparently, he just can’t handle a “real job”, so mom has agreed that he can make a career of dancing. OK, Canine Freestyle is the technical term. But any way you call it, it’s really just dancing.

I’ve been a sheep herder for years now. I compete in herding trials, and my mom takes me and my other brother, Flash, out to work with sheep whenever we can. Although it’s been a while, I remember how to do it, and I occasionally get to practice with KittyHawk, our cat, when he runs outside by mistake. Though herding is fun, and I absolutely love it, it is a lot of work! I not only have to keep my eye on the sheep, but make sure none of them are about to go in the wrong direction, be sure they are moving correctly, make sure they don’t spook, and all the while, responding to mom’s commands, whether by word or by whistle. Yes, it’s definitely hard work! Real dog work!

Flash has also been herding with us, too. I understand that in the few lessons he’s had, he did pretty decently. But mom has mentioned that now she’s going to start something called “tracking” with him. As I understand it, this is using his nose to find things like lost items or even people! It sounds like fun, though I’m not personally interested in using my nose quite that much. I’ve seen mom practice with Flash out in the yard: she’ll lay a scent trail with him in a stay, where he can’t see her, then send him out to “find it.” It looks like he’s enjoying it, but again, it seems to be hard work, having to follow the scent trail and really think about where he’s going, what he’s searching for, and eventually finding the item. Like herding, this is real dog work!

But, what about Buzz? A career in Freestyle? Seriously? He gets to do his tricks and heeling maneuvers to musical tunes. He’s working right next to mom, who gives him every single cue, and he doesn’t have to worry or think about anything else. He doesn’t even get dirty, or have to walk through mud or rocks or dirt to do his thing! And to top it off, he gets to wear all kinds of cool collars, like that Swarovski Crystal collar that he wore for the Fur Ball this year. I know he’s a beautiful white dog, and the collar really did show nicely on him, but I deserve pretty things, too! Pretty things are the best way to get more attention from all of the humans, which I’m certain that Buzz got at the Fur Ball. I can just picture everyone ooh-ing and ah-ing over him, giving him all kinds of yummy treats and scratches behind the ear at the Ball. I never get treats or affection from strangers in herding, and I doubt if Flash gets any in tracking, either.

Mom says Buzz is a “free spirit” and so he gets to pursue this career in the Arts. We all play in Flyball and Agility - both real dog sports, by the way. But now Buzz does not have to find a real dog job. Instead, he’s a freestyler. Next thing you know, he’ll be changing his hair color and asking to get a tattoo. (Side note: my older brother, Cooper, had a tattoo – a bunch of numbers on his ear. Very cool.)

So, “free spirit” Buzz, I hope you’re happy. We all get to work, while you get to attend the most fun events with mom and dance your life away! Hmmph…

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Handsome Police Dogs

Mom and I got to do another child-dog safety demo the other day for a group of Girl Scouts. As always, we had a great time, showing the girls our “tricks”, playing with the life-sized puppets (I love that game with the little boy doll named “Jimmy”)and getting lots of attention and affection from all of the little girls – single file, of course, and each asking her turn. Afterwards, Mom was talking for a while with one of the ladies, and I got to play fetch with the younger girls. They found some suitable sticks and kept throwing them for me to catch in the air. I love kids! They never seem to tire of throwing things for me. Unfortunately, Mom eventually insisted that we had to leave to go back to work, even though the girls clearly had plenty of time left and really wanted to keep throwing sticks for me. Work work work… what a party pooper Mom can be sometimes… Although, I do love work – I’ll work for work any time, actually… At any rate…

As we were arriving for the demo, on the way through the parking lot, we met up with a group of police officers. Apparently, they had done some kind of demo before we arrived, showing the girls what police dogs do for work. As we parked, I noticed a big, beautiful German Shepherd Dog, and Mom went up to talk to his human. From what I could hear (dog hearing is pretty good, you know) the big dog was called Will. Mom seemed to enjoy chatting with the nice police officer, but I really wanted to meet that Will. He was big and very handsome with a super nice personality. He seemed very friendly with Mom, but she wouldn’t let me meet him. He did bark at me from the police car as we walked by, but we didn’t get to stop.

There sure is something extra nice about a real working dog. He seemed so confident, and I could definitely appreciate the work ethic. I enjoy the work that I get to do a lot, but I often wonder what other types of jobs might be out there for a dog such as me. I’m not sure that I’d be cut out for police work, but I sure wouldn’t mind meeting a nice, handsome police dog like Will some time. I’ll be he’d be fun to romp with.

Monday, November 5, 2007

My brothers

Haven’t written in a while, since mom’s been traveling a bit, and I haven’t had the chance to come inside to write much. It seems every time I start up, someone comes by or I end up having to go to a class with her or something.

I’ve had this blog for a couple of months now, and I’ve written about all the other boys that I meet out and about, but haven’t mentioned much about my two brothers, so I thought I could do that now.

I have the (usually) good fortune to live with two dog brothers, and a brother and sister kitty. The cats are OK – Laika, the girl, and I pretty much ignore each other. KittyHawk is a great buddy, though we don’t play any more since Buzz came into the picture. KittyHawk and I played a lot when he first arrived, but when Buzz came along, both of us decided that he was more fun to play with than each other…

Buzz definitely understands play! He’s a border collie/husky mix, according to Mom, and we met when he was just a pup, at a rescue place in SoCal. It was quite a long drive down there, as I recall. We arrived in the desert with Uncle P, and then went to a big enclosed area where we met several other border collies. Buzz was among them, and I loved him right away! It looked at first like Mom was going to pick a different dog, but I liked Buzz so much that Uncle P convinced Mom to bring him home instead. I’m SO glad she did! Buzz is the very best dog brother I could ask for! He’s always ready to play with me, and does pretty much whatever I ask – whether it’s engaging in a game of chase or wrestling, or dropping a bone that I’d rather be chewing on.

About three years ago, Flash came into the picture. He’s a Pyrenean Shepherd, and one of the biggest pains in the neck you could imagine! According to Mom, he’s lucky he’s “cute”, though I don’t agree with this assessment. He likes to bark at me and Buzz, bite at our feet when we’re running and playing, and sometimes tries to guard Mom from me, though she’s been good about getting up and walking away when this happens, so it’s not happening as much any more. We do play and run occasionally, but I prefer to play with Buzz.

Oh, I nearly forgot about the bunnies, Ace and Amelia... I love bunnies! Too bad Mom won’t let me play with them. Though I did get to herd Ace for her once, when he got out where he wasn’t supposed to be. Ace does sometimes come up to the gate and touch noses with me. He smells good!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Milk Bone in the Printer

Bad news! Mom may be on the verge of discovering that I’ve been keeping this blog. At any rate, she at least suspects that I’ve been online.

True story:
She was getting ready for our classes the other day, and had to print out a lot of copies of some documents. I don’t know why, really. When she teaches me things, I just learn them, but I guess humans need to have things written down to remember them.

Anyway, for some reason, the printer kept jamming up as she printed. She would clear the paper jams, then resume printing and it would just jam again after a couple of pages. She spent close to an hour taking the printer apart and putting it together again. She even went online and downloaded more information about how to take the printer apart completely. Well, she was pretty frustrated, until she figured out why it had continuously jammed up: there was a piece of milkbone stuck inside the printer!! Needless to say, she was pretty upset about all the time she’d wasted.

The next day, she commented to her friends that this is the kind of thing that would only happen to a dog trainer. I overheard one of them ask her if she was sure that I hadn’t been online and printing some kind of doggy stuff while she was out! She laughed it off, as if this was just silly, but I’m nervous that she might actually start to suspect me!

So, what’s the lesson in all of this? I need to be more careful with my snacks when I’m in here blogging. And make sure that my brothers don’t mess things up for me by spilling their treats, too. From now on, I won’t let them in when I come inside to write. Come to think of it, I need to figure out a way to sneak off when they aren't paying attention, just to be sure.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cat and Butterfly (or "Herding Cats")

We had a nice day at the home office today. I heard Mom say something about a couple of afternoon appointments cancelling, so we spent the afternoon lounging in the office before going for an early evening run. Well, actually Buzz, Flash and I were lounging and chewing our favorite bones – Mom was at the computer all afternoon, as usual.

While we were there, a lovely butterfly flew into the office through the open side door. It went directly in front of the computer monitor and seemed to mesmerize Mom for a moment. Then, my brother cat, KittyHawk, saw it. That was fun! He came up from behind Mom and jumped right onto the desk – which he’s never allowed to do – knocking a bunch of papers to the ground. Mom caught him and put him back down, and he got right back up again. So she picked him up and put him outside the office, and proceeded to chase the butterfly herself. It appears she wanted the joy of butterfly chasing for herself. She did eventually catch it and then walked it to the door and let it fly away. KittyHawk was wondering what the point is of catching a butterfly – or any critter, for that matter – if you’re not going to continue to play with it? Personally, I like larger critters, like sheep or even cats like KittyHawk himself, to herd around.

Yes, herding cats – I have occasionally been tasked with this. KittyHawk happens to be a bit of an escape artist sometimes. When he does bolt outside, Mom sends me out with the usual “go by” and “away to me” and then some “walk up” to bring him back into the house. The odd thing is that when I do walk up, he doesn’t move away from me the way that sheep do. He just sits there and hunkers down. I wasn’t sure what to do with that the first time that we practiced it, so Mom told me to “get the kitty”, and I just held him there until Mom came up the hill to fetch him. I’m still not sure why he’s not allowed outside, but it makes for good practice, since I haven’t seen sheep in a while. Hmm… sheep… I love herding sheep… sure hope we could do that again soon.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Flyball and boy troubles

I got to run in my first tournament yesterday since coming off of “injured reserve” as Mom called it. It went really well – Mom and I had a lot of fun, and she did mention something about our “starts” going well, so she seemed happy. It’s always fun to play flyball, but particularly when Mom is also having a great time. I also got to run for my Uncle K a few times – that was also great fun. After the racing, Mom brought me a cool new stuffed toy – Buzz and Flash each got one, too, so I guess that means that the racing went well. New stuffed toys are the best, and so much fun to practice arthroscopic squeakectomies on!

On a bit more solemn note, I saw my old flame; I’ll call him “Harrison” (not his real name). I hadn’t mentioned anything about “Zip”, but I wonder if he knows? We flirted a bit, but he seemed edgy. Not sure if it was because his granddaughters were there, or if we were just getting ready to race, or if it was something else, but I really wish I’d had more time to romp with him.

“Harrison” has always been a favorite boyfriend. He’s a 6 year old, intact Danish Swedish Farm Dog and he and I usually flirt quite a lot. He’s very athletic, with beautiful black, tan and white markings, and such a handsome face. I believe he has an actual mate, whom I’ll call “Janna”, and with whom he’s had puppies, but it doesn’t stop us from flirting and playing whenever we see each other. I hope that he’s not jealous – perhaps he smelled that I’d been flirting with Zip the other day (though 2 days had passed already, so probably not.) Hopefully that’s not the case. Next week, when I see him at practice again, I’ll be sure to flirt with him again so he knows that I still really like him. Did I mention that he's a favorite boyfriend? sigh...

Friday, August 10, 2007

They call me a "cougar"

I finally got to go back to my agility class this afternoon after having to take 3 weeks off for my torn toenail. What fun! I hadn't realized how much I'd missed it, and my mom and I were truly in sync today. Really fun courses.

At class, my favorite boyfriend was there. Let's call him "Zip" (not his real name). He's just 14 months old, but intact and completely adorable. He invited me to play, as usual, and since I was off-leash this time, I accepted his invitation and we romped for a moment, until Mom called me off and I had to go back to work. -sigh- He's absolutely dreamy! He's a gorgeous black tri-color border collie with a mostly white face and the most amazing bedroom eyes I've ever seen. (meow!) And his coat is simply luxurious!

After my course run, I was put on a down-stay just 10 feet away from where he was laying, and I had to turn away so as not to tempt myself further. I overheard my mom and the other ladies chatting about us, and one of the gals, the mom of a young Malamute in the class(he's also kind of cute) mentioned that she didn't approve, and that I was just *much* too old to be with "Zip". I have to say that I couldn't disagree more, and if I wasn't spayed, I think we'd make the most perfect couple.

We have SO much in common: we both love agility, love to work, adore our moms, enjoy romping together now and then, and we're both in households with multiple sports dogs in our families. We'd have a lot to relate to each other about. Ah well, but it will never be. Like Romeo and Juliet, our parents won't ever let us actually be together, so I guess I'll just have to dream about him and his fluffy tail and smiling eyes. -sigh-