Sunday, August 14, 2011

Breather

So first, the bad news: Scorch and I aren't showing at all this month. We didn't have everything together (money, healing, training) to register for the shows, so I'm not getting my birthday wish. But we can start showing again in October. There aren't any shows in September due to DOCOF so we have a whole bonus month of work.

The good news, however, is that we are back down to three dogs. It was interesting to watch the interactions and reactions of the house dogs. Norman, of course, does not care much for strange interlopers but tolerated some more than others.

1. Mocha, in-law-pooch: 2 year old Chocolate Lab, spayed female. Mocha is a very submissive dog; you could possibly describe her as "wimpy". She has little concept of personal space, as with most Labradors, and insists on cuddling with the collies when she's here.

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Norman has decreed himself to be the schoolyard bully when it comes to Mocha. He's the kid that steals her lunch money on the playground. In his mind, Mocha is not allowed to possess ANY toys. He might be willing to let it slide if she's holding a toy that isn't one he plays with often, but generally he'll launch himself off the couch to "correct" her when she decides to pick up a toy. He's gotten better about it as she's finally standing upright and not slinking around him all the time, but he's still a butthead occasionally.

2. Prince: 8-10 week old Golden Retriever puppy, male. Norman's tolerance for him was greater than for previous puppies. He sent Prince "ki-yi-ing" away a total of twice; otherwise, his corrections were appropriate, and Prince was allowed to possess toys. I'm guessing it's because Prince was a confident puppy, respected Norman's signals, and was generally a nice dog.

3. Jessie: 9 month old yellow Labrador, intact female. Now here was a dog Norman actually wanted to play with, probably due to being unspayed. Strangely though, Prince the puppy didn't much care for Jessie; he would play with her, but often got mad when Jessie would crush him with her body weight. Prince never lost his temper with the collies, but I had to pull him off of Jessie's face a few times (Jessie didn't have a clue and didn't seem to much care that there was a puppy angry with her). Norman still didn't want her to have his favorite stuffy, but she was allowed any other toy in the house. Occasionally, he would charge at her, barking and growling... which is his social-idiot way of asking her to play. You just have to know him to hear and see the difference, I suppose. His barks are less serious and he sort of "bounces" off of the other dog's body.

Norman still postures with Wolfie at times, and once even got into it with Scorch while I was out of the house. But generally, the house is at peace. Now that my back has healed up, I've upped his exercise routine again and I'm definitely seeing a difference. Just now, thunder rumbled in the distance and he perked up, then went back to sleep, unconcerned. Yesterday while we walked, thunder started rumbling and he was too busy focusing on his walk to really bother acknowledging it. What a huge improvement.

So. Back to Scorch. My new job promotion involves a lot of driving travel... and Scorch gets to be a road warrior with me. He already gets to come into the office (the first few days, I didn't bring him and was barraged with requests to have him join the "office pooch crew"). We're also taking a trip in September to Atlanta, GA, Nashville, TN, and Northern Alabama. It'll be great having my best buddy with me, and it'll also be good for training and proofing. I'm actually most excited about getting his loose leash walking more under control. On yesterday's walk with Norman, I couldn't find Norm's easy walk harness, so he was on a regular collar. I was really having to work with him and get on him for pulling... so Scorch's loose leash walking was the best it EVER was, due to the constant stop-start and reworks with Norm. I guess I need to start doing that with Scorchie too. DUH!!! Why can't I take my own advice? I have such a blind spot for Scorch I suppose.

I'll bring an actual camera with me... my cell camera is great, but my point and shoot is still better with dim lighting.

Photo time!
Wolfie standing in as demo dog while Scorch was injured.
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Attempts at posing Norm and Scorch wearing bandanas my mom gave them... at least one dog likes the camera.
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While at Red Fern Canines training center in Pennsylvania, I got to see a picture of a very accomplished Cairn! It's always nice to see people working their Cairns to high levels. If I could focus on Norman... err, and also control his dog aggression... I'm sure he would excel! He already has a great repertoire of commands. Anyway, this Cairn also looks just like my Mugsy.
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Speaking of Mugsy, I found a baby picture of her. The Cairn that started it all, my first dog, my baby girl puppy.
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And finally, puppy snuggles!
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2 comments:

Boondocks and The Love Shack Pack said...

Surfing the blogosphere and found our way over to your place. Such a nice looking gang you got here. Nice to sniff you!

AROOOOF!
Boondocks and The Love Shack Pack
www.theloveshackpack.com

Molly said...

Awww! Great shots of your whole crew! Norman crack me up. So glad Scorch gets to road-trip with you!