a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Differences Among Three Dogs

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Differences Among Three Dogs

So there I was, out in the front yard, pitchforking another one of the 13 cartloads of woodchips that I hauled today, when suddenly there was this cute (grown-up) border collie puppy wandering towards me to see what I was up to. I thought I had closed the gate carefully. The puppy said hi when I called her over, then followed me cheerily as I rushed towards the side yard to get to the presumably open gate before Tika could get there.

It was indeed open. And Jake was standing there, not setting a foot outside, waiting for permission like a good boy.

Tika, thank goodness, hadn't figured out yet that the gate was open. She might have waited briefly but, after noticing that I wasn't in range, would have taken off like a missile down the street, legs a-blur, ignoring my entreaties to return.

She did appear as I started mucking with the gate. Turns out that the little string that goes through the fence to lift the latch had somehow become tangled in a dangling fir branch, which kept the latch from closing quite completely even though it had sounded like it when I pulled it to.

So today, for our lessons, Tika and I worked on the eternally challenging Tika-on-a-20-foot-lead partial freedom and recalls and paying attention to me when she came back longer than just to snatch a reward from my hand.

This will never happen, never in a million years. Boost's a year old and she doesn't do that. Jake never did that. Both of them (and the late lamented Remington and Amber) would never take off except maybe after an obvious cat or squirrel, which was scary enough, but they all mostly just hung out to check out the yard, see what I was doing, watch the world go by. Oh, well, there was Sheba, too--there are several reasons I occasionally call Tika "Sheba"--but I blame her behavior on her not-so-distant wolf ancestors.

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