I think I had the sign that I'm officially old, I actually went out of my way to complain about packaging to a cheese company. Well, not so much as complain as to 'helpfully point out', just like an old person with nothing better to do would. I had only good intentions, if that helps, I love Tillamook products, I buy them all the time, but their new packaging LITERALLY looks like a generic brand - I can't even find it and I'm LOOKING for it. I don't know who worked on their new design, but it's really ineffective. And apparently I felt the need to let them know. Yes, I took time out of my day to write a cheese company about their packaging - if that's not a sign, I don't know what is.
Little Star is FAST. She graduated to being out with the 'troublemakers' today, Eva, Haku and Fenwick, once they had gotten their ya-yas out. She's actually really good at being thoughtful out with the other dogs, but when she gets to chasing the big dogs, WOW, can she move. She's got crazy acceleration and forward drive - she did not get that from her mother. Just watichng the two out together, Bright is a loper, Star is always full speed ahead. I can't imagine that's not going to transfer to agility, so Mary will have her hands full with that one.
I always find it fascinating to bring in a puppy into a multi-dog household. Star adjusted amazingly quick and the other dogs accepted her without an issue. Star was out there running and body bumping with Eva, just like Bright - it's weird how quickly she just fit in. Considering Star is a VERY strong personality, the dogs are remarkably accepting of her. Will be interesting to see as she matures if Bright will be able to stand her at all - that Star is ALL Bitch, much more than Bright. Bright is already backing down to her, which seems crazy to me.
Interesting to note, Star didn't pee when greeting anyone today - and she got to meet quite a few people before and after class. I warned folks and was ready for it, but nothing - not even for Tammy. No excitement pees in the house either - so that's a mystery where that went to. I will say that girl drinks like a CAMEL, which I'm sure doesn't help the excitement wee. She is her mother's daughter when it comes to eliminating in other places - couldn't get her to go at the arena at all today, and you could see she had to poo. But she held it until we got home and raced out into the yard to do her business. Such a Bright move.
Retieve continues to get better, we practiced at the arena with a new object, which is her fourth that she's worked with. Tonight we had our first delivery to hand ... sort of. She actually likes to back UP with the object, which is counterproductive. Definite progress though, I think once she figures out she can make people tug by bringing them toys it will be a whole new world for her. I did hear that, yes, Star DOES actually have a sit and down, but has no interest in showing them to me. ;-) One thing Star is VERY good at is relaxing in her crate. No issues at all leaving her in the car with the other dogs, she's sound asleep whenever I went out there and took a nap in her x-pen in the other room this afternoon with no worries. She sleeps SOUNDLY, and the girl likes her comfort - unlike my border collies she is always looking for the cozy bed, rather than the hard floor. Novel.
I did see a little Bright in her today, had her on my lap and she was happy to relax on her back and snuggle - at least when Fred wasn't running. It was good to see that sweet side of her, she's so on the go all the time I was surprised she was so content to relax on my lap. And of course she is wild about playing, anywhere, anytime - it's almost involuntary with her, like a reflex, she can go from relaxed to growling tugging hellion in a second.
Some random Star video, the beginning (the daytime video) was her first day here, while the evening footage was from tonight. She definitely has made herself at home.
Haku did some stopped dogwalks at the arena today, and they were HAPPY, which I think is my sign I'm going to do another agility trial with him in November. We also worked on some novice exercises for his upcoming obedience trial. His THEORETICAL trial, I haven't heard anything about it yet, so hopefully they got his entry. I'll admit, I really wouldn't care if he didn't get in. He is definitely much better on the left and inside turns if I try to crowd HIM, rather than try to compensate for when he gets pushy. Aggressive heeling, sharper left turns - well, I think he's actually going to do worse now than he did at his other novice trials. Oh well. So ready to move on to Open though.
Worked on some dogwalks with Bright as well, as the course had a soft turn into the weaves, which is I think one of the more difficult dogwalk exits. It LOOKS straight, but unless they collect they won't hit like they should. So happy to see Bright adjust and confidentally OWN that exit after we worked on it. Not to say she magically can do soft exits, but she's getting so much better. Love having a target behavior for the dogwalk, criteria is a magical thing for being able to positively show Bright what I want. Also did some threadle rear practice, which was good - just enjoying where Bright is in agility at the moment, such a happy place.
Okay, not a fluke, Star just put herself away in her x-pen again. I thought she was just looking for chewies, but she really does just ... like being in her x-pen.
I can't believe that London will be a 11 next month, it actually freaks me out after losing Nova, who was only a year older than him. 11 isn't old, not even close, but 12 isn't either - sometimes things just happen when dogs get older. I will admit that with Poco, Fenwick and Brisbee I have mentally adjusted to the fact they're old at this point - and all that eventually comes with it. But London ... the thought of losing him is incredibly distressing.
Was just talking about his rocky puppyhood and learning to love London's crazy independence. The relationship we have is so different than the other dogs, and it's almost closer in some ways, because it is so different. It is a relationship of equals, built on trust, not taken for granted - London speaks English better than any of my other dogs because he tries so hard to figure me out, it never came naturally to him. His ability to communicate is uncanny because it's not normal, he literally speaks to me, with vocalizations and physical cues. When he looks at you it's with such crazy intelligence where he's not trying to speak 'dog', he's trying to speak human - and succeeding.
All my dogs are special, but the thought of losing London - which I had never really thought about before, well, it's painful. It is funny to think of where we are now compared to where we started. Though, good lord, he was a terrible puppy - I wouldn't want to go through that again. Love my London though, and hopefully he, much like all my dogs, will live a very long time. When your dogs live to be 18, 11 is NOTHING, but I realize that's not necessarily the norm.