Poor TWooie. He’s come so far in so many ways, but learning to not fear large bodies of water is not an area in which he has progressed.
As I type this entry, I am munching away on the first cucumber harvested from this year’s garden. And by “first” I of course mean “only” because the rest of the cucumbers on all the plants are the size of gerkins still. Almost August, and my garden has almost nothing to offer. My tomato plants are GORGEOUS green monsters, some almost as tall as me, with stalks that lumberjacks could climb. But they have no fruit on them. I think I *may* have spied a couple of yellow flowers on one plant this morning, but that’s it. The only thing that has yielded me a hefty crop is a random hot pepper plant, and the onions. Harumph. Anyone else in this hemsiphere have a rainforest instead of a vegetable garden?
The hot sun showed up again today, so maybe it’ll stick around and grow me some vegetables now. The sun is the reason we went to the beach.
Didn’t he do well at the trial, but?! I was so proud of him. He’s such a fearless little monkey, and I suspect that once he gets some practice at real trials under his belt, he’s going to speed up 10 fold. He’s a lot faster in class and at home – not that he was running SLOW; he ran the Jumpers course at 6.34 yps. None of the other baby dogs could touch him for speed ;-)
Anyway, I’m looking forward to a brilliant trialing career with this fella. He’s just so much darned fun.
But Piper’s trialing days are over. Not because she has really plateaued in her progress – though she has – but rather because her knees are bothering her. Poor Piper has the worst conformation of any border collie ever … she looks like she was put together with spare parts. Now I’m not a big conformation kinda gal; I tend to think that handsome is as handsome does, and that most dogs bred for work fall into the “form follows function” category. I find it kind of tiresome to watch sport and show breeders try to “improve” on a breed of dog that has been proving its overall physical superiority for hundreds of years. But other than diminutive size, and possibly bitchiness, I have no idea what Piper’s “breeder” was trying to achieve and the results weren’t exactly stellar. Piper’s legs are too short (except for the ulnas which are too long, and why she sits like a bulldog), and she has mildly luxating patellas. She’s going on 9 now, and her knees are starting to really bother her – I’m seeing a lot more skipping, and some outright limping, especially at night. I am afraid she’s going to tear her ACLs, and agility isn’t worth my dog, so she’s officially retired.
She tends to me more irritating than fun to run, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to miss running her. If nothing else, Lil Miss is full of TRY. Whoever produced her got that part right, at least. She may suck at virtually all sports, and she may have the stock sense of a carrot, but she’s got a heart as big as anything and she tries really really hard. I love that about her.
Right, Spring, because what I really need is a SIXTH dog. Uh huh.
Though I admit it is sometimes tempting. This little girl is smart as a whip and twice as quick. She learns like a hot damn and I think it’s criminal that someone didn’t take the time to teach her … anything at all. She responds beautifully to clicker training. The one thing she doesn’t have is impulse control – at all. She will fly face first into a closed door in her rush to lunge out of it. If another dog is in her path when she’s going somewhere, she simply SPROINGS over them (in Dexter’s case, she vaults off his back like he’s a pommel horse). Working with her one on one is wicked fun. Having her in the pack of dogs is exhausting!
So I think it’s time for me to go practice some collection with Dexter out in the agility field (we’ve mastered extension; now to learn how to control ourselves a little). I mowed most of this afternoon after the beach, until the wheel fell off of my lawnmower. I’m not even kidding – one of the front wheels just fell off. Why does gardening hate me so much!