08 August 2015
Banksy is 18 months old, one and a half years.
Otterpop always goes everywhere with me. EVERYWHERE. Literally, everywhere. That's who Otterpop is now. My right arm.
Me and her were sitting in the barn the other night when a thunder and lightening storm came along. What were the chances of that? Not hardly any rain to change the drought, but lightning strikes all around in the mountains that surely caused fires somewhere. We just sat and listened and watched the flashes.
A neighbor down the street from us dyed their dead lawn a brilliant viridian green. It glows through the foggy mornings and makes it look deader than it really is when we walk by on our morning walk. Our forest hermit club is becoming more social. The pumas have scared us down to town. We can count how many houses have ripped out dead lawns for little cactus gardens or flattened dirt patches. We walk by a lot.
Banksy's the new It Girl of the Neighborhood Party Circuit, of the beach and the de facto dog park at a neighborhood soccer field. Social butterfly Banksy runs and plays and flips and flops, and has made oodles of neighborhood buddies. At the school field her recall works every single time. Except for when she's playing with the jack russell who has a tennis ball launcher. Uh oh. Super social butterfly Banksy at the beach also does not have a recall when things come in multiples - as in multiple tennis balls, multiple labs, and multiple border collies. Social butterfly Banksy wants to stay in the water til last call. Oh my.
She has become Popular. It's going to her head. Is that what they mean by a Barbie Collie?
Recall not working is a problem, but at least it's a problem I have the skills to fix. I think. I'm happy she's making so many friends. Reworking her recall, a work in progress.
Banksy's blossoming into a socialite has been a surprising feature of the lady dog plumbing getting torn out. Plumbingless Banksy is fun and has nice manners, she's like a dog you'd see in a commercial for tampons or orange juice, an easy, breezy covergirl of a pal. Minus the occasional recall. I figure if she gets to play and run with exciting wild dogs, and is running and playing dogs on a regular basis, maybe the dogs running and playing at agility won't be quite as exciting. We'll find out. Her recall breaking was an unexpected bonus of this theory.
She was able to quietly lay down and watch a marimba concert on the church lawn around the corner this afternoon. After we stopped to watch the drum rehearsal in the tiny gospel church around the other corner. Stuff like this, she just lays down and chills. A blowy shadow of a butterfly flitting across the grass, or perhaps a tiny leaf blowing across the sidewalk, another problem entirely. A huge problem. 6 massive marimbas with dancing, maraca wielding hippies and kids in flowing, golden capes, not an issue.
We've been able to have smooth floors at home! All the costco rugs, everywhere on every surface, gone. Gone! Her staring has ceased indoors. It's still bad outside when the wind picks up or when little shadows sway in the breeze, but at home inside, No Staring!
We've started back with training. She hasn't missed a beat. If no shadows blow her way. We have one big new thing, stopping on the dogwalk. My new slow running speed, and my desire to train her in a less obsessive way means we are trying this novel idea out. So far she thinks it's a pretty fun game to have to listen whether it's a Go Go Get It or a Climb It Two. There are no dogwalks in courses right now, we haven't tried this yet at full speed. And I'm hoping it doesn't muck up her a-frame. This is the experiment of the month.
How cool would it be to have both?
I just jumped in to doing some little courses with poles and teeters thrown in here and there. So far so good on all fronts. Practicing is different now, very short, very sweet, a lot of lie downs and a lot of heeling to transition between things. Tugging just enough, no more over the tops. New and improved Banksy keeps her apeshits toned down.
Maybe her new friends the sheepies have something to do with this. Maybe not. We practice a lot of things, me and her.
Last week she got to demo some skills in the agility class I'm teaching, big class with lots of wild young dogs in it, and once again, she didn't miss a beat. No barking in the car, no fits, just came out, happily did her thing, and happily got back in the car afterwards. We're working towards her staying out on the field quietly. Quietly. But that will be far in the future.
Off switches. Our new thing. Banksy is learning to use hers whenever possible. She uses it a lot now as part of the stay at home team when me and Otterpop go to work. Banksy's taken Gustavo and Ruby's cues of how to be a complete couch potato. She loves to mush herself into little dog crates. Usually when we get home, those 3 are sacked out. I suspect anyone that ever tried to break into our house would be greeted after busting in by 3 sleeping dogs who are overjoyed to greet them if awoken. But who might not even wake up. I like it that Banksy's brain can sleep so soundly, it seems like if it can do that, it can learn a lot more things like not staring at blowing dust balls.
Banksy is growing up. Eighteen months is OLD! I think I needed Banksy to get old. And lose her hormones. Happy half Birthday Banksy!
by team small dog at 5:13 PM