Thursday, August 24, 2006

On being a girl

It's come to my attention that some of my friends and admirers think that I am a boy. I have nothing against boys--I live with three of them (this is not my choice exactly, but the people haven't ever asked me before hauling another one of those scamps into my life)--but I am, decidedly, not one. (I mean really, do you see any evidence of testosterone in that picture of me up there?).

Not only am I not a boy, I am very much a girl--one might even call me a girly girl. A diva. A lady. I give very delicate kisses (unlike my goofy brother Hamish whose kisses can leave bruises on unsuspecting human skin); I watch my manners carefully around people and other dogs (unlike the oaf puppy Rafe who barrels through life as if the world is his oyster); I do not abide any humping and certainly would never dream of such myself (unlike my buddy Renzo who can be most embarrassing in his zeal). Even my gal pal Tansy is a little rough around the edges and barks much more and much more loudly than the mores of refined gentlepupdom really allow.

I think some of the confusion about my gender comes from my name. Thanks to the Broadway muscial and the character from Lord of the Rings, Pippin has been claimed mostly for boys. I myself was named for an apple, however (like my friend Pippin in N.Y., who left me a comment but has no blog for me to reciprocate on and also left no e-mail address). The person who "bred" me has an apple last name (McIntosh). My people had some different names picked out for me: Scout and Spy were at the top of the list, but didn't really fit once they met me. My goofy brother Hamish, who came from the same apple person, also has an apple in his name--Hamish Braeburn.

My people call me all kinds of other things, too. Here are a few of them: Pippy, Pip, Pipkin, Pippy-dip, Pippy-dippy-do, Pip-dip, Dipples, Dippykins, Pip-slip, Pippikins, Pippineaster, Pippin Noodle, Noodlehead, Dippiy-do and so forth (I agree, they do seem somewhat limited in their imagination....)

So, I just wanted to set the record straight about my girlishness since I know it can be embarrassing for anydog to suddenly discover that the pup you thought of as a possible beer-drinking, slap-on-the-butt kind of buddy turns out to be a delicate flower who would never dream of doing anything more than politely lick the top of the beer bottle before retiring to her bed. And definitely no derriere slapping.

Picture of the day from the Pippin Puppy Archive
My first puppy bone

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Desperate times call for desperate measures

I can't believe it's been almost a week since I last posted--I kept telling my person, but did she listen? No, of course not. New classes have started at the training kennel where my people take us and, would you believe it, of the five dogs in my house, I am the ONLY one the people didn't enroll in a class.

"We're taking you to another training place for agility since you're a little more advanced,"
they said. "You've had the most classes of any of the dogs," they said. "Your goofy little brother Hamish looks like a dunce since we haven't taught him much," they said. "Rafe needs some basic obedience," they said. "You still have herding on Thursdays and flyball on Sundays," they said.

Do you think I believe any of it? I *love* training classes and I *love* the training kennel. I'm sure this means my people don't *love* me. Plus, Rafe keeps looking at me and goofy Hamish keeps barking loudly which prompts the people to say "Quiet, Quiet" (I don't know why they think that command means anything to any of us).

So, today, I'm once again distressed and distraught at the people. Last night, just to show my feelings, I rooted around in one of their studies and came up with a paltry Priority Mail box to chew. It's like something Hamish would think of and really pretty far below my normal fare--hardly even worth the bother. (Dear Maximillian the Valiant, my people have been thwarting my every attempt at delectables from the counters. I almost had a muffin this morning, but alas, I was caught before I could make off with it).

Although not my usual challenge, I had resigned myself to the priority mail box when suddenly Rafe appeared from around the corner. In my utter distraction, I lost hold of the box and away it tumbled.

My people didn't even try to make amends by taking down that embarrassing baby gate and getting it back for me.

Honestly, friends, I don't know where this is all leading. I heard a rumor last night that our herding lessons have been canceled this week because the instructor is "breeding" one of her dogs and has to go somewhere to meet the boy dog. They didn't take us to flyball practice on Sunday either--something about needing to clean the house.

On a positive note, I also heard my people talking about a "Border Collie picnic" this coming Saturday, so I'm hoping that will turn out to be something good. They also agreed with each other that if we missed flyball last Sunday, we'd go this coming Sunday.

On flyball, I'm still just working on improving my turn on the right. It's coming along and I have to admit, I have fun doing it. Plus, who can knock the treats and the one-on-one attention?

Today's picture from the Pippin Puppy Archive
The first picture of my ear standing up.