Friday, October 20, 2006

Rafe Game (Guest Blog)

I want to tell you about my game with the tennis balls. It's not "Pippin Game". It's "Rafe Game". Go outside. Make sure one of your people comes too. Lie down by the bird feeder. All the tennis balls are there. Wait. Soon your person throws a ball far away. Run run run. Bite the ball. Hold it. Run back to the bird feeder. Lie down. Let go of the ball. Wait. Soon your person throws another ball. You know what to do. At the end, all the tennis balls are with you. At the bird feeder. Life is good.

Sometimes Pippin plays "Pippin Game" at the same time. Then I play "Rafe Game II". I'll tell you how, later. Today I go to herding camp. There I herd sheep every day. All my relations do that. I like it. My person says I won't play "Rafe Game" at herding camp. So you can play. When I come back, I play.


(this post has been read and approved by Pippin, the flyball dog)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

They never learn

Well, before a guest blogger could pop up, I had to report this afternoon's business. After almost setting the house on fire last week, I've been laying very low. Keeping my nose clean. Being the sweet little Pippikins my people remember from yesteryear.

How quickly they forget that they are living with a wolf.

I have mentioned muffins before. My people bake something once a week or so. The muffins they make usally have left over batter, so three or four days after the first batch, they bake a second, smaller batch. This they did today.

At 6 p.m. as per usual, we gentlepups (and Rafe, too) got our dinner. The muffins were cooling on the rack. My person took one and started to nibble it and then, you may as well put paws to mouths now for what I'm about to tell, she laid it down on her lap desk, which was sitting on the foot stool. At exactly Pippin snout level. I think she thought that because we were eating, it would be safe. Actually, I don't think she thought at all.

I wasn't even the first one done with dinner, but believe me, I found that little muffin-let in short order and had it in my lair before the person could say boo. A nice little dessert after a long day of playing ball outside, chasing squirrels and teaching Rafe lessons.

A nice little dessert indeed.

Lesson for the day
Reminder to all dogs: People are S.T.U.P.I.D.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Guest bloggers

After almost three years of blogging, I'm starting to face some unhappy packmates, who believe it is unfair that the humans will channel me but not them. I have been able to ameliorate the discontent through strategic sharing of counter loot, cute butt wiggles and relinquishment of prized toys. However, the voices of unhappiness have finally reached the people's ears.

Last night, the people and I sat down for some power negotiations. They plied me with cookies and lots of lovin'. With promises of solo walks, ball playing and a revved up training schedule for me, they suggested that maybe some of my packmates could guest blog on occassion. I held a firm line about the solo walks and added the following requests:

1) My entries must still be double the total number of guest blogs
2) No more toddlers for a period equal to that of the guest blogging
3) All posts by Rafe must be o.k'ed by me first
4) I will always be enrolled in the most training classes at any given time
5). For every occassion in which something yummy has been baked or cooked, I get at least one.
6) The counters will be freshly stocked with challenging and delicious items daily
7) I get to be first for herding, walks and ball-play
8) I will not be brushed, combed, bathed, have my toenails clipped, my teeth brushed or my ears cleaned without advance notice and prior written consent
9) I, and I alone, reserve the right to wipe my face on the people's bed
10) Any snarking that occurs between me and another dog will be immediately recognized as the other dog's fault.

The people drove a hard bargain. They tried to claim that they do the primary labor of the blog and so should have equal say in what happens here. I scoffed at that claim. I mean, really. The negotiations went on into the night and I thought we might have to call in an arbitration, but finally, we reached an agreement, the terms of which can not be revealed by either party or the agreement will be null and void.

As part of the agreement, I conceded to formally introduce the new guest bloggers. Please join me in wishing them all well.

Clockwise from left to right:

1. My goofy little brother, Hamish Braeburn Moy
2. The oaf-puppy, Rafe-a-roni, the last to learn to "sit", suggesting a generally diminished intellect.
3. Resident non-B.C., all around good boy and my buddy, Renzo Linguini, A.K.A. Sir Barks-a-lot
4. Gracious and very humble Pippin Noodle Moy (me)
5. Tiny Tansy-cake, my dear rescued gal pal, the only girl I've never had to put in her place.

Lesson for today
Heaven help us all

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Back to my roots

After my recent escapades with counter surfing and almost setting the house on fire, I realized that it was time for me to get back to what started this blog--namely my training for various activities. From my last few posts, you might think that all I do is try and steal food and harrass Rafe. While both of these are important day-to-day activities for me, I'm also training in a couple of doggie sports: flyball and agility. In addition to them, I'm learning sheep-herding too. My person is trying to decide what should be my "main" activity and whether or not we have time for all three.

My most recent agility class ended last week and the new one starts at the end of the month. At my first training club, we spent more time learning to run over lots of obstacles--like 18 at a time rather than really honing our skills on a couple. At the new training club, we work more on getting the transitions between two or three obstacles down really well. Like most dog training, the training is more for the people than for the dogs. I mean, how much is there to "learn" once you've figured out how to jump over the pole or to climb the A-frame? Sure, you have to learn to sometimes watch the person and sometimes listen to her, but she's got to run around, spinning in "front" and "rear" crosses and making sure she doesn't trip over obstacles.

My flyball training continues on as well. I'm still running the whole course and last time we went, they brought a dog in as a "distraction". I was a little distracted, but not too bad and I still got the ball and brought it back and all. For me, the jury is still kind of out on whether I think it's fun or not, but I definitely want to keep giving it a go.

My sheep herding is great and I love it. We just switched to Saturday herding because the sun is going away too soon to keep going on Thursday nights. That also meant moving to a different field-a smaller field in fact. This is good for everyone since it means that the sheep can't really run away from me, which also means I can't decide to quit. See, in the bigger field, I often just decided it was too much bother to keep going. Not such a great thing for a working border collie--on the other hand, why do more work than you have to, I always think.

This week, the instructor decided it was time to get serious about letting me know what I was doing wrong. Unfortunately for me, by doing that, she exposed one of my long-standing human tricks. I have for some time been plying the humans to do my bidding by pretending that I am "soft" and "unconfident" when all along I have been the queen of the ball. When you lack confidence, the people will let you get away with a lot more because they are just happy you're doing "it" (whatever "it" is at the moment). That's what I've been doing with herding. But on Saturday, the instructor just wouldn't let up and I got so irritated that I forgot my game and just went ahead and did it right--so right in fact that the instructor said she was shocked, shocked indeed. I may be able to fool them again, but I'm a little worried because my person has been pretty firm with me all week. I know she loves me and all, but I think my days playing the wilting flower are past.

I guess that's not such a bad thing, though, and it does kind of make my person grin to realize how I pulled the wool over everyone's eyes.

Lesson for the day
No need to work hard unless you really have to. But if you do have to, you might as well.