Thursday, October 20, 2011


It has been far too long since I have posted. Lots of things going on, and I'm afraid blogging got the short end for a while, but lots to tell you about the Demonic Duotm! At this point, the Wootwo could learn a lot of things from these two - mostly annoying things, but hey, you don't get to have your dog biscuit and eat it too.

Since I posted in June, we've seen emergence of a whole bunch of "confidence enabled" behaviors in Faith. It's her place now, she knows it's her place, and she's not worried about breaking some unknown rule anymore. For one thing, Faith and Trevor are now playing. Back in June, they would wander around together, but that was it. Today, matters are completely changed. Faith will decide she wants to play, wander over to Trevor, grab hold of an ear, give a solid tug, and the two of them are off and rough-housing. Faith gives as god as she gets, and Trevor generally comes out more thoroughly slimed than Faith does. More often than not he's belly-up in this exchange. When they really get going, my wife and son sometimes need to watch out to avoid being run down in the ensuing mêlée. The change in Faith's confidence, and the consequent change in dynamic, is dramatic and wonderful! I'll try to get a video.

Trevor, for his part, really seems to be enjoying having a partner in crime. He grabs Alexander's math homework and runs downstairs under the pool table for a satisfyingly delilberate chew, trusting Faith to stand watch and run interference for him. Which she doesn't really do, though she does follow him downstairs. If you had told me a year ago that I would write a note to a teacher saying that my dog really did eat my kid's homework, I'd have thought you were messing with me. Turns out the joke was on me.

Meanwhile, the two of them have sorted out who is the leader, and the results are in: it's Faith. Food Lady predicted that Border Collies tend to get their way, and she was right. Hazards to navigation aside, it's really pretty funny to see the little gal gang up on the big (okay, mid-sized) guy and win. Just goes to show that leadership is more about attitude than size. Funny how we all know that, but I still expected this one to turn out the other way.

Somewhere in the last few months, Trevor managed to teach Faith about toys! When she got here, Faith was entirely focused on people and approval, and couldn't give a flying damn about squeakies, bones, frisbees, or any such thing. Being deaf, the lack of interest in squeakies kind of made sense, but it turns out she was just busy finding a job that a deaf BC can do. Having done so, she will now play with squeaky toys.

"What job?" I hear you asking. Reflections! Faith is not merely a TV junkie. She is interested in absolutely anything that produces reflections. This includes:
  • Television
  • iPads - she will occasionally share the view with me.
  • Laptops
  • Mirrors
  • Window panes
The learning isn't all one-sided. Trevor is slowly coming to respond to Faith's hand signals.

As Faith has grown confident, a quirky side has emerged. Lately, she has decided that it is really frustrating that the dog reflected in the glass door of Lauren's office doesn't want to play. Faith's answer is to do what any frustrated dog does: Bark! And bark. And bark. And.... It's like a metronome. Unfortunately, not everybody in the house knows how to correct this behavior, and we all know that inconsistent corrective feedback doesn't work. Sigh.

As I think I've said before, Faith has some moderately bad hip issues. At this stage she mostly works around them, but there are some challenges. She can't squat properly to pee, so if she's on a hill she tends to wet herself. The urine is just sticky enough to make her fur mat, after which she can't help but pee on it, cause it's kind of in the way. The smell can get pretty bad, and I periodically have to cut away the mats. No big deal, but it's a minor nuisance. Memo to self: get her hips X-rayed to see what we are in to here. On the bright side, Faith has absolutely no issues about being groomed this way. Quite a contrast to Trevor who needs to be sedated to get his nails clipped.

Anyway, wanted to let everyone know that Faith is settling in comfortably, showing wonderful confidence, and generally doing really well. Hopefully, I'll be able to update this more often now that some of the worst insanity has passed.