Sunday, December 15, 2013

Bagel Ambassadors

Hmm. Well, it's been an embarassingly long time since my last post. As you can see here, the dynamic duo were recently seen scouting the street for other dogs or small children to play with. They both love being ambassadors to little kids. Faith, who is nothing if not full of energy and "go" (because, you know, it's really all about her), will happily stand perfectly still for a hesitant child. Tater nearly so, but he doesn't move abruptly to begin with.

The kids love it. There's invariably a conversation about what Border Collies do, how strange (or weird, or gross - it's kids) it is that they both have different colored eyes, and are they related? How Faith is soft like a bunny and Tater's coat is rougher. Both of them will very happily sit still and lap up the attention. For the kids, I think they present a bunch of puzzles and questions that catch their attention.

I often spend time talking about breeds for kids, and how BCs and puppies probably aren't good first-time choices. For little kids, I tend to like a larger, adult (or at least post-adolescent) dog, and preferably not a purebred. Older because they are calmer. Larger because it seems to me that the larger breeds tend to be less excitable once they mature (perhaps because it takes too much energy). Mixed-breed because that seems to moderate the extremes. As opposed to, say, a Husky, who will basically be an adolescent until the day it keels over from old age, knows only two speeds (full bore and stop-and-quiver-energetically), and actually enjoys running around the house at top speed doing four paw drifts around corners. To paraphrase Enzo Ferrari: they build Huskies to go, not to stop. And if you're toddler's in the path of the Husky, well...

So we did the ambassador thing again this morning at Blazing Bagels. Faith expressed disappointment that this morning's toddler didn't have cream cheese on his face. Tater just enjoyed the moment.

Tater has become well settled in. He wants a lot of attention, but is characteristically reluctant to ask for it. Whenever he does, Faith intervenes because, well, it's all about her. She's committed to her beauty rest, as you can see here. The purple thing in the background is a stuffed Parakeet. Neither dog could care less about stuffies. Typical BCs. I was trying to explain to someone yesterday about how typical BCs are so work-driven that they don't deign to notice toys. It seems to be a hard concept for most dog people to grasp. I suppose you have to see it in action before you really believe it.

Several new people have moved in around here in the last year, and Tater has made a new friend (left) - sorry about the camera phone's excuse for focus. That's Solomon, who is eight months old and already 75 lbs. But then, he's a Great Pyr, so I suppose that's to be expected. When we first met him, he was six weeks old and around 10 lbs. That's an awful lot of dog food! Solomon is great fun.

Meanwhile, we have another new neighbor with a very friendly and extremely submissive golden lab bitch who really doesn't like Tater. Whenever she sees him her hackles go up and she starts growling at him. And no casual growl either. Tater, given his history with Trevor, doesn't take well to this. It's kind of puzzling, because I don't remember seeing any sort of cause for it, and her owner says this is a first for her. The lab gets along with me fine, but doesn't seem to care much for Faith either. Hard to know what's going on there.

One of the casualties of the whole incident with Tater and Trevor was that I didn't much want to write for a while. I'm hopeful that I'm over that, and I look forward to telling more stories about the dynamic duo. In any case, welcome back to those of you who have stuck with this, and hopefully we'll have more tails to come.

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