The hardest part of having a smart dog in your life is keeping their mind occupied.
We have all heard the stories of someone who has a Border Collie that goes everywhere with them. The dog is perfect, goes where you tell them, knows when to back away from an encounter, and does all sorts of tricks that will blow your mind.
You probably have heard about someone hearing that story and thought “I want that”, and proceeds to make their lives miserable because they really don’t want to put the time into the dog that they deserve.
They – because it really is a partnership.
Now, I don’t have a Border Collie. BC’s are great dogs, but they’re a bit “twitchy”. Always on, a BC doesn’t know how to relax.
I have a McNab Dog. They do know how to relax. That is probably why the breed works so well with me. I give my boy Rack, just like I did my departed Lettie before him, jobs. He knows that there will always be praise or sometimes a treat after a well done job, but the whole “Lets Make The Human Do Things” doesn’t work well with me.
I’ve described him as my Business Analyst to my own Project Manager. Go find the problem and report back and I’ll tell you what to do.
So running around the yard one day, he found a problem. Someone was in the driveway.
We were in the back yard, and he was getting all excited. Did another circuit of the pool, ran up to me and sat down.
“What is it Rack, show me!”
He stood up and ran to the gate to the front yard. We have six foot fencing around the property to stop people from turning the pool into their own private spa.
It was a breezy day that day. Winds coming in from the ocean were making the palm trees sway. They were feeling good on the skin, and would tousle your hair with a soft caress that you just don’t get in a cold climate.
At this time, Rack was startled by something. I watched from the entry to the pool equipment, a good 15 feet, 5 meters behind. It is a narrow corridor between the house and the property fence. The air gets funneled between the area and that day blew out the plank that serves as a cat door.
He backed up.
“What’s the matter, Boy? Go look!”
He looked back at me as if to say, “you’re kidding me, boss”.
“Go on! Look!”
The wind was blowing the cat door out toward the yard. He stuck his nose through it. That was enough. He discovered a portal to the outside world.
He also discovered that one of his very favorite people, Kevin, was standing in the driveway chattering away on the phone.
That just would not do. Rack pulled back. Looked back at me as if to say “Hey, Boss, can you let me out?”
Nope. You need your boundaries just like the best trained McNab Dog out there. That’s your task, watch but do not get involved.
He went back to looking through the cat door and wagging his tail. He also had a new toy.
We all have a routine. If someone pulls into the driveway, we hear it from the back yard. I can also see what is in the driveway through the bougainvillea in the back and out the front windows. I know just where to stand and can get Rack his exercise when he runs around the pool, behind the shed, and out the wormhole to the alternate dimension where his alternadog family lives on the other world.
He still visits them from time to time, using time and space dilation to jump the light years across the multiverse where he is the Emperor of the McNab Universe.
But here, he is content to run back around the shed, and down the corridor to the cat door where he can watch you and I and the rest of the world.
It is indeed a good time to be a dog.