WRITE015 Seeing Things A Bit Differently Through A Dog’s Eyes

Posted on : 05-02-2013 | By : Lynn | In : Choices, Featured

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What is one thing you can “see” in a different way than you ever have before?

For example, there is this little area in our living room that has kind of morphed into what some might call an alter of sorts.  Two different people had given me Ganesh statuettes that ended up on the marble stand that used to hold up a water fountain.  Because that area has always been hidden in an unlit area, when a friend gave me a salt light, naturally I put it up there too.  And then, of course when my husband brought home three of those tall candles with religious icon decorations all over them (instead of something basic like vanilla) I put those next too the stand.

Over the years, we’ve ended up with interesting rocks from various trips abroad and a couple of petrified coral…so they fit perfectly in the little cave-womb of the stand along with another candle in its own little case that refracted the light nicely off the inside when lit.  It has occurred to me more than once, that some of my “less-than-open-minded” friends and acquaintances that have visited our humble abode may have wondered, almost feared the altar area of the living room but I quickly put that aside knowing that this area was really art-in-the-making for me.

Fast forward to a weekend of thorough house cleaning. Happened to have George, our Border collie and Paul, our Aussie-Shep, keeping me company while I cleaned. I noticed when I got to the alter area and pulled out all the rocks and candles to dust thoroughly that, George, was watching the whole process intently and being as how it is in the genes of these two dogs to pay attention to everything in their environment, I didn’t give it too much heed.  Later that evening as my husband and I were settling in to watch an episode of our favorite TV show, David noticed that one of the rocks from the “sacred pile” was almost purposefully sitting all by itself about two inches from the others on our living room floor.  We chuckled at the oddity of it and went back to watching our show.  After the show, David looked back over to the alter area and, sure enough, there was not just one rock two inches out from the others, but four very carefully moved rocks set out from the rest.

Now, I’m not sure exactly what was going on in George’s mind when he moved the rocks except that he does love to chew on rocks and stick, but I do know that he must have thought there was something pretty darn special about those particular “alter” rocks which left me to conclude that if my dog knows enough to treat this area and all its content with reverence then perhaps I should as well.

Today I’m claiming my “God spot”, rocks and all.  Thank you George, for helping me to see something a little differently that was right in front of me all this time.

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NEXT 114 How We Ended Up Parents of TWO Aussie Dogs?!

Posted on : 10-12-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Heart Talks

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“They” should warn you about things like this.  If an Australian Shepherd ends up in your pack of life, be prepared for more to merge in at a later date.  One of our first clues to Aussie dog owners tending to have multiple Aussies was last summer while vacationing at the beach when we met a woman who had three champions playing frisbee with her all up and down the beach!?  They all got along so well together and they just seemed to fit together perfectly.  You could almost see them, in your mind’s eye, herding flocks of sheep across the rolling green hills of country-islands across the ocean.

  So it should come as no surprise to us that after only a week of seriously looking into a new litter-mate for our small pack of an Aussie and a Lab, who would fit in the most seamlessly like he’d always lived with us but “George” who ended up at the shelter as a stray.  They figure him to be about 7 months old but I think he may be a little bit younger.

George and Paul (yes, you know any more dogs we get will be named John and Ringo…) acted like they fit together like peas and carrots from their first meeting.  I didn’t go with my husband for the “meet and greet” between them because I have a hard time going to any kind of animal shelter since I end up wanting to bring everyone home with me.  Soon after the time he made his appointment to take Paul to meet his new possible sidekick, I got the most happy voice mail from my husband telling me that they were getting along famously and riding together in the back seat of his car with no problems at all.

Our Black Labrador, The Grand Dame we call “Reality”, likes him too.  And he defers to her better judgment in cases where both he and Paul get a wee bit too rambunctious for the regal black lady of our abode.  I’ve had dogs all my life, in fact, I say often that I was raised by a Boxer because “Duke”, my parents’ first dog-child, used to watch me in the front yard when my mom went to talk to neighbors in the hood and not let me wander out of the yards’ parameters.  I’ve been around German Shepherds when my mom was into showing and breeding them and raising champions, Great Danes, Wired-haired Dachshunds, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Schipperkes, Dobermans, Cairn Terries, Golden Retrievers, an Irish Wolfhound and a Cockapoo but I’ve never had an Australian Shepherd, until now, which seems to be a breed all unto itself.

I’ve made my husband promise me that we will find a trainer (for us more than the dogs) who specializes in Australian Shepherds so that we can make sure that we keep their bright little minds busy and occupied with little chance of circling around in on itself and becoming really neurotic!!  After four years of talking and communicating with the Paul-dog, it wasn’t until this evening with the addition of the new George-dog, that Paul acknowledged that my words were reaching him when he came to full alert because the next door neighbors with all their kids were home. This is usually the time that he loves to run to the window and bark as if Attila the Hun himself was outside trying to break in.   We’ve tried all kinds of things with him to get him to stop to no avail when, surprisingly, all I had to say to him this evening was “now Paul, think really hard how you want to react to this…you’ve got the little man George watching your every move”.

I’m sure it won’t surprise you at all to know that Paul did not bark once. Well, maybe once but that was only when one of the neighborhood kids actually came up to our door and knocked on it to give us their annual family photo Christmas card.  Even still, Paul did not bark as loud or as long as he would of before George (b.g.).  All this goes to show that I’m pretty sure everything you say and do with an Aussie goes in their ears and stays there.  I’m also beginning to realize that there is probably an exhaustive list of all kinds of things they can do but….ONLY WHEN THEY WANT TO DO IT.   So, the trick for us is to learn how to gain their respect and attention so they’ll want to do what we say.

I really feel sorry for those humans who don’t enjoy animals as much as we do.  I’m sure if you are an animal lover that you have many examples in your own life of how being in a relationship with them has expanded and grown you in your “being” experience.  In fact, I would love to hear stories from you about what you’ve learned from your animal friends.

Until then, picture me running around the foothills of the Texas Hill Country with my Aussie dogs and send us all a little prayer would ya?!

 

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DINK #160 Aussies At The Shore

Posted on : 28-08-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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This morning while enjoying the morning waves at the beach in Galveston to what did my joyful eyes see but three beautiful Aussies making their way to me! I met “Trig” who is a tri-colored champion in confirmation; “Bailey” who is a Blue Merle ranked #35 in the world for Frisbee catching and Storm who is another blue merle and I believe has championships of his own in agility. For the life of me, I cannot remember their very nice human momma’s name (Kristen?) but she was very nice and spent a good amount of time telling me about her dogs and answering all my Aussie questions. Her female, Trig, is the champion in confirmation but she could jump straight up vertically and make all kinds of twist and turns to catch a Frisbee while playing at the beach. Trig usually doesn’t get to play Frisbee because they want to protect her from harm, but she sure did get to have some fun today–which was fun to watch!

You know that I was in dog heaven with all these guys running around ready to play and so well trained. I’m just ignorant enough about what makes an Australian Shepherd champion that these guys reminded me of P-Paul a lot! All of this made me think of Malcolm Gladwell’s book, “Outliers” about what enables some people to be such winners. In Gladwell’s synopsis, sometimes it really does boil down to the luck of the draw and being born into the right place at the right time. Of course I realize that with dogs it boils down to genetics but I also believe being born into the right environment or at least raised there can make a difference.

Even though I certainly don’t have a champion Aussie at home, I do have a guy with important qualities that I enjoy like paying attention, alertness, great temperament and the love of fun. I saw those same qualities exhibited in Bailey, Trig and Storm. Just gives me a little bit more to ponder in regards to the importance of what we bring to the table as humans and how we make the most out of what we have.

I wonder what Bill Gates or Steven Jobs are like when they are allowed to just run free at the sea shore. And how many people are out there with their same qualities but haven’t found their niche yet in which to express it?

Be willing to jump for the twirling Frisbee no matter how many twists it takes….

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