If there is one thing that Ellie loves more than chasing a ball around the park, it's chasing a frisbee around the park. Obviously she can't yet jump to catch it, but she sure can run for it!
We've been purchasing the rubber Kong Frisbees as they are kinder to Ellie's wee puppy teeth. However, there's one drawback, we keep losing them in a small ditch that is covered in nettles. So far, Jan has successfully lost one, and as of this evening, so have I!
On our morning walk a couple of days ago, I met up with another Collie (Alfie) owner. You can always tell the Collie owners -- they are the ones who have dogs fixated on a ball. Despite the fact that the owner and I were stood talking to one another, the two dogs were more than happy to ignore each other, in favour of chasing their own ball around the park. As always, I had to convince the other person that Ellie really is a Border Collie. I guess people just aren't used to seeing the short-haired variety. I had another person ask me tonight in fact!
Usually, as we play in the field on our 17:00 run, I spot a woman with a Black Labrador. I always feel for her as she clearly can't let her dog off the leash, and it drags her around like nobody's business. She always politely walks around the edge of the field, and I, sensing that she doesn't want to have to struggle with other dogs, tend to stealthily step towards the middle of the field, so that her dog doesn't try to pull so much towards Ellie. (Ellie completley ignores all dogs when she is playng.)
Tonight however, I met the woman and her dog head-on, as we were walking past the tennis-courts. She turned out to be a very nice woman, who once again had to ask what breed Ellie was. "A Border Collie", I replied, as I usually do. "She's very well trained, isn't she?", she noted. "I see you out here most days and she's incredible.". I think I almost blew her mind when I explained that Ellie was only 17 weeks old. I shall never tire of hearing people comment on her training and manners.
We work with Ellie daily and as I've said before, I for one, will never tire of training with her. It's just too rewarding to give up. I really do feel for those people who have dogs dragging them around the field. It can't be nice. That said, Ellie is only 17 weeks old and there is still plenty of time for her to show us her worst side. The best we can do is keep working with her, keep her stimulated, make ourselves the most interesting thing she knows, and hope for a little luck too.
We took her to the vet today, in order to get her weighed and just to get her used to going to the vet. She's put on just over half a kilogram in the past three weeks. I thought she might have put a little more on actually but no. I read today that the grooming parlour at the vet allows you to take the dog along to sit and watch, so that they get used to the sounds and such like. I think we'll do that next as we would like to get her groomed properly from time to time.
Her door manners are really getting good now. Whenever we walk, she has to wait at the front door when I exit, then wait for a "come" command, then come to me outside, then "sit" and "wait", as I lock the door. The reverse happens on our return. She will get a "sit" outside, then "wait", I will then enter the house, put the ball on the windowsill etc, and then invite her in. Tonight however, she excelled herself. I entered the house, walked all the way down the hallway, put my coat away, returned to the front door, and then invited her in. She did all that, even with children playing outside, making lots of exciting noise. Bless her. How can you not be impressed with that?
Her next big thing will be the East of England Autumn show. There will be lots of new people, animals, and sounds. I expect she'll get very excited for quite a while, but it's all good experience and learning for her. Her weakness, at the moment, is meeting people. She's a typical puppy and gets very excited. I'm not overly concerned about that at the moment. She's seventeen weeks old, seeing all new things, and is bound to get excited. That will lessen with age and experience. I think the show will help quite a lot actually.