Ellie and best-friend, Teal'c, decided to take a Sunday stroll earlier today. I decided to go along too, you know, just to see if there were any photo opportunities...
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The second sign is that my home-boarding calendar starts to rapidly fill up as people begin to plan their annual holidays. As I write this entry, I have a Black Labrador named Barney, who previously joined us a year ago in March 2009. I absolutely love receiving repeat bookings, as it tells me that I'm getting things right and that the owners are happy with the boarding I am providing for their dogs. Of course, repeat bookings are made all the more pleasant when the dog is as well-behaved and has such a well-rounded temperament as Barney does. I don't think I know of a single dog who is more accommodating to other dogs than he is. He just seems to embrace each of them equally. He will play with them when invited, but is also happy to do his own thing when not invited. In terms of off-leash walking, you can't really ask for better.Monty the pug again. However, this time it's Monty and his new 'brother', Cooper - a Boston Terrier pup! Yes, there's now double the trouble! :) Of course, I've already met him and he's just adorable! I think we're reaching the point where we should perhaps be building a 'Monty wing' in recognition of his custom!
So there are things on the boarding front. But what about Ellie? Well....
Since the spaying, I have noticed a gradual and pleasant change in her physique. She has certainly filled out and is no longer the skinny border collie that she once was. She has quite the voracious appetite now. But more importantly than the physical change, is the change in her personality. I've been noticing a change in her for some time now. It started as quit a gradual change, but it seems to be accelerating a little at the moment. Others have certainly noticed it too.
I can think of no better way to describe the change than to say she seems to have found her 'collie gene'. A walk doesn't seem to be a walk these days unless she can herd up whichever dog we happen to be walking with. She will bark at them to try and get them to run. If they run, then she does what Border Collies do - herds them up. If they don't, she gives up of course, but for her to even attempt it is quite a significant change.
She's also getting much more confident and relaxed around other dogs. It has been a remarkable sight for Sue and I to witness Ellie, Barney, and Teal'c all fall into a deep sleep in close proximity to each other, not once but twice this week. My guess is that the home-boarding is helping her significantly in this area. I don't imagine it's easy for any dog to have a near constant flow of different dogs enter their home month after month.
I welcome all of these changes in her. Boy, do I welcome them! I am doing all that I can to try and foster the increased energy and enthusiasm, and even ignoring the bad bits such as when she jumps up at me on the walk to try and get me to throw the ball for her. I know what you are thinking, that I am creating a future problem. However, we'll have to agree to disagree. I think it would be too easy to push Ellie back into her reserved state again. It's a case of needing to take the rough with the smooth for now, while I encourage her to grow her confidence and energy levels. There will come a time to start weeding out the pushy behaviours, but it isn't just yet.
And now for the shameless promotion bit: The Don't Blame the Dog forums are growing but we always need more dog-lovers to join up and participate. So if you or anyone you know are interested in talking about dogs, particularly about positive training, then we'd love to see you there!