Hi all. In a time of chaos, destruction, and gut wrenching sadness I decided to write something to lighten the mood. What is better at lightening the mood then an 11 month old sassy puppy?
Gloria, a toy Australian Shepherd, joined our flock late last summer. She is 14 pounds of fluff, sass, and attitude. When she is grumpy about something, like someone taking her bone (usually a larger dog) she will mutter under her breath and it sounds like she is swearing, thus the nickname. She is a smart girl and eager to please. She knows sit, stay, come, down, spin, shake, and sit pretty. Last night we realized that she knows a lot more. Robert put the dogs out for a late night outing, not realizing that someone had opened the back gate. All three dogs got loose and took off. A few minutes later Robert discovered that all three were on the lam and went out to call for them. A few minutes later Gloria showed up in the alley. Robert called her to him, she came, but then barked and ran off. As she was runnning she was looking back, obviously expecting him to follow her. She led him down the alley and over to the next block where they found Stevie, our blind Aussie. She then aggressively herded him over to Robert and then home. A few minutes later Max showed up on the front porch in high spirits.
Gloria’s actions surprised me because I had not taught her to get help or to look out for Stevie. I had taught these behaviors to Rosie, our last Aussie. Rosie was trained that if somone had fallen she was to go and get help and bring the person to the victim. She was also trained to track and find Boo if he wandered off. I had not taught these actions to Gloria, as Boo has been less of a wandering kind of guy lately. Needless to say I was very impressed. If she already knows how to do a retrieve on another dog, it should not be hard to get her to do a retrive on Boo Bear if he roams away from home.
The other thing I wonder about is if I could train her to be a seizure alert dog. She has yet to alert me if Boo is about to have a seizure, but she is very gentle and careful with him, and obviously concerned after he has one. She will stick close to him, give him kisses, follow me around and make certain that I am taking good care of him. I think at this point, Boo knows when he is about to seize. He will come to me or Alissa, take our hands and get himself to a safe place before the seizure starts. If Gloria is around him enough maybe she can pick up on his cues before I do and warn me. I have known a few verbal epileptics and they have said they have an aura or taste a certain odd metallic taste in their mouths before a seizure hits. I have heard of dogs who can detect cancer or low sugar in diabetes in their owners. I wonder if Mr. Boo smells different to Gloria when he is about to seize. I do not know the answers to these questions, but it certainly gives us something to work on this summer.
Thanks for tuning in. Go forth and be peaceful creatures.