May 20, 2010

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

I am always astonished by human assumptions especially when those assumptions are about dogs. Take, for instance, Gretchen’s assumption about Rosie. She assumes that Rosie is more driven by treats than anything else in her life. She assumes that given the choice between a bird, let’s say, and a cheesy treat Rosie will choose the later and gladly ignore the former.

Well today, Rosie disproved Gretchen’s assumptions. They were playing treat fetch at the park and Rosie was doing a great job hunting down the treats and racing back to Gretchen when all of the sudden a swallow crossed Rosie’s path. And in the blink of an eye, Rosie was off chasing the swallow like a bird dog on a mission. The swallows, of course, torment dogs. They dive bomb and tease, swoop right above our heads, and circle back for more. You can actually hear them laughing when we reach out and snap at them never quite catching them.

So Rosie, assumed by Gretchen NOT to be a bird dog, chased those swallows with as much fervor as a 6 month old puppy. Even after Gretchen grabbed Rosie’s leash and the headed out for a walk, Rosie bounced and pulled, lunged and spun every time a tormenting swallow swooped by.

What did Gretchen? Her assumption about Rosie was false. She’s a bird dog in a Boxer body!

We only had four dogs today, but I swear we walked more today than we did yesterday when we had seven dogs on the docket. I guess that was my wrong assumption that four dogs would be less work than seven, but we ended up walking just as much if not more today, which explains why I have tired paws.

Gemma was after Rosie and we all walked up to Woobie’s house for a walk down through the park and then, of all things, to Saber’s house. Gretchen’s thought was that Gemma could get worn out by the walk and then be less rambunctious with Saber at the tennis courts, only that was another silly assumption. Gemma never wears out.

Another assumption is that dogs of a similar breed will all be the same. For instance, Gemma is a purebred Irish Terrier. Woobie, on the other hand, is a mixed breed, but most likely a Bearded Collie and a Tibetan Terrier. Now you’d think that that terrier gene, as persistent as it is, would show itself as much in Woobie as it does in Gemma. But alas, this is so not the case.

Gemma is high strung.

Woobie is relaxed.

Gemma is tenacious.

Woobie waits for the world to unfold before her.

Two dogs with similar genes, but two dogs with completely different dog-a-tudes.

From this photo…

…you’d assume Saber thinks we’re picking on him. I guess we sort of were, but in a friendly way. He actually loved it and raced around the court begging us to chase him.

Saber loves to be chased, but given his size and weight he tires out quickly. But we keep trying to rile him up and he falls for it every time.

Woobie just watches and laughs…

Aside from canine assumptions, Gretchen sometimes makes false weather assumptions — like the big, black cloud to the west is going to dump on us and therefore she must put on her raincoat. But no rain came and while we got a few sprinkles, to assume the sky was going to open up on us never really proved true today.

I’m actually glad because on top of the miles we put in today, walking in a rainstorm would have been a bit more than I could take.

At least, that’s what I’m assuming.

Until tomorrow,


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