Saturday, November 24, 2007

Introduction from Sailor, May 2000

Sailor here.

Well, Sailor is what my new Mom calls me. My real name is very long and ends with “In Cahoots,” but Mom says that if she goes into the back yard to call me, she’ll sound like an owl and the neighbors might whisper. So she named me Sailor.

I came to her from Washington State. She says that when she opened my crate at the airport and I stepped out, her heart almost stopped because I was so drop dead gorgeous. Now explain this to me. If her heart stops, SHE drops dead, not me. She confuses me at times. Anyway, she had never seen me in dog before; only in pictures, and says I am even more beautiful than my pictures. Of course. She had several names waiting for me, but when we left the airport, some random man said, “Hi, Sailor!” and since I sailed out of the baggage claim room on my leash, she decided that fate had a hand in naming me and who was she to tempt fate? She tells everyone that I sailed into her heart. Awww.

I AM gorgeous. I used to be a show dog and have entered many beauty contests and won some of them and Mom says I am pointed. Well, yes, my nose is pointed; I am a collie after all. And my toenails are pointed some of the time. And my ears are pointed when I fly them up in the air but Mom does things to them so that they won’t take off and be airborne. But that’s about all that’s pointy. Mom says being pointed is having earned points toward the 15 a dog needs to win the title, Champion. Well, I already am a champion, titled or not, no matter what you call me. Mom says I will not be entering beauty contests again, though I may earn a title in other doggy contests. Mom is strange sometimes and confuses me but I love her to bits.

Our first week in my new home was fun and strange and a little nervous. I slept with Mom on my fish blankie by her bed and when I got up to sniff and look out the windows, she was always there to scritch my ears and make me feel good. Moving to a new home is hard. I was glad to have my own bed and my favorite toy with me, and my very own crate was nice, too. All these came with me on the airplane and helped me feel at home from the beginning. My former Mom also packed a towel in my crate for the plane ride because I drool when I get nervous, but when I arrived, my new Mom says that my ruff was dry and I didn’t need wiping down.

That same day, Mom introduced me to her family. She lives alone but has two children, a pink one who graduated from college and a blue one who has not yet graduated from college. Her daughter even came to the airport to pick me up and her son arrived for spring break a few days later just to meet me. Imagine, a spring break just for meeting Sailor!

Mom also has a cat. Now, I like cats. I do. But the cat doesn’t seem to like me. She calls herself Hiss-Spit and introduced herself to me right away. She spent a lot of time introducing herself. I think she’d like to lay claws on me, too, but I am too polite to get within range. She has had experience with dogs and I don’t think her experience has been very good. I think I will stay out of her way.

My new backyard is really cool. It is big and full of trees and squirrels and grass and bushes. I love to run on the grass and jump through the bushes. My Mom’s daughter’s sweetheart has a dog, Zoe, who is a Siberian husky and loves to run. Zoe also loves to jump OVER the bushes. Mom says that she will make sure Zoe comes over and plays with me.

And training has started. Mom says I seem to have conveniently forgotten Sit. I guess I have. She tried to get me to sit by holding freeze-dried liver over my nose. I was supposed to sit when my nose went up to get the treat. Instead, I backed up. She then backed me into the corner and held freeze-dried liver over my nose. I got discouraged because she wouldn’t let me have it and I gave up and sniffed the floor. I got it half right. My nose went up but my butt stayed right where it was. “Hmmm,” I heard her say, “so much for luring.” Then she got out a clicker. This is a little plastic box that makes a sound when she presses on it.

Click went the clicker. Treat went Mom. Click went the clicker. Treat went Mom. Every time the clicker clicked, she gave me a treat. These treats were pretty good. Some were cheese, some were liver pieces, some were beef jerky bits, and some were Cheerios stored in the freeze-dried liver can and tasted a lot like freeze-dried liver Cheerios. I never knew what I was going to get, but I knew that every time I heard the click, I would get something. This was great!

Then Mom changed the rules. She didn’t give me a treat when she clicked. She only clicked and treated me when I forgot to pay attention and sat down. Pretty soon I figured out that when I sat down, I’d get a treat. I am very intelligent and this is my idea of training! Mom learned to have a stash of treats and clickers in various rooms of our house because she says that at odd times, I’d come flying up to her with that Treat Look in my eye and splat my butt on the floor. Mom is clicker training very well; I am pleased with her progress.

Sailor the stellar sitter

1 comment:

Peabody_Insider said...

What a beautiful dog!
I came across your site with the (next blog) button and really enjoyed it! Good luck to you all!