I am working on a blog post of Great Philosophical Import. I’ve known for a week what its topic would be. I have links, examples, it’s all plotted out (well, kinda; as much as I ever plot out anything). It will be worth waiting for, I promise.
But you will have to wait for it. Because I am absolutely incapable of writing an introduction to it that doesn’t immediately wander into the weeds, faceplant in a bog, and drown.
Oh heaven, how we Artistes — and our patient readers — suffer!
So in the meantime, to keep you My Dear Readers from wandering off into those weeds, yourself … have some dogs.
Up first is Trixie, our new family member.
And no, the motion in the next two photos isn’t her trying to shake the trash can lid off her head. She was perfectly happy to have it there until she shredded the beef jerky bag. Then she just knocked it off and went in search of other places to conduct food raids.
Modeling her new raincoat.
Rhett laughed when he saw that. Not having had a dog since his teens, he was bemused that dogs had raincoats.
“Panniers, too?” he joked … never guessing I’d actually just happen to have them on hand.
These saddlebags were Ava’s and they’re way too large for Trixie. But they used to be great on the beach, where the dog could pack a small picnic.
And the raincoat? Who could doubt the usefulness of that in the Pacific NortWET.
This, maybe not so much.
But I bought it years ago at a thrift store and never had a dog who could fit into it until now.
Ava was half border collie and all clingy, intense, active … well, border collie. After her, I swore I’d never have another.
Now here we are with Trixie. Not an ounce of border collie in her. She doesn’t do that crazy crouch-and-eye thing. She’s not (thank heaven) as dog aggressive as Ava was. But she’s an even a clingier, more intense, more active … well, representative of the herding breeds than Ava was.
I’ve responded by teaching her a few rudiments of canine agility, and just a few days ago I introduced her (and me) to the most basic moves of canine freestyle (aka dancing with dogs). Not because we’ll ever compete, but just for fun, exercise, and brainwork. And to keep her from standing and staring at me with a squeaky toy or a frisbee in her mouth 12 hours a day.
But now, if you want to see dogs and humans who are better than we will ever be, here are some extraordinary canine athletes and artistes. Oh, and a few maybe not so praiseworthy.
In the variety of canine freestyle that’s called “heelwork to music,” I’ve recently discovered Lucie Plevova and her dogs Jump and Phoenix.
Sometimes in freestyle, the communication between human and dog is both awesome and virtually invisible.
But this one is my all-time favorite (after a slow start) because of the story it tells and the very non-standard moves Lusy Imbergerova has taught Deril .
Then, moving on to agility and and other canine sports (and lest your beloved four-legged feel inadequate because s/he’s not SuperDog) performance dogs commit their share of bloopers.
One rescue mutt even became a sort of star for being so charmingly bad at agility.
Finally — since it’s only fair to show some fantastic agility work after the last two — here’s a bit of a longie-but-goodie. About 1/2 hour of the Crufts 2022 agility finals for intermediate/large dogs. Best in the world. You may not want to watch it all, but the quality of the dogs and their handlers is astonishing.
And you notice … unless I missed a ringer, every, single competitor in those Crufts finals is a border collie. After whittling down the competition, the best of the best are all border collies.
In freestyle, it’s border collies and golden retrievers. Just beautiful, and with such connections to their humans.
Okay, but enough of that. Enjoy. But now for me it’s back to crafting an introduction to my next Dazzling Burst of Brilliance. Or whatever it’s going to turn out to be.