Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pack Dynamics Part III

One day after a show, Gene was all smiles, as Kyra had another one of "those" weekends where she won everything in site. Hershey, on the other hand, managed to once again embarrass myself. Leaping off of contacts, refusing to down on the table, just basically being her dominant "I don't have to listen to you because I'm the queen" attitude. We're sitting in the car on the way home, my lap full of Gene and Kyra's ribbons. Before driving off, Gene turns to me and says, "Your dad's a runner, that's his hobby. If his shoes don't work, he gets new shoes. Agility is your hobby, I think it's time for you to get new equipment. I think you need a new dog." He didn't have to tell me twice!

So, we set out to try and avoid all of the mistakes we made with our first two. (As so many of us do.) I found Becky with Anutta Poodles at and fell in love with Merlot. After talking to her, I find out that Merlot and Tori have made an accidental breeding. I got my wish- a dog from the sire I fell in love with. I was able to meet Becky and her poodles shortly after the breeding, and then again about a month after pups were born. Boo was eventually chosen from the litter. Here's a photo of my little boy at 6 weeks.
We had just moved into a new house and were able to bring him home New Year's eve. He picked me out at roughly 4 weeks when we visited the pups, and made it official when we went to pick him up. Becky and Boo were in the front yard trying to get a last potty break in before we got there. When Boo saw me, he came over and sat on my foot, refusing to move. He had staked his claim to me! He was just so pretty, we decided to show him in conformation.

He has his International Championship, UKC Championship, and 3 points, 2 of which were from me showing him against a "professional" handler. We got tired of the politics of AKC conformation and stuck to more agility and obedience.

Boo has been a very easy boy to train, very biddable, wanting to be with me at all times. It makes it hard for anyone else to show him. In anything. But, he is always near me.

When we brought him home, the Queen once again showed her distaste. She refused to acknowledge "the stinky boy". When we first got him, we got one of the large dog water bowls that looks like the Mountain Valley Water bottles. The girls (Both of them) refused to drink after him. The would stand at the water bowl and bark. I could just hear them saying, "Ewww, now it has BOY cooties on it!" Kyra took to him as a playmate, however, and the two would run around the back yard, sheer joy on their faces! The Queen would stand and bark at them. The mother, telling the children to behave, I imagine.

The pack dynamics were pretty set. Hershey preferred to stay by herself, whether on her own bed at night, or on the couch. Alone. She was finally happy. She didn't have to endure countless hours of her human counterparts wanting to engage in activities like petting her. She also didn't have to do any more obedience or agilty. The Queen was retired. Boo and Kyra played together, and Hershey didn't have to even involve herself in that, if she didn't want to.

Boo is my dog, Kyra is Gene's dog. Both dogs having a moderate amount of success. Boo did not care for the breed ring, and did well in obedience. His true love (like many dogs) seemed to be agility. He learned quickly, and really wanted to do agility for me. At about 3 years old, we shaved off his long, beautiful hair and let him look like just a dog. He is now in excellent classes, and is working towards his excellent titles in agility. He has been happy and healthy, and by far the best dog *I* have ever owned.
I could own a dozen more just like him! (But then, my mother would stroke out, and then there's the husband, and we'd have to buy a bigger house, and we just don't want to go there!)

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