Dock Dog and Fisherman’s Dog!

I don’t know if falling off the dock into the water three times actually qualifies Kory to be called a “Dock Dog”… but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

After camp ended yesterday afternoon I was quite exhausted and pretty much decided to avoid any overdue chores that might otherwise occupy the evening. So I went out back and dug me up about a dozen meager earthworms at the edge of the compost, loaded up Kory in the truck, and headed down to the pond to fish for an hour.

As it turns out Kory is fascinated by the ritual mechanics of fishing. While at first he splashed at the edges of the pond until his white feet were a bit muddy and mucky he soon preferred to join me on the dock to study what I was so intently focused on. Oh, and he found out that the first step off the back of the dock was a plunge into considerably deeper water. I was pleased to see that he could swim.

Anyhow we both sat on the dock studying the bobber. Bobber watching is a largely contemplative form of meditation with an edge of expectation jolting from reverie as muscles suddenly spring into action. Kory seemed to understand and appreciate all of this intuitively and joined me in the game. He’d lie on the dock heady down watching the bobber intensely. And anytime it rolled white-side up or plunk underwater he’d tense and coil and be all ready to spring into action. Though I can’t imagine that he understood perfectly what the action would be.

He wasn’t expecting the first fish. He was really just watching the bobber in the water as I reeled it in fighting this way and that underwater. I pulled up in front of his nose a brim as big as my hand. Kory was so surprised and startled that he gave a little woof and backed up … stepping butt first off the side of the dock where he got to test his swimming again.

Fun to Run

Sometimes it’s fun to just run. I set this up early for campers. It has a couple of very subtle challenges. And of course it requires the handler to make decisions about how to conduct changes of sides. It’s fun to run this sort of course especially after a couple of grueling days of technical movement drills.

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I have a number of observations about this camp that I will largely keep to myself. I guess that means I am conscious of the public nature of blogging and that I should not treat this as a personal and private journal. It was a memorable camp on many levels.

You know that Eric Larson was here and making video record of what we did for the first two and a half days of a four day camp. I pretty much tried to conduct the camp as I would any other. I guess I didn’t really pull it off because I did not get in tune with the camp until after he left. I believe that the psychology of “getting in tune” would deserve its own thesis and discussion.

I won’t go into that now except to say that I was on the wrong tack with a couple of my campers; because I was more bent on studying the swell of the water than the wind.

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my new publication the Idea BookAgility Training for a Small Universe available at www.dogagility.org/store.

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