Basenji Musings

We’ve had a couple of weekends free lately, which is good. We’re resting up. Between Amelia in Rally and Professor in Breed, we’ll be showing every weekend from the end of September to the end of October. Including one three-day show where both will be entered. ARRRRGGGGGHHHHH what was I thinking?

Things at home are settling down, though. Professor and Joey were starting to get snarky with one another. Joey thinks Professor is a twerp and a waste of carbon; Professor thinks he’s a big boy now and hot stuff.

Most of the snarking happened when food was in the offing, like when I’m cutting up training treats or eating and the two of them would start jostling one another for position. Shirley suggested making them Amelia’s problem, by giving all three dogs a time out when snarking occurred. I never had a chance to test the theory; Amelia apparently took it upon herself to put a stop to stupid boy stuff before it began to impinge on her comfort. Last time I cut up dog treats, all three dogs stayed in the living room, instead of coming into the kitchen and jostling. All three, of course, got treats.

Then I treated myself to a steak for dinner. My deal with the dogs is, y’all stay away while I eat, and when I’m done everybody gets a little taste. This mostly works pretty well, but Joey and Professor were starting to come over by my chair, and then they’d jostle each other, then they’d snark. Apparently, Amelia covered this also in her instructions. I ate in peace, all three dogs laid patiently on the couch, and everybody got a steak bit as a reward.

Overall, Amelia is doing a fabulous job of raising and civilizing this puppy. She’s ‘splained to him how to play, how to act like a civilized being, and, oops, how to counter surf. The two of them playing together sound like world war three, but both seem to be having a good time. Every once in a while, Professor gets a bit too wound up, and I hear a “squeak!” and know Amelia just cracked down on silliness. But the play continues, so I don’t think she’s traumatizing him.

Professor is now 8 months old, and I’m hoping he’s starting to grow up. He’s doing well in our pre-agility class. Some of the exercises, like perch work, he’s been doing since he was a bitty baby, so that’s no problem. Last night we met the Buja board for the first time. He’s been on tippy boards before, but not the big board. Interesting. He was very worried by the noise it made when another dog tipped it, so when the first group was working on it I stood back and c/t every time it banged. When he got on it, he was fine with it moving under him, and fine with it making noise when *he* tipped it. Still not crazy about the noise when somebody else did it. I knew he’d be ok with the movement, since we play with the balance ball at least twice a week, but was a little surprised by his reaction to the noise.

I’m finding he can pay attention to me quite well, as long as we’re at least 10 feet away from the nearest dog. Closer than that, and his brains fall out his ears and he just wants to play. He did do both recalls very well, which was nice. Mostly he does, but I’m keeping his leash on him just in case. Last week he veered off on his second recall to see his buddy Holly, who taught our puppy class and was teaching in the other ring. She’d come into our ring to get something, and Professor just had to say “Hey!”

Joey continues to be Joey. He’s had a bit of a rash on his ears this past week, so I’ve been putting Animax on them. As long as the treats keep coming Joey doesn’t care what bizarre things I do to him.


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