Back in May, Liddy and I joined a group from the Tacoma Photographic Society on a trip to Mossyrock, WA. We were there to shoot tulips. Liddy was a perfect little lady as she hung about waiting for me to snap the shutter here, snap the shutter there and then, I asked her to pose for my friend Sal Ahmed in one of the fields.
For those who haven’t met her, she is a four year old Australian Cattle Dog mix. I hired her a two years prior to walk me. I need the encouragement to get off of my backside and get some exercise. She fulfills this assignment extremely well as anyone with any experience with a herd dog will understand.
This week, she reinforced how smart she is. I taught her to close the kitchen door when she comes in from the back yard several months ago. This is always a fun way to impress friends while we are sitting around the kitchen table. This week, I taught her how to open the door. It only took her three lessons to get the basics. I tied a rope to the door lever on Sunday, and by Monday night she knew how to use it. Awesome!
When Liddy came to live with us, we had next to zero experience with a herd dog. She soon let us know that she is fierce, loyal and protective. Did I mention fierce? We had a couple of incidents that showed us we needed help learning how to supervise her. The task was complicated because of the hours I keep. I had trouble finding a good trainer that was available when we were. Fortunately, we were directed to Paws-Abilities, in Fife, WA. They have a team that is extremely talented. Liddy and I took basic obedience with them, then Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dog Training. This was followed by another obedience session – not because Liddy needs it, but because I do. Seems I’m not as quick a study as she is.
Remember I said I hired her to walk me? Well now, we are expanding her duties to include hearing. There are some sounds I can’t hear. Don’t know if it is because of many years working sawmills and other industrial sites, but I do know it is annoying. She is learning to alert me when the microwave beeps, and when people are about that I don’t notice. This last is important because I get absorbed while looking through the viewfinder. I jump out of my skin when someone comes up behind me. Liddy lets me know before they get within 20 feet. It is so reassuring. Unfortunately, she hasn’t figured out that a bump on my leg is preferable to her loud voice. Oh well, that will come.
We took several sessions of Nose Work training with Diane Porter at Paws-Abilities which is another good story. Liddy was a star, but we want her and I to work better as a team so we have begun Rally Obedience training. This is a cool activity that I think we will both benefit from and have fun at.
Hope you enjoyed this moment with us. I expect you know by now, that you will be hearing more about our Liddy in this space in the future.
Thanks for dropping by.