Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fur babies

We've had a house guest the last four days, or rather Rem has. His litter mate Peppa Hammond has been visiting whilst her folks were interstate. Needless to say Rem is way too busy catching up on sleep to do anything with me today. He's exhausted from playing ball, chase, frizbee, tug, swimming and walking. Presently he's asleep on the mat behind my chair. Well at least he's graced me with his company if nothing else.

Peppa is a gorgeous little Black and White girl from Bojak Border Collies, full of beans and very clever. Her mum Lilly, a shy black and white border was secretly pregnant and gave birth to her and her two sibblings the same day Rem was born to Maggie. Maggie had eight or nine pups, so Lilly helped look after them along with her three. At the time we really didn't know that Peppa would go to a couple who lived close by and it was by chance that we all signed up for Puppy school with the same dog trainer. That's how we all met.

Peppa can Spin and do a Figure 8 through and around legs. She is also very food orientated and would come sit in the kitchen when ever I was preparing meals during her visit. Jet our previous collie has a lot of the same traits as Peppa. Rem is way too laid back and acts like the protective Uncle. He watches everything from a short distance, rarely ever barks, without first being asked to "Speak". I often wonder what's going on in his head, whilst he's soaking up all the action.

Check out the photo of him with his protective paw on her. He uses his paws a lot and has done so since he was a tiny pup. I never ever saw Jet do that. When I throw the Frizbee to Rem, he races after it, waits for it to land, and then folds it over in half with his paw and picks it up with his mouth. Peppa was even doing that by the end of her stay. At first she tried to pick it up whilst it was flat on the ground and was having some difficulty, but watching Rem seemed to clue her in.

I promised Cathy and Russell that I'd try to teach her to "Speak". I found it a little difficult at first, because she kept jumping up every time I gave the command and hand signal. Cathy had warned me that she does this whenever she hears a strange noise from one of them. In the end I kept asking Rem to speak which he did and eventually Peppa copied him. So that indeed goes to prove that dogs do learn from watching one another.

A funny little story from the weekend.... I was tidying up the palm fonds on Friday afternoon as I knew that these two holy terrors would no doubt by the end of the weekend pull them off the drying heap and out into the garden. We tend to stockpile the fonds till they're dry and then put them through a palm shredder as they make good garden mulch.

Peppa was helping me take a few to the bin, spinning around and racing about the garden with them, Rem was obviously peeved with this, because usually I scold him for dragging palms fonds about the yard, so he doesn't do it much anymore. He's sitting beside me watching Peppa spin about with the the palm in her mouth, and then gives me a couple of nudges on the leg in quick succession as if to say " Well look at Peppa, how come I'm not allowed to do that?" I just burst out laughing, gave him a little cuddle and said "Its ok we're putting them in the bin, you can go help her bring them out." which he did.

Ever watchful Uncle Remy

Photos courtesy of Russell and Cathy Hammond

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