Meet Cop, the lovable golden oaf.
Copper is my wife’s furball golden retriever. It looks like he always has a smile on his face, especially when he gets to love on people and people get to love on him. He’s been eager to jump in and train since I’ve started working agility with Scout. He actually surprises me with how much he keeps up with her. He can jump onto about any obstacle Scout can and is just as eager. He’s also super affectionate with our little one. He’s a great part of the family.
That loveable stinker elevated my heart rate the other night though. Ash’s parents were down visiting and we decided to grab some ice cream at the local ice cream destination. We brought both Scout and Copper with us and put them on a bench in a down stay while we went and ordered. Not two seconds after I turned my back on them, I heard a high pitched squeal and clatter of dog toenails on the concrete. My first thought was, “oh crap, what did Scout do this time” as I spun around to assess the situation while immediately belting out a “phooey that Scout!! Down!” I made eye contact with her and she seemed to be saying, “excuse me, I’m laying here like I’m supposed to. What’s your issue?” As she’s laying in the exact spot she was placed originally. A gold blur catches my eye in front of a trio of teenage girls. That little turd had been enticed by those girls to break position for some love and attention when they came up to pet him. I guess his exuberance caught them off guard and led to their high pitched squeals that sent my heart racing. I was embarrassed both with myself for not paying better attention to the dogs and with Copper for being so darn friendly.
As Joshua says at the start of every training. You, and you alone are responsible for yourself and your dog. No one is responsible for you. It was definitely an eye opener for me. My take-away: I have to pay better attention to my dogs even when I trust them to handle themselves properly.
Join me later this week as we begin tracking work with Copper.