Today I am going to start right off with gratitude. I think gratitude is my favourite emotion.  Doesn’t it always makes you feel good to be grateful for someone or something?  Today I am being grateful for my dogs.  Each of my dogs personalities are unbelievably different, but that is what makes them so special.

Buzz, (Buzzy, Boo, BooBoo boy, Ba-zoo, mama’s special boy) is now 12 years old. You would have learned all about Buzzy if you read my book Shaping Success (if you didn’t read it, why the heck not?). He is just as enthusiastic about life today, as he was as a puppy, although he is deaf as a post. A long-time friend of mine says it is a Pete Townsend thing. Pete (of the rock group “The Who”) damaged his hearing after playing music too loud, for too many years. I am convinced Buzz, similarly did-in his hearing by continuously rehearsing  his own version of ‘loud music’. I always told him his barking was deafening, now I have proof!

DeCaff, (D-dog, Deek, My-D-Dog (said very fast is mighty dog), Whirlie), at 8 1/2, is currently my only little dog. She is my shadow and feels she needs to be with “da mama” at all times. She has been a very different dog for me to train and I am sure I learned more about dog training from her then any other single dog I have owned. All of my dogs have loved agility. They would just go crazy to play. While DeCaff enjoys the sport, I think she mostly does it because she knows it makes me happy (and of course because I used alot of good dog training to grow her drive for the sport). But at the end of the day, she just wants to do what I do, and is not at all pleased with me if she is left behind when I go out to teach or train.

Encore, (Cory, En, Coriander, Miss-E (said very fast is “Missy”), Missy-En), my 4 year old, is a serious, studious, workaholic who is the only one of the four that has a genuine soft spot for John. She just goes crazy for him. She is a big softie, that submissively smiles and will crawl onto the lap of anyone that will have her.

Feature, (Feachy, Peachy, Fee, Pee, Feach-en-ador, Nador, Ralphie), my 18 month old puppy is just a crack up. She makes me laugh out loud, like no other dog I have ever owned. She is such a character you would think she was a Jack Russell not a Border Collie.

Encore and Feature are great pals, they wrestle together in the house and run together non-stop outside. If the two of them were teenagers Encore would be the bookworm type, sitting at the front of the class, constantly querying the teacher, “will this be on the exam at the end of the term?“.  She would spend time each evening with 4 different coloured highlighters marking up her notes from that day’s lectures. She would often ask the teacher for extra homework on Friday afternoon and empty every book out of her locker to take home each weekend.

Feature, on the other hand, would be the pot smoking, jock that all the boys and the girls would want to have as a friend.  She would know the maximum number of classes she could cut before losing her varsity status, often serving detention for being the class cut-up, would  sit in the back row of any class and rarely takes a note, yet somehow, always manage to get straight A’s on her report card at the end of the term.

DeCaff, "I love you mama", Feature, "are you done yet?", Encore, "am I doing this correctly".

Here three of my dogs show off their true personalities. DeCaff is saying: “I love you mama”, Feature is wondering: “Are we done with all of this yet?”, Encore asking: “Have I got this right? Is there some other way I could be doing this for you?”

Man, I love my dogs.