What can be more tedious than the parent or grandparent that constantly boasts about the achievements and genius of their progeny? Perhaps someone that talks incessantly about the brilliance and accomplishments of their dog. However, I DO have the cutest and most intelligent puppy on earth, so I am completely vindicated.
Bayley turns 6 months old today. I won’t go into all of her amazing accomplishments here. Just suffice it to say, that after completing basic Puppy obedience Levels 1 and 2, her instructor exempted her from Adult Level 1 and promoted her directly to Adult Level 2. Bayley is always selected to be the demo dog when the teacher wants to demonstrate a behavior.
At 6 months, she’s entering puppy adolescence, the equivalent of the human teen years. I’ve been warned that she may start to get hard headed: not coming when called, not doing what she is told. She may not want to be seen walking next to us and will probably start playing virtual Frisbee on the Xbox.
She’s already changed the spelling of her name. We thought we had chosen a rather unique name for her and originally spelled it Baylie. It must be the season for the name regardless of the spelling: Bailey, Bailie, Bailee, Balie, Bayleigh…. There are several dogs we have met with that name. In fact, a male lab puppy in her obedience class was named Bailey. She wanted to be distinctive, so she decided to spell her name Bayley. So typical of young girls at that age.
It’s amazing what dogs learn from one another, both good and bad. Bayley has a 7 year old Bearded Collie sister who is remarkably calm and well behaved.
Bayley thinks that Mayzie hung the moon. From her, Bayley has learned much more about what is expected of a good dog in this household than I could have ever taught her. On the other hand, Mayzie has also taught Bayley that the vacuum cleaner is a fearsome fire breathing dragon, and to hide in a corner whenever it starts to roar.
In the four months that Bayley has lived with us, our daily barn ritual is a constant. Twice a day, I walk down the road with both dogs to the barn to take care of the llamas.
Mayzie will come inside the pasture fence and lie down by the gate and wait for me to do my chores. Bayley, my little shadow, will follow me around as I put out the hay, fill water buckets, and rake up poop, which takes me about a half hour. All the while, Mayzie waits patiently by the gate.
Last week, after obedience class, I returned home with Bayley in the car at llama feeding time. We drove straight down to the barn, leaving Mayzie in the house. Bayley initially didn’t want to get out of the car because Mayzie wasn’t along, and this is a team effort. I left the car door open and went about my work. A few minutes later I looked around to see if Bayley had gotten out of the car. Scanning around, I spied her lying by the gate right in Mayzie’s spot. I imagine she was thinking that guarding that gate was an important job, and since Mayzie wasn’t there to do it, she would have to step up to the task. Oh, to spend a day in my dog’s head.