Sierra's Smokey Bandit

Cimarron Tippy Sunrise x Cimarron Rustler

May 23,2006

 

 

 

 
Here are a couple of more recent pictures of Smokey that I thought you might like to see.  He is really becoming a beautiful guy and he is a sweet heart.

Today there was a baby blackbird on the ground in the front yard and Smokey saw it and went to investigate but he didn’t try to hurt it at all.  He came immediately when I called him and stayed with me.  He seemed to be concerned that it was in trouble because it was too young to actually fly.  He kept watching it but not at all in an aggressive manner after I told he to be gentle with the baby.  That’s the kind of English Shepherd I’ve been looking for in my Smokey boy. 

Love,

Colleen

 

 

Smokey will chase a ball until he wears everyone out, including any children that happen to be around.  He acts like we are dumb as stumps when we are busy and ignore him.  He’ll bring his ball and drop it on our feet or bounce it against our legs to get our attention.  If that doesn’t work he’ll bring the “Chuck-It” for us because he seems to believe that the only reason we aren’t throwing the ball is because we are weak humans and need assistance be able to throw the ball far enough for him.  I’ve even had him find balls left by long-gone previous property owners.  We bought our place 20 years ago and he has located Super balls buried in the farm mud.  He loves Super balls and will intentionally drop them down the steps of our house, stare at the ball intently, and wait for me to tell him to “go get it.”  If I continue to ignore him he’ll go get the ball and bang it against my feet until I comply with his idea of a good day’s work. 

 

Smokey takes delight in washing our cat’s head (and bum).  Though she is much older and wiser than he is, and quick to put him in his place, she tolerates his impertinence and seems to except his ministrations with resignation.  Smokey also puts up with the many bathes he must take, too, since he has a penchant for horse manure and that is definitely not an in-house odor I will tolerate. 

 

Jul.y 12, 2008

Dear Elaine,

 

After faithfully watching the Dog Whisperer I am coming to grips with Smokey’s exuberance & need for rules & boundaries.  He needs a strong leader (calm & assertive) & I have never understood how to be that.  He is so devoted to me that he follows me about but it is more out of concern that he must take care of me.  He seems to think I need a lot of help & he is the most appropriately geared to offer his help.  He is definitely my dog; of course he thinks I am “his” people. 

Yesterday when he took himself off to have a nice roll in our pasture he was devastated when I told him, “Yuck.  Dirty dog!” and sent him to his kennel. 

 

We recently had a very interesting vacation with Smokey.  We took him with us to our newly married daughter’s home while we were helping them frame a workshop.  Smokey had a wonderful time meeting so many new people.  He loves everyone.  He then went with us to a huge family reunion of my immediate family.  He found that not only does he love everyone but everyone loves him; well except for one nephew’s black Lab, an aging fellow (the dog, not the nephew) with some rather strong prejudices of his own.  Smokey actually fell “in like” with a little Pomeranian cross that looked more like a Papillion.  They became best friends but he seemed to like all the other dogs there, too.  Smokey has missed his old golden retriever neighbor- friend since she died.  The most fun of the trip was watching Smokey race to the lake and launch himself into the surf.  He swims like a fish and loves nothing more than to combine his two favorite activities of fetching (anything, in this case available sticks) and swimming.  For the first time in his short life I actually saw him wear himself out.  Apparently racing and swimming at extremely high altitude half a day will do the trick.  I finally had to put a stop to his fun for his own safety.  He won’t quit. 
 

                        

 

 

Smokey still needs to understand the boundaries of his horse responsibilities.  He was launched across the pasture by the visiting horse of the girl that took care of our place while we were gone.  She had her horse here for a few days so she could continue to use our arena and Smokey thought the horse was being too pushy with me.  It was but he needs to understand which end of the horse to push back on; the rear is definitely not it.  Not only do I stand in danger of having the horse jump on top of me but in this case, Smokey had flying lessons.  He wasn’t hurt at all except for his pride.  He was so surprised and looked back as if to question just how that happened. 

My husband has introduced Smokey to Frisbees (soft ones for dogs) and Smokey is developing into quite the Frisbee dog.  He makes some awesome flying catches.  But he is becoming quite the gentleman on leash and he is learning to be so quiet and respectful of where I am and what I am asking him to do.  He is also learning to wait to go through doorways until his is bid to do so.  This is beginning to extend to doors that have people on the other side, too, who’ve knocked.  That is a challenge because he wants to be the meet and greet committee.  He seems sure they’ve come for him.  

My final challenge with him will be to have someone working a horse in the round pen or the arena when I am able to work with Smokey on the outside to show him that he needn’t participate in horse work.  I would love to have him wait quietly outside the arena until he is invited to join us.  When we are out riding he is fine, trotting beside the horses or in between (or under – yikes!) them.  He understands that we are actually controlling the horses.  When we aren’t mounted, or in the arena, etc., he seems to think he must interfere.  But he is coming along.  I know that he is very intelligent.  I know that it is a matter of my learning to communicate with him.  He’s a good dog.  He’s not wandering anymore, either, for which I’m grateful. 

Well, enough of this long “note.”  I did think you might like to see Smokey in action, though it isn’t a good picture.  He’s rather turned the lake edge into muck. 

Anyway, bye for now.

Colleen

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