Buzz's Birthday!

Buzz is two years old today! In order to capture his magnificence I made many little videos this week and put them all together into this video. The song is "Funny Little Frog" by Belle and Sebastian...some of the song's lyrics are fitting and some are not, but the energy is right, so that is why I chose it. : )

Link to video:
click here to see video

Google Analytics tells me that quite a lot of people like to stop by Buzz's blog, why don't you all introduce yourselves to Buzz and wish him a Happy Birthday?

Puppy Party

Buzz was invited to a puppy birthday party.

This little girl, Maggie, has grown up and is now one year old.

She had a joint party with her friend Fuser, another young golden who lives in the neighborhood.

Buzz had a grand time at the party. He ate so much dog cake it was insane! He stole every piece that the other dogs left alone! And then he ran...

and ran...

had a little conference...

He paused to have a drink,

and a wee,

then he went back to the refreshment table to see if he could score some more cake!


Buzz was supposed to go on sheep earlier this week, but there was a glitch. We went to the farm, he smelled the sheep, but it was no go because the trainer was ill. After that, he refused to be cute for pictures. He was in an awesome pose until I took this shot. Gah! Buzz was on strike!

Luckily, the trainer recovered from her illness quickly, so Buzz got his first herding lesson this evening. So, here's what happened from my perspective; remember, I know close to nothing about herding. :)

The trainer put three sheep in her smallest pen. They use the small pen so that it is easy for the trainer to intervene. The sheep didn't really want an untrained dog to go in the pen with them. You can see the "oh, shit!" look on their faces.

This is Buzz right after the trainer released him. He is wearing a long line so that she can easily grab him.

Buzz carried his tail up most of the time he was in with the sheep. This typically means that the dog is unsure of what to do/is just having fun/is not in a "working" mindset.

It seemed like Buzz has potential; too early to really say, though. It would've been nice for the tail to go all the way down. The good news was that Buzz was definitely interested in the sheep and I felt like he listened to the trainer fairly well considering how excited he was (I kind of expected him to completely ignore her!)

Buzz preferred to circle the sheep clockwise, but when the trainer turned him around, he could move the sheep by circling counter-clockwise, too.

Buzz was in with the sheep for about ten minutes and he ran hard the entire time; the trainer heard him wheezing which is why he didn't stay in longer.

After his romp in the pen, Buzz got to cool off in a trough like a real border collie!

"Up Nort"

It has been over a week since my last post. This is not because nothing has been going on. To the contrary, too much has been going on! Graduations, birthdays, fishing trips, and more work than usual!

When I have had a free moment, instead of blogging, I have been putting my feet up, calling my dog over, popping open a beer and settling in for a cuddle and a movie. However, the time has come for me to play catch-up on Buzz's blog!

Last week, Buzz and I went to Grayling, Michigan with some folks from my graduate program. There was fly fishing, canoeing, hiking, and all kinds of fun to be had.

Buzz had a blast "up nort." He was fascinated by the river that was just behind the big camp.

And as he quickly discovered, the water was quite low, so he could run around in there without much fear of loosing his footing (Buzz doesn't like to swim. He only likes to wade.)

Retreiving sticks from the water quickly turned into high-flying fun for Buzz as he would leap off the edge of the dock, then jump clear out of the water several times in order to retrieve his stick. You'd have thought he had a pogo stick.

He never got tired of fetching that stick and I will never get tired of this picture.

It's the eyeballs that really send me over the edge. Egads!

Buzz also had a lot of fun flying nearby when I went hiking.

Buzz seemed to enjoy all of the people that went on the trip.

Especially the children who thought that playing with him was a real treat.

The boys took turns throwing the ball for Buzz. They would pass the Chuck-It between them for each throw so Buzz never knew who to bring the ball back to and started just bringing the ball to me even though I wasn't throwing at all. Silly.

Overall, I was surprised by Buzz's behavior on the trip. For the most part, he was better-behaved than I had anticipated. He had no problem staying by me when outside, he greeted people politely and stayed out of their space when asked. He didn't steal any food, chew on anything disallowed, or complain when I leashed him to me.

However, I was disappointed by Buzz's behavior on the last day. Basically, the oldest boy accidentally startled Buzz and Buzz responded by barking madly at him and advancing on him. Buzz did not respond to my verbal commands and I had to grab him to get him to stop. Later in the day, despite precautions, there was another problem and Buzz nipped the boy on the leg. Thankfully, no one was hurt or even scared for more than a moment.

In both instances, it was clear that Buzz had felt genuinely threatened by something that the oldest boy was doing, but in both cases the boy wasn't doing anything wrong. Why Buzz felt the need to act was clear, but Buzz shouldn't have acted, he should have alerted me and let me handle it. And while I know that Buzz was likely over-tired and over-stimulated, he needs to learn that he can never ever nip people. It worries me; when does a nip become a bite? And why does the happiest dog in the world have these moments of profound insecurity?

It seems that we have a training challenge ahead of us. Buzz must learn to stay calm and look to me for instruction in ALL situations. We are working on it. We are training for self-control. I am working on being a more absolute leader.