On December 9, 2007 I promised to blog about Uncle Scary’s dogs. And then I didn’t. Until now. : )

I will start with Castro because Castro was my brother’s first dog and the first border collie (mix?) in our family. Castro is about 7 now. My brother got him from the Humane Society when he was just a tiny thing--a biting, whirling dervish of a puppy.

I don’t have any pictures of Castro’s youngest months, but by all reports he was adorable and a complete terror. I first met him when he was between six months and a year…

He's such a handsome boy and so very intense.

These are the best pictures I’ve ever gotten of Castro, because sometime between this meeting and the next, Castro learned to HATE CAMERAS. Now, I can get a picture of Castro only after I talk to him a bit about it and show Castro that my camera does not have a flash. (Yes, Castro is that smart. His vocabulary is much bigger than any other dog I know. Don’t act like Castro doesn’t know what you are talking about, big mistake.)

This is what you get if you try to snap a photograph of Castro. He will foil your plan and then tell you off.

He’s hiding his face, moving his paw in a motion that pretty clearly means ‘put it down’ and he’s yowling at me. He’s a well-named dog, the dictator.

Anyway, with effort, I can get Castro to hold still and look at the camera for a shot or two. His tolerance is low, so I don’t get a chance to fiddle much with the camera to get the effect I’m after; I also can’t move around much or Castro will move away. Basically, Castro doesn’t really want his portrait taken and will only appease me for 5 seconds once a week when it comes to the camera. So, I get snapshot quality stuff only. See...

....okay, so this photo doesn't totally suck, but Buzz would have let me clear out all that stuff in the background or move him to a more scenic place; Buzz would also let me pull his front paws out to produce some less walrussy shots. But, Buzz is full of fuzz and Castro is...not.

Castro, as an adult, is pretty much the raddest tyrant around. He's very calm and contained and totally the boss of you. And you. And you. And your little dog, too.

The coolest thing about Castro is how entirely devoted he is to Uncle Scary.

Look at that face!!!! And no, Scary does not have a cookie, Scary IS THE COOKIE. It's like this all the time with these guys.

All this love for Scary combined with Castro's smarts and dictatorial tendencies lead to some really funny stuff. Like, while we were at the farm, Scary was doing a lot of fishing. Castro curled up in the long grasses just behind Scary and kept him company. When Scary reeled in a fish, Castro would come over to supervise the unhooking of fish (game fish are released back into the river, the carp are killed).

Now, here’s the quintessentially Castro part of it all: if Scary reels in a line and there is no fish on it, Castro complains to him about it. The noise is not quite a whine and not quite a growl, sort of a low rumbling of dissatisfaction, like “what do you think you are doing? You are supposed to catch fish with those lines. Get it right!”

Yeah, Castro is the coolest.

As for Castro and Buzz, they get along just fine so long as Buzz behaves.

However, when Buzz is rude or careless, Castro gets really fed up with him. And, here’s another quintessentially Castro bit, when Buzz is bad Castro holds it against me. Castro glares at me when Buzz is being a pest. He freakin' knows who to blame!

Smartest. Dog. Ever.

I love him.


zeghsy said...

omg, i would love castro. or could uncle scary do what he did with castro to my dog cody? coz cody is a whiny, irritating, rock studid (sorry rocks, i personally know some very smart ones) dog.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I know we miss our Autumn Eve. I love your photographs of the dogs and Castro looks so neat and clean and special. Wow. What a nice dog he is.