Sunday, December 21, 2008

Poodles Annonymous

"Hi, my name is Bonnie and I own a Poodle." Hi, Bonnie!

That's how I imagine the Poodles Annonymous meetings would start. What is it with people and their preconceived notions about Poodles? Maybe it's the haircut. Most people see only show Poodles on TV with the Continental Clip. I think anytime you shave a dog's butt for all to see, you're inviting issues!

Miss Jenny

Jenny is my second Poodle. She's a miniature, about 14" at the shoulder. I have never seen a smarter, more intuitive dog. Nothing gets past that nose. If I had unlimited time and money (dang this working stuff!), I'd do tracking with Jenny. She's stone brilliant. I always know if there's a mouse in the kitchen and exactly the trail it took. Makes it easy to set the trap.

Then there's her loving side. No dog snuggles better than Jenny. Of course, Jenny always seeks out and usually gets the best: best spot on the couch, best crate (most space), warmest lap, and best vantage point on the couch to watch out the window. Whenever I'm blue, she'll slam to my side the moment I sit down. Then looks up at you with the warmest brown eyes and says, "Pet me. Go ahead. It'll make you feel better and take your mind off your troubles."

Jenny And Agility

Well, we tried. I was a novice handler and didn't know what to do to motivate Jenny. Brisco had all the drive, and I was at a loss with Jenny. She frustrated me because she would want to play (sometimes) but usually on her terms (No, not now, I think I'll wait. Thanks.). Since I had the perfect agility dog in Brisco, I didn't take the time to work with Jenny once I saw that she didn't take to the game. She became The Go-Along Girl. This photo shows you what Jenny does best at a trial. At the end of our run, I would say to Brisco, "Let's find Jenny!" We'd race back to the set up, and he'd actually run to Jenny's crate and touch noses through the bars.

Jenny and Mike

When I got Mike, she was not amused. Puppy--ew! She bared her teeth at him and would have nothing to do with him. Then at some point she discovered she could boss him around. She liked that, and a new love bloomed. Mike adored her from the start. She like to be adored. They clicked.

I will forever be indebted to Jenny for this one thing: She got Mike to stop puking in the car. Mike was so car sick; he'd drool non-stop and end up getting sick. We couldn't even go on a short, 10-minute trip without incident. My family lives in Indiana so when we travel, it's 10 hours. I tried everything with Mike--no results.

Finally as a last resort, I put him in a crate with Jenny. She showed him what you do: circle, cirlce, lie down, sleeeeeeeep, preferrably in the sun. She's always been a GREAT traveler. Mike followed her lead and was soon asleep with his chin on her hip. He's been fine in the car ever since.

Thanks, Jen.

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