My big gold and white Border Collie, Bodie, has become a spark of energy in my house, the dog that hates to sit still in the morning. He’s a pest; playing, nipping and nudging the other dogs to roll around the floor or to chase him. He plays no favorites in my pack, going from one dog to another until someone gives him what he wants, attention. After eight hours of sleep his batteries are charged and he’s ready to greet the day. Unfortunately for him he doesn’t get to zoom around the back yard until I’ve had my coffee and breakfast. The dogs get a couple of quick runs around the back parking lot but that hardly puts a dent in Bodie’s need to kick up his heels. One by one the other dogs get up on their lounging chairs, hide under the kitchen table or disappear into another room. It’s Bodie’s cue to chill out until I say, “Who want to go outside?”
In a couple of weeks Bodie will be one year old, a milestone. The time went fast. But not since living with my Border Collie, Levi (2004-2013) have I had a high energy male dog to train. Bodie is involved in life, following me around the house from room to room. It’s like having a warm-blooded Fitbit activity tracker by my side, urging me to move and walk or run, no more sitting.
My girls are a nice level of enthusiasm, not over the top but not lethargic. Even they sometimes seem to look at Bodie and roll their eyes, like, really? Chill out.
Bodie will mature even more in the next year. He will gain more weight and strength and stamina. But when I look at him (finally) asleep on the floor I wonder why he came into my life? Is it because he keeps me busy, on the go and laughing? The other BC’s have matured to the point that they go with the flow of my life. They will sleep for a while and then become excited when I grab the keys to the training building. I never have to force any of my dogs to follow me outside to train. Once in the building Bodie demands attention. Even from his crate he stares at my every move. I know he wants to be trained first. He can’t help himself. Life becomes all about Bodie. Corrections roll off him like water on a duck, since surely I didn’t mean the word, no, as in wrong. No to him means stop. Then he looks up at me with his big brown eyes, panting, his tongue hanging from his mouth, which is wide open as if he’s grinning. He tries to convince me that the devil made him screw up. It wasn’t his fault.
Bodie is the kind of dog that can be trained all day. Not since Levi have I had a dog who asks for more and more work. Not since Levi have I had a dog that I’ve said has no “off” button. So I’ve concluded that it’s going to be a wild ride with my gold dog. But he’s the animal the universe has decided should be by my side, my gold and white Fitbit dog.