Sassy Sue wows the bark park visitors with her catching and retrieving.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sassy Does the Pyramids

Sassy is becoming so famous that she escaped to Egypt for a brief vacation, to get away from her fans and soak up some rays. She got this recent comment in the park, "My neighbor told me all about your dog. She is an inspiration."

Photoshop is a lot cheaper than airfare.

Sassy's muscles continue to develop on her daily walks and runs. She charges out of the garage around 5:30 AM. I press the garage door lift and she throws herself under the rising door when it open a few inches. Naturally I take a little longer to get outside.

She tears around our street without her leash, checking the aromas and looking for cats. Sassy is an excellent cat finder. She flushes one out of hiding every few days. Nothing makes her happier than sending a cat over the wall, but she never tries to harm them.

At the park our ball-throwing sessions are getting longer. I throw the ball as far as I can for a few minutes, hot grounders she catches on the first bounce. Then I give her high pop flies when she is a bit winded. She is almost always under the ball waiting for it. If the ball hits a tree branch, she adjusts to catch it perfectly - most of the time. Once a pine cone came down into her mouth. She looked startled, dropped the cone, and grabbed the ball.

We are starting to see that Sassy has arms in place of front paws. She hugs with her front legs, taps me on the shoulder with one paw, and scratches me awake when I sleep too long (past 5 AM).

When I pet the Shelties too long on the bed, Sassy slams her front paw on the bed repeatedly until she gets some attention. She likes to sit beside Precious when I am at the computer desk, petting Precious. One day, Sassy used her front paw to push Precious' head down and away from me. She got a double lecture from Chris and me, so she flipped on her back and acted cute. We always say, "Nobody fakes repentance better than you, Sassy." She gets along great with the two Shelties. Cattle Dogs naturally dominate all other breeds, but she keeps her ego in check most of the time.

We love her personality. Recently we had words over her energetic behavior and noise. She was a bit miffed. I tried talking to her, but she kept her back facing me, as she sat on the bed, watching TV. I mentioned this to Chris. "Sassy isn't speaking to me. Sassy is shunning me. Sassy is pouting." Suddenly, Sassy threw herself backwards and looked up with a big grin on her face. I petted her and she hugged my hand with both paws.

When we talk about her or to her, she delivers long slow licks to our arms. For fun, she also chews my fingers lightly.

Sassy, Precious, and Treasure are best friends. They exchange bones. Sassy could easily take bones from the Shelties, but she watches them and cries out in little, hurt yelps. They may have five bones available, but the one being licked is the only one desired. They do not fight over food.

Treasure uses her cuteness to get attention. Precious is patient and foxy. She will quietly walk out the dog door with the community bone du jour, or wait for me to call her back when Sassy tries to hog all the attention.

Precious and Sassy have fake fights almost every day, more likely at night. They love to fight and play tag from midnight to 2 AM. Sometimes all three dogs are playing tag. Precious will work Sassy over with fake attacks, or Sassy will go up and down Precious with biting motions. They are utterly jived and happy, especially if I pretend not to see. Once I watch, Precious has to come over and get petted while grinning, opening and shutting her mouth - as if laughing.

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