It was late, and time to go. We five had been sitting in front of Wilton Manors City Hall on the wall and we were ready.
It is our habit to sit there long enough to get my McNab Dog, Rack to calm back down again. He has many fear issues with noise and if you present them in a safe way, eventually through time, he will get over some of them. Over the eleven months that we have had our boy, he went from a complete mess to merely skittish and wary.
Heading South on Wilton Drive, Rack turned into the parking lot between the Thai restaurant and the bar. I haven't managed to convince him to walk next to me for any length of time but as long as he's not towing me anywhere, I'm not going to complain too much.
It was a normal evening here, there was a commotion in the bar, a little woman was sitting behind the Thai restaurant smoking a cigarette, and we said hi to the Valet as we walked past.
At that point Rack got a spring in his steps. He walked directly toward the first cone when he saw them. Ellie was behind us. Ellie is a "middle aged" pit bull mix, who is a part of our pack. She's The Protector. If Ellie sees something that she doesn't like she barks, loud, with "authority". If Rack barks at something, Ellie will bark to warn them off too. One of those pack mentality things I think.
With three humans and two dogs, there's always something to bark at.
Rack weaved around the first cone to the right. I knew he was going to repeat his trick. With a Rescue, you aren't usually sure what sort of training they got before they got to you.
I know Rack changed hands a couple times and ended up in a Vet Clinic in central Florida for 36 days before I found out about him, and he was shut down completely by that point. He was abandoned as an Owner Surrender in Rome, Georgia at only five months old so we had no idea what sort of training he was given.
As rare as a McNab Dog is, especially outside of the California Ranch Country the breed originated in, I have to wonder how someone would find a jewel in the rough like my Rack and give up after only two months just to turn him in like an unwanted present over the xmas holidays.
Apparently he was trained at some level with Agility Training. Just as water will seek its own level, a dog will create its own opportunity for fun.
WeaveWeaveWeaveWeave you will see some herding dog bending itself into serpentine waves around Weave Poles made out of plastic pipe in a competition.
This is much more laid back and deliberate since I'm not really interested in running agility at 9:30 at night.
But Rack was. He weaved left around cone two.
So did Ellie. We were onto something.
Rack completed the course with two more cones done correctly, Ellie was now being trained in Agility because she weaved four cones on her own.
Right, Left, Right, Left, and then "Lets Skip This Last One". Rack headed out to the parking lot to the left and back out into the neighborhood behind the bar. He wanted to go home.
We were all getting a laugh out of it. Our little pack was having its fun doing Instinctual Agility. Where one dog led, the other will follow.
At that point, Rack looked up at me, nut brown eyes sparkling in the yellow light, smiled and led us home. Our little shut down puppy was finding his own way.