Wednesday, April 10, 2024

I Am Rack. I Guard.

I finally ejected a pile of things from my rocker. 

It lets me use it, I hardly moved from it all day yesterday.  I figured after a 17 mile workout on the bike going around in big circles at the park, I deserved a rest.

Today doesn't look like a good day to move around either.  Having an energy crisis has its benefits.

Oh sure there are things to do here, including pressure cooking some Kidney Beans for dog food for the next two weeks.  If a can is 15 ounces, 4 cups will make 4 cans, and dried Kidney Beans are super cheap this way, especially when you buy beans in big bags.

No salt either.  Dogs don't do well with a lot of salt in their diets.

Sitting here has its own charm.  I can look out the windows in the front of the house, watch things go on, and do my own thing.

Apparently my own thing is to entertain Rack.

If I were to get out of my rocker, as opposed to being "Off My Rocker", he would put himself somewhere to watch. 

Sorry, buddy, but I will have to in a bit.  Got to do my own thing. 

But when I am home, he will settle in at the front door to watch the world too.  Since most of the day he watches me, I have to assume that I am a lot of his world too.

The more we learn about these creatures that our distant ancestors invited into our homes, the more depth we find out that they have in their furry little heads.

To be sure, there are always breed specific behaviors.  But that is only a tendency. 

I have had situations where I swear I'm having a conversation with him.  The delivery truck comes in, he becomes aware, starts going nuts barking and acting loud and fierce.

"Stop, you told me, you don't need to yell!"

Things tone down from "An Eleven" to a dull roar.

"Come here"

He comes over.  I cradle his head in my hands and pet until he either pulls away or gets loud again.

"Shh, go in the corner."

Like a non-verbal child who understands, he will do just that.  I have a Dog Bed in that corner next to my other chair there.  Grumbling all the way but he understands.

When the interloper leaves "Ok, come on out.".

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.  Rack is back on guard.

He's getting old now.  We've had him for 12 years.  He's had his share of health issues.  The Pill A Day club has him as a member.  It's actually twice a day Thyroid meds for him.  That's fine, gives me a chance to give him the peanut butter he loves.

Make sure you get the right kind.  Any "Birch Sugar" or Xylitol will kill your dog.  Seriously.  Be very careful.

I will say that if I had it to do over, I would.  If I had it to do over now, I'd have an array of those "Speaking Buttons" and train him to talk to us.  I know he understands me when I speak to him - I get correct responses, cause and effect, when I speak.  With a McNab Dog, you expect intelligence.  If you can't train a McNab, you can't train a dog.

He goes to the back door where I have a string of "Wedding Bells" from my sister's wedding years ago.  He knows if he flicks it gently, we will hear them ring to say "I need out".

There's depth there that is untapped.  That is unfortunately the way of things.  I'm sure the conversation would be fascinating.

Every dog deserves a home, Not every home deserves a dog.  McNabs don't do well in shelters.  They are reserved.  They wait for things to get better and don't go crazy when they see people.  There are other breeds that do the things to get your attention, and a McNab's personality is patient.

That being said if I were in their native California, I'd have a pack of them.  Amazing breed if you are willing to bond and figure out that patient personality.  They just get things right.

While not every home deserves a dog, not every person deserves a McNab.  I am lucky.  I'm in an Urban Area with a Farm Dog.  However, while they need appropriate exercise, and ours gets about 3-5 miles of walks a day, those walks are through areas with a LOT of people to greet.  Mental Exercise for an intelligent dog is just as important as the zooming around the yard that he used to do every time outside, and still does from time to time.

A McNab is also smart enough to know that not every Farm deserves a Dog.  That's when they wander off looking for better opportunities.  It's how a lot of them end up in a shelter.  Not every McNab wants to chase Sheep all day, some just want to lay by the door and watch you.

Like mine.

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