The Real Time Canine II

After spending 2 years writing the Real Time Canine, the adventure continues with The Real Time Canine II. Read along as I look for just the right puppy to continue the experience. After false starts with Tim and Jed, I am currently training young Tam, and Spot, which are both off to a strong start. Please visit the RTC II to read about training sessions as they occur.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Photo credit: Jan Elliott
Me and Mirk in training

I was invited to dinner at the home of friends in a sleepy little hamlet called 3 Rivers, in the foothills of California's majestic Sierra Mountains a couple of weeks ago while I was away at a nearby dog trial. The invite was irresitable and I was so happy to have gone. From my perch on a stool in the kitchen, I watched these gracious folks prepare what was by any standard, an exceptional meal. I asked them; all this for me? And they replied that they eat that way all the time, and it was no trouble. Well, it would have required hiring a catering service if it had been me supplying that meal.

My hosts invited me to stay over night, and avoid driving on unfamiliar roads going back, but I explained that I couldn't because of my animals. I had 5 dogs with me, and only little Dexter was suitable for indoors. Instead of making my dogs spend an inordinate of time in their kennels back at my RV trailer, I brought them with me, so I could get them out at least once to empty.

The question came up; "do your dogs mind spending so much time in the truck?" to which I informed my hosts; not to worry, they are all "bar broke." To their credit, Joella and Larry had no idea what that meant.

Most times after going roping somewhere, a stop was made for lunch, or lunch and camaderie afterward. We always good-naturedly made the winner pay. Since most of the ropings were no where near home, the horses learned to stand patiently in the trailer while we fed, or otherwise entertained ourselves, and somtimes this meant a pretty long wait. These wonderful rope-horses were referred to as "bar-broke" and never complained in any way that I know of.

In the last few years I have had the great good fortune to travel a lot and trial my dogs. Through the course of all this coming and going, my dogs have all become very good travelers. I make every effort to stop for them at least once every 5 hours, more if there's a puppy among them, and everyone grows used to the routine. Currently, little 6 month old Jed is the exception, but even he learned quickly to sleep through, but let me know in no uncertain terms when nature calls. He is very good at it, actually.

There have been times when my dogs were relegated to the truck overnight when I was hoteling it. They have been tied beneath the trailer for long periods when the camping area and trial field were far apart. They have been left situated in crates in my trailer when it was to cold to leave them exposed, but with ever decreasing frequency, they have had to wait while I am in a bar.

Maybe it was just a team-roping thing. Maybe the lure of the good ol' boys was too strong, and that's why roping and drinking seemed to go hand in hand. So too, in dog trialing there are those who appear much more interested in the after party than the dog trial. Maybe I have become wiser with age, or maybe my priorities have changed, but you will rarely find me at the after party, and I can't remember the last time I was in a bar. While it is not a bad skill for a dog to acquire, I just don't see that mine need to be bar broke any more.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you Amelia. I'd rather be with my dogs too. Besides my heart dog Alfie is a good cuddlebug.