Awesome Aussie Guard Dog

It was a windy, rainy night, the kind of night where strange sounds seem to emanate from every corner of the house.  As usual, my family slept soundly, leaving me in charge of investigating and resolving any unusual incidents.  At precisely 3:20 a.m. it happened.  I heard human voices coming from somewhere downstairs.  Now, permit me to pause here and explain something about my proud breed of Australian Shepherds.  If you want a dog to frighten an intruder into cardiac arrest, get a Doberman, Rottweiller or similar intimidating protector.  If you want a dog to gather intruders into a neat grouping in the corner of a room as they await someone to shear the wool from their bodies, I’m your guy.  So I stealthily padded down the stairs and followed the voices, intending to quickly herd the trespassers into the nearest closet, slam the door and hold my body against it while barking for reinforcements (Aussies are better herders than planners).  When I reached the source of the voices, an NPR interview on a guest room clock-radio which Mom accidentally activated while dusting yesterday, I was not amused.  But before I silenced the alarm, I listened to the remainder of the interview which regarded the tremendous contributions dogs have made to humankind.  It was quite illuminating.  Then I trudged back to bed…but not to sleep.  Someone has to remain alert to investigate bumps in the night, and I think we all know who that is in this house.

Physician, Heal Thyself

I walk my “dad” at least twice a day because, heaven knows, he needs the exercise.  He likes burning a few calories and getting the chance to clear his mind.  I’m not quite sure there’s much in there that requires clearing, and I’m concerned about wasting time draining an empty well, but he seems to benefit.  There are times however, like this afternoon, when I have my doubts.  We were walking as we always do, tethered together with my designer leash – the leash is obviously for his benefit because I heel better than Dr. Oz – when he suddenly yells, “We gotta go home..I forgot your leash.”  So I gave him a good yank (yanking his chain has become commonplace for me) and at least temporarily brought him back to his senses.  This is the same guy who was driving me home from the vet last week and, while stopped at an intersection, repeatedly pointed at the red light with his garage door transmitter, clicking it impatiently for a light change.  When we made it home, he instructed me to “speak”..I guess he thought that would open the garage door.  But you gotta love him.  He just needs a little work.  And that’s why I’m here.

What kind of ridiculous name is “Flapjack”?

My first memories were of wandering the Sierra foothills, a puppy lost and alone with no idea how I got there.  I had a collar with a tag which simply read “Jack”.  I made friends with all sorts of animals, including a very gregarious duck.  I wanted to fly like him and studied the way he flapped his wings to defy gravity.  I had ample ears and figured I could utilize them as wings.  As I ran madly through the forest with my ears flapping in the wind, my friends cheered me on..”flap – Jack”..but needless to say, gravity was not even remotely challenged, much less defied.  So I was resigned to a grounded life and a new and improved name.  OK, the name is a bit ridiculous and lacking in nobility, but it suits me.  Eventually I found a home with a well meaning but somewhat clueless couple, and I dedicated my existence to helping them enjoy life in spite of themselves.  In furtherance of that endeavor, I started this dog blog as an example to them that anything is possible.