Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Mind Your Manners" with Uncle Scott

Recently, Scott and I went to Diane's farm to work sheep with her and some of our herding friends and colleagues. My friend Ben brought his two dogs with him, one of which is a 5 or 6 month old boy-puppy named Hoot. Hoot is cute and is learning the ways of being a working dog. After waiting his turn, Hoot was taken out for his first session on sheep with Ben and Sue. Typically, in these instances of new-puppy-on-sheep, you will also bring along a mature back- up-dog to make sure the sheep don't totally escape from the puppy. Today, Scott got to be Hoot's back-up dog.

It is no secret that Scott does not have much love for puppies. It seems that any dog under the age of 16 months is a total pain in Scott's ass; even if they haven't done anything. Scott will bark and growl and warn a puppy to get out of his face or way. I am not sure why Scott feels this way, but he is going to have a wake up call later this year when we get a new puppy!

So, Hoot's first sheep lesson went very well. After his lesson, I needed to use Scott to drive the sheep out about 300 yards in order to set them for the next team who was practicing outruns.

When Scotty went into motion upon my command, Hoot felt that this was the perfect moment to see what it was Uncle Scott was up to. I had a feeling then that Hoot was going to learn some good lessons about messing around with alpha dogs.

I asked Scott to lie down as he was getting too close to his sheep. At the point he layed down, Hoot ran up to him to play. I let Scott deal with the situation on his own, per the request of Ben. Apparently, Ben's other dog Nick lets Hoot get away with murder at home, so this would be Hoot's first lesson in minding his manners around other dogs.

Thanks to Bonnie Block who had Diane's camera at hand and caught these great shots of Scott's new show, "Mind Your Manners with Uncle Scott."

This may be Hoot's first "oh shit!" moment caught on camera. As soon as Scott got up to "correct" Hoot, Hoot rolled over. He knew the whoopin' was coming.

I am certain Scott told Hoot at this moment, "This is going to hurt you a lot more than it's going to hurt me."

Remember this old TV show theme song from the 1980's? It just seems so fitting in this instance... 3-2-1 Contact! Is the secret, Is the moment, When everything happens. Contact, Is the answer, Is the reason, Why everything happens. Contact. Let's make contact 3, 2, 1, ...

Hoot. Are you learning your lesson yet? I think this is the point in which Hoot was screaming out "Uncle!" to Uncle Scott.

I felt a little bit bad for Hoot when all this went down. I mean, he is a good, sweet puppy. He did totally succumb to Scott's "correction" and all ended well - no one got hurt, except possibly Hoot's pride. Altogether, it was good episode of "Mind Your Manners" with Uncle Scott.

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