This is the end of the first month of the new PAD regime and strangely or otherwise, because I decided to do it “properly” this year I have found it easier than when I was doing it on a more casual basis. Anyway, the end of the month brings another pic of the new team. That’s one of the two small triumphs.
The other is DMs valiant effort to get the two of them sat closely enough together for me to get the shot and still enough to frame the shot and attentive enough for the feel of the shot. I know they’re not really looking at me but at least they are both alert and attentive. The shot was inspired by Ric Y’s schnauzers and by Tim’s Tarot and Echo.
I started my PAD properly again after a six year break because we had so few photos of our two new precious babies. JD will have been with us for three years in a fortnight and he’s unrecognisable from how he was at first and at second! When he was first here, he was, to put it bluntly, a lard-arse. A massive 35 kg to his new svelte-like 23 kg. A right old porker. Lots of exercise and a decent diet have put that right.
I was looking back at his early photos on pbase and noticed an interesting observation by me about him. “He’s full of energy and enthusiasm while at the same time, he's a gentle soul.” That was written on 14th March – a month after he arrived with us. Hmmmmmm. What we didn’t realise was that our “rarified” existence out here in the middle of nowhere meant we’d not really seen him come up close and personal with any other humans while we were out walking. A couple of months later, we took him on holiday. He behaved like a complete monster for the whole week, starting off by terrifying a poor German tourist on a footpath and ending up with us becoming aware that he “had a problem” with strangers, so much so that after about the second day of the holiday, he had to be kept on a lead at all times.
When we got home we registered him for a course with a dog behaviour specialist and he underwent months of fairly intensive training. Every week, JD and David would go off together and do doggie charm school. It strengthened their bond and helped JD’s problems a great deal. Although we weren’t quite there, we decided that we could finish the job on our own and after a long, slow process, we can now feel completely confident with him off a lead.
So, now look at him. Butter wouldn’t melt? Not quite but then if you choose a collie then you’d be mad to think it would. We are collie people. We love their intelligence, their energy and their keen-ness to get involved in everything. The two of them together make a beautiful, maddening, joyous bundle of love. Hurrah for PAD-ers for inspiring this picture because you never know when the day will come when I won’t be able to hug them again. Then we’ll have this for comfort.