Tuesday, January 22, 2013

who where what

This is Lumen.


This was Lumen.


I had toyed with the idea of a blog documenting Lumen's journey when we got her, then decided against the idea.
And may have changed my mind again.
I don't want to be a crazy-person, blogging about their dog, but I think some of the things I've learnt so far have come about from other people's experiences. And anyway, she is such a sweet, serious, funny and weird pup that I can't help but want to talk about her. So here we are.

Currently 4.5 months, a blue merle Aussie shepherd with 1.5 blue eyes (one has a slice of brown through the middle) and a full (and abnormally long) tail. Named after a character from Dexter to befit her registered name 'Vigilante Justice'. 

Lumen has surprised me already by managing to learn more tricks than my previous 'super-dog' who, at 9, now gets rewarded just for laying down an not interrupting. She performs tricks she knows with a sharpness and clarity that I never knew I missed in Mallei, and whether that was my fault as a trainer, and/or his lack of desire to do the job properly, I don't know. 

Sometimes, in the evenings, or the middle of the morning, we hit this 'sweet spot', a golden hour where she goes crazy to work and learn (sometimes too crazy, but I'd rather that than completely disengaged)- where she wants to do everything at one hundred miles an hour, with this full-on gleam in her eyes that yelling at me WHAT CAN I DO NOW??
She's not wild (usually) or goofy (usually), but deadly serious and considering of the way the world works- I've had to teach her to laugh at herself, so instead of sulking when she embarrasses herself, she gets a grin on her face. When I try and teach her something new, if I hold the food in the right place, she draws on what she's learnt about rear-end awareness, and madly karate-kicks anything within reaching distance of her back feet - something that amazes me everytime. She negotiates her way around her clam-shell pool with her hind-feet on the edge like a crab, testing the edges and adjusting her balance as needed. She is showing me again and again that she'll just 'get' agility, from running and turning with me at 8 weeks old, to fearlessly tackling the tunnel the first time she encountered it (and she's not a fearless dog at all). 
She has none of the sookiness that drives me crazy in Mallei, unless she's stressed, in which case she'll move close and lean against me- not to hide, I don't think, but to know I'm there. 

In this blog I hope to share our journey as she develops, as we begin agility training in earnest. As we try methods, shape them, and make them our own. As we learn new tricks, and perfect old ones, I'd like to film what we're doing. As we begin herding, tracking, running and hiking together. As we overcome her fears and phobias, learn to leave the cats alone, and experience life as a working school-dog with a class full of 5 and 6 year old children (and maybe move into volunteering and visiting sick kids). 


Welcome to life, ilLumenated.


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