Okay, so we have a couple of dogs that hit that weirdo stage in herding dog development where everyone and everything is scarey.

So, Karen and I bundled up Boo and Banyon into the Hyundai and headed down to the town of Brimfield.

Both are black briards-- I don't have a recent picture of Banyon, but even though they are largely unrelated, they look like litter mates. While this is from a few months ago, they both kinda look like this:

While Boo is much younger in this picture, you get the idea.

Since both of them needed some serious "friendly stranger" time, we went down to the Brimfield Antique Show.

Really, it is a high-end flea market where the dealers do their "real" wholesale business during the Tuesday through Friday work week. Some of them hang out Saturday and Sunday for the retail population to wander through and perhaps land a sale they might not otherwise get. These are usually the vendors that didn't do as well during the week.

The nice thing about an open air market like that is that folks that AREN'T into dogs have plenty of room to take a wide circle around you, and the rest HAVE to ask "What Type of Dog is that?" Fortunately our goal was not to see the offerings but to socialize the dogs, as I think we would average about 20 feet between the one "It's a Briard" and the next.

We experienced:

5 people that knew what they were
46 friendly strangers that had to pet the dog
2 dog owners that recieved either grooming or behavior advice
1 person interested in a puppy

1 photo shoot team from Boston Magazine that recruited the dogs, and our help as dog handlers, for a photo shoot for a designer of one-of-a-kind outfits for the rich and outrageous.

I am not sure if the photos will come out as they were trying to shoot black dogs in the shade, but if they do, the dogs will be in the August or September edition of Boston Magazine.

It was a hoot. The outfit and the dogs complimented one another so well in person that you hardly could have picked a better pair out of a catalog of dogs. And the model, who probably missed the combined mass of the two dogs by a good 10-15 pounds made an honest attempt at following instructions on the dog handing part. Poor girl was a trooper even though she had not thought she signed up for that part and actually showed some good sense in introducing herself to the girls in advance.

Anyway, I'll post some of the pics if they get some back to us.

Karen in off to points south to show one of the dogs and I have just prepped the basement for a new arrival.

The kind where we are waiting to find out if it will be a situation of "no good deed goes unpunished".

We have FINALLY found a home for a young male we took 2 years ago because another dog breeder was having a VERY hard time placing an accidental litter. He hasn't left yet but he soon will.

And now we are taking in another. This time a two year old who is leaving his home because his people were too stupid to listen for the last three years.

Yes, I know the math doesn't really compute.

Unfortunately we are somewhat responsible for these people having Briards. And they started out a fine and responsible home. But when they planned and executed thier first breeding, they ignored simple advice.

Don't keep a male.

If you do, he and your current male MUST be kept physically seperate.

Call is class arrogance (at the time, they truly had more money than they knew what to do with). Call it newbie know it all (as with many fields, oftentimes once people learn the basics they decide they know it all). Call it self delusion or excessive anthropomorphism ("My fluffy would never become the Cujo you are describing just because his mother is in season.")

At the end of the day, the dog I am picking up tomorrow from Bradley comes with a shaved neck and over 100 individual tooth wounds from a run in with the 3rd intact male (this one a Rhodesian Ridgeback) that the couple allowed on the property when their highly immature twenty-something son moved home.

Oh, by the way, for anyone reading this that has never seen me in person, I have only slightly fewer scars along my forearms from having made the mistake of either leaving a door open or forgetting to check if a dog was still out when opening a crate. So while I understand being that stupid, it still hurts to watch someone step off the curb after you pointed the bus out.

So his rehab will hopefully be my own as well. There is a very visceral part of me that evokes a fight or flight response when a large black dog goes off. The goal here will be getting him to un-learn so many of the responses he has learned in his old house to make him safe in another multi-dog situation. And everyone around him safe as well.


I actually asked the people to send him while Karen was gone because I generally do better with nervous or aggressive dogs without backup.

It helps with focus.

Kinda like ledges and high speeds on wet roads.



June 2009

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