Tapping Into My Inner Retriever

Hey It’s Jet Here.

I’m not sure if JJ has influenced me, however, lately, I’ve mostly set aside my border collie roots on my morning and evening constitutionals. What do you mean, you ask?

• Instead of sniffing the air, I focus more on the ground.
• I notice the birds flying above more; my head swiftly turns to the sky and my ears perk up.
• Ducks in the canal? I’m ready to make like my friends Hawk, Freighter, Storm and Thunder and fetch those aquatic birds!
• Mom takes JJ and I twice a day in the back yard after our constitutionals to sniff out mangoes and I succeed each time!
• I would fetch and tug on toys if Little Miss “I’m going first” didn’t hog them every time!
• I would like to swim more, however, Mom’s waiting a teensy bit more for my skin to heal and JJ’s ear issue to resolve.

Oh, in the house, I delve into my retriever roots and explore the velcro-K9 retriever reputation, especially when it comes to my family and my pals, like Ruby.

Now, we must provide full disclosure: in truth, we do not know what heritage I possess. The guess after an A-HAH moment during my ninth month with Mom is a mix of flat coat retriever/border collie!

Another great, tapping into your roots, day.


Air Sniffing 2.0

Hey It’s Jet Here.

I know, you may feel skeptical about the need for K9s to take a specific type of sniffing course.  However, Scooby Doo Academy offers education from the K9 point of view.  I will fill in the back-story of Air Sniffing.  While K9s excel in sniffing, subtle differences exist within this genre.  For example, my sister, Koko, excelled in ground sniffing; when off leash, she sniffed the ground in grid-like patterns that fascinated us.  As a member of the retriever family, her breed evolved to retrieve the birds their human hunters shot; methodical ground sniffing therefore is a sub-specialty of sniffing.

While I have flat coat retriever heritage, Mom says I excel in sniffing like the Border collie heritage I possess.  Since collies belong to the herding group, air sniffing would become essential to locate herds.  Because I live in the tropical burbs, I enroll in Scooby Doo Academy’s change of season air sniffing class.  I passed 1.0 last year.  My first autumn/winter with Mom I did not enroll because I had to do this adjusting stuff.  If you live elsewhere, there may be seasonal differences.

Over the last few days, we had one of our first big temperature drops.  When the weather changes like that and a light wind or stronger exists, here’s what I do.

  • Exit garage with Mom.
  • Pause – assume the tail at rest position or the full ‘cue tail position. (if unfamiliar with Tail Talk, read this)
  • Look ahead, sniff, look up to the heavens, sniff.
  • Look side to side and sniff.
  • Make internal calculations like a NASA scientist.
  • Determine best route to take suggest to Mom.
  • Proceed with walk.
  • Repeat as needed.

(Forgive my somewhat feminine Hannukah collar, I traded with Koko really fast that year!)

One air sniff result that causes me to 180 back to the house?  Fire.  Year after year, Mom tries to explain the concept of fireplaces.  However, it’s in the collie genes – fire, protect self and herd – GET OUT OF THERE!

Another great and sniffy day.