Dog Name: Pirate
Dog Information and Overview:
Seems hard to believe it has been almost three years since I adopted Pirate. I would like to share with you highlights from his journey so far.
When Pirate came to live with me and Sasha (an adult rescue Belgian Malinois/German Shepherd mix) he was unsure of himself. That manifested in lots of barking and a bit of lunging in new situations. My goal in adoption and fostering is to give him or her a job and to find the job that they LOVE to do. An added benefit, dogs with jobs don’t get into as much trouble. To find Pirate’s job we needed to start with the basics. Off to obedience class we went. As we bonded, he discovered more confidence, discipline and control.
Within a year both dogs were ready to go into the obedience ring. I wasn’t sure about myself. It had been 20 some years since I had been in obedience competition with my first BSD, Misty. However, a good dose of encouragement from my training partners and instructors, we dove in. We started with Regular Obedience Novice. Pirate and Sasha did wonderfully both in the ring and waiting ringside. Both dogs finished their CD titles in 2011. For fun, I registered us for Rally Novice. “Fun” was the operative word. We had a blast in the ring and before the end of the year we had completed our RN titles.
So what next for this old boy who is coming into his own? Enrichment and more challenges. We continued to train and move into Rally Advanced. We had the opportunity to show in Huntley, IL for a Rally Advanced leg.
In 2012, we finished our Rally Advanced and Rally Excellent titles plus Canine Good Citizen, all big accomplishments for this formerly unbalanced boy. It has not been all work though for Pirate. We have lots of fun too. Balanced dogs get to run at dog parks, meet new canine friends, and go to lots of new places. He doesn’t like to swim, but now will go chest-deep into a lake, stream or river. This is a long way from “Oh, my toes just got wet!” Pirate has fun jobs too. I discovered he LOVES to pull a cart or wagon. He even got to walk in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade that goes from Rock Island, IL to Davenport, IA. Pirate pulled his little red wagon dressed in green carrying a cute dog house. He was a hit with the crowd.
Pirate is now 9 years old and going strong. He answers the question “Can old dogs learn new tricks?” With a Belgian smile and a little ‘tude, his answer is, “HA! Just watch me!”