Saturday, February 4, 2012

13 this year

Here is a typical shot of miller and what he does mostly these days.  He took retirement a lot better than I thought he would.  He is of course taken over for miss berry in the grumpy department/fun police although I catch him playing with stella some.  He loves to sun out in the yard and will hang out while i train.  He even tried to do some 22 inch jumps the other day when I was working deuce and of course cleared them with little effort.  I am sure if I was made of money I could continue to show him in preferred or veterans and he would love it but right now my focus is on deuce.  I try to take miller with me anytime I am just heading out around town or if the weather is good for him to hang out in the car while we do errands in manhattan.  Will usually stop and get him a big bone to chew on while we shop.  He does seem a bit stiff sometimes but other than that, no other old dog symptoms other than sleeping a lot.  I still can't believe he will be 13 this year.  OF course this is a guess because he was a rescue so he could be older.  I know of all the dogs, he will love the baby the most so I am excited for him to have his own little boy.  I wish he wasn't so old because he would be the perfect dog for a kid to learn agility with.  He is so honest:)  His hearing is getting pretty bad or at least his selectiveness is getting pretty bad.  I pretty much can't trust him off lead anymore and when we were staying at a friend's house while our house was being remodeled, he took a little hike on his own at like 5 in the morning when I trustingly let him out for his morning pee. Naughty red dog!  We still love his big mouth and hope that this birthday this year will bring many, many more.

We did have one incident that kind of scared me this week.  I feel that there is a shift in power going on in the house.  For years, berry was the top dog and then miller kind of silently slid in there with her.  Even when she got older and the other dogs still humored her, Miller stood by her side and enforced the rules.  When berry left us, he continued in his silent top dog way.  He wasn't in your face the way berry was, he was more just a look or a curl of the lip from across the room and the other dogs got it.  Now he is becoming a little more bossy, a little more fun police in your face.  The other day I had the dogs out in the yard playing fetch the football and he was doing his usual lay in the middle of the yard, chew on a bone routine.  He isn't a fetcher or a player so he normally just watches.  Well, I try to keep the dogs away from him because they become so focused on the game that they will literally run over him and I let them get a little too close.  He jumped up and grabbed at Harley. Usually harley will just ignore him but harley was not happy and went back at him.  It was a quick fight, a lot of talk and no action but it scared the hell out of me.  Harley is usually so submissive as he is clearly at the bottom of our pack but this time he lashed out.   I saw hair flying so i yelled loudly (it did freak me out) and they cut it out.  No injuries but it still scared me pretty bad because for once, Harley had the upper hand.  He was clearly in control of the fight and wasn't taking any shit off of miller.  This has happened another time in the house and it just scares me to see the power shift, even though it is inevitable.  i really didn't think harley would take over but he is the next oldest being 9 this year.  I figure when stella gets a little older, she will be the queen bee.  I hate seeing my pups get older but I guess this is part of doggy ownership.