Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Gentle Readers,

As you may or may not recall, I adopted Franklin the so-called Border Collie recently (check him out at HEEEEEEEERE'S FRANKLIN, the post for October 28, 2010).

I have discovered some things about Franklin:

1. I don't think he's a Border Collie; I think he's an Australian Shepherd.

2. Franklin is extremely intelligent and obedient.

I'm not so sure that Franklin was dumped. Perhaps he simply got lost, as Harper has managed to do on occasion. Someone went to the trouble to at least start training Franklin.

He has never peed or pooped in the house. He has always known that most of us in the family go outside for that activity.

The first night he was here, when I told him to sit and I pointed in the general direction of his rear end, he looked at me rather sheepishly and sat. However, I also think he learns very quickly because I use the command "Crate" when it's time to go in the - guess what? - crate, and I only had to tell him twice and shove him in the general direction of the crate before he knew what Crate meant.

He has also learned, or already knew, Heel, Down, Kiss, Come, and Get Up Here And Sit Beside Me So We Can Cuddle While I Read This Book. He sits when he sees me coming with the lead. He knows that's how we start a Heel. At first when we went walking he pulled really hard when he saw squirrels, and I said, No, we are not chasing squirrels. Now he walks right past the squirrels as if they aren't even there.

I'm impressed with this dog who is sweet and charming and has adapted to our ways. He knows that "House" means it's time to come inside, but I could probably teach him that it's also the name of a TV show I like.

The one thing Franklin absolutely will not do is get in bed with me. I have encouraged him to do so, but the answer is No Way. He will stand at the side of the bed and put his paws on it first thing in the morning when he hopes I will get up and feed everybody breakfast, but he will not actually get into the bed and cuddle. He's certainly capable of jumping high enough to get in the bed, but he seems to prefer the doggie bed on the floor.

If that's the way Franklin wants it, then I'm not going to argue with him about it. He should get to have his way sometimes.

Although Franklin is extremely intelligent, he is not intelligent in the way my beloved Faulkner (who died July 27, 2010) was. Faulkner could not only learn commands and hand signals; he had an intuitive intelligence. He could figure out things for himself, like "If I walk on the other side of the garbage can that Mama is taking to the house, then my lead will help pull the can." Brilliant, simply brilliant,

But it's o.k. that Franklin doesn't figure out stuff like that because he's wonderful exactly the way he is. As my friend Carol says, Faulkner was Faulkner and Franklin is Franklin.

And that's good enough for me, one very fortunate doggie mom.

Infinities of love,



  1. Aren't they wonderful? People who think animals are "dumb" have simply never owned a Faulkner or a Franklin... or for that matter, a Sparky or a Lucy (our family's dogs).

  2. Even the least intelligent dogs I've known are certainly not stupid. Lovely Little Lindsey gave me the most adorable blue wood bone for Christmas. It will definitely hang in my family room, where the pups and I congregate. It proclaims: The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.

    So true, but I also think the average dog is smarter than the average person.



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