Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Working Girl

In every business there are two kinds of employees: those who work to live and those who live to work. One isn't better than the other and they both have their own set of complex issues, but the motivation that keeps them coming in every day is different.

Last night at agility practice we were discussing whether Roxy actually liked to do this or not. It's hard to tell with her. There are some days where she is focused, on point and excited to try anything and everything you throw at her. Then there are others where she is very distant, uninterested and it is obvious that she would rather be anywhere than practicing with me.

Sometimes it is a bit disheartening when you train with shelties. They are desperate to run the course, barking the entire time out of total ecstasy. Then you have Roxy who quietly performs what is asked of her (well, most of the time) and then when she is bored she runs to the side and lays down. No amount of hot dogs, chicken or affection will get her engaged again. Her work whistle has gone off for the day and she has punched out.

She's never going to be the dog that barks the entire course. I don't think she will ever beg to go out and play on the agility equipment. It just isn't in her nature. But I'm not sure that means she dislikes being out there with me and learning new things.  Roxy isn't one to get riled up, throwing a toy in the air or playing tug. But I'm not sure that means she's unhappy with her agility experience, after all she hasn't taken off and run back to her crate refusing to come out like she did when we attempted lure coursing several times.

I guess Roxy is like most employees. Some days she lives to work, while other days she works to live. I just hope I'm not pushing her to do anything she dislikes or doesn't enjoy. I guess only time will tell and she'll either be fired due to her poor work ethic or she'll be promoted thanks to her positive attitude and willingness to go above and beyond.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Going Gray

My grandmother colored her hair until the day she passed away. A true believer of feminine upkeep, she went every week to the beauty shop to have her hair set. She slept in a hairnet until throughout the week to protect the curls. She wore a rain cap to keep from getting the smallest bit of moisture in her hair - be it rain or the bath water. Monthly she had her beautition put color on her hair, transforming her grays to a warm chocolate brown. In fact, I never saw a gray peek through.

I guess some of this has rubbed off on me as I panic a bit when I see a gray in the mirror. I used to pull them out, but then I realized that I'll be bald before I get them all. I seem to get more every day. So, now I color. Right now I prefer a hint of red in my hair instead of my natural mousy brown.

Every now and then I look at my girls and study their faces, looking for traces of their age. I mean, they're not spring chickens any longer. At 6.5 and 5.5 they are, like me, approaching middle age. In the two short years we've had Roxy she has grayed considerably. Her once dark chocolate face is much lighter and I expect it to get even more so.



Seka on the other hand, must have really great genes. She has very few grays on her face. Compared to other black dogs her age at greyhound gatherings, Seka could pass for 3 years old! Her muzzle is the same as it was when we brought her home five years ago.



But I guess we all show our age in our own way. I noticed after the girls' quarterly bath that Seka was getting a hint of salt and pepper to her coat. It just happened to be on her bum. That's right... she has about 8 gray hairs on her back end near the base of her tail. That's not very distinguished. I guess we'll have to get the black magic marker out after all.