posted by Matt W on August 10th, 2011

Smart, well trained dogs are indeed “Man’s best friend.” Also there is nothing that makes you look better than your dog doing amazing things at your command. You do however need to keep them happy.

I have a great dog. While I am not a chatty dog owner, everyone who knows me, knows how I feel about my dog. However, my dog is a dog. He doesn’t eat at the table, sleep in my bed, or wear clothes, ever. While I consider myself a good owner, my dog is so smart (when he wants to be) he learns complex commands the first time, making me look that much better.

We go to the park quite often to play Frisbee and walk. There are usually a few people who are very impressed with how well my border collie is trained and how good of a Frisbee dog he is. Our normal routine is throwing the Frisbee for a while until he needs a drink, and then walking around the track for a few laps with a few stops to run and jump in the lake and then a few more catches with the Frisbee and go home. My dog’s only limitation with regards to catching a Frisbee is my ability to throw on that particular day. He catches everything that is possible to catch and every once in a while a catch that is beyond belief.

Well it had been a while since I had taken him to the park (so he was a bit ticked anyway), and I was in kind of a hurry so everything was abbreviated. On the fields where we typically play catch, there was a flag football tournament.  So to throw the Frisbee for a bit, we went to the far end of the park by the lake where it was very windy. Almost every catch was difficult because the wind made the Frisbee rise and fall unpredictably, but as always it never hit the ground. After cutting the Frisbee throws a bit short, we start walking around the track and as he heads toward the water, when he typically jumps in the lake I called him off. And when we would usually be starting a third lap, I said it was time to go home.

Well I felt a little bad and there is a place by the car that is big enough to catch a Frisbee and it is currently surrounded by flag football participants. Not wanting to totally disappoint my dog and not wanting to miss an opportunity to show him (and my dog handling skills) off, I decide to throw him a few more tosses before we go.

He doesn’t catch a single throw.

Throws bounce off his head and butt. They land yards in front and behind him. He looks like a blind, stupid dog with a totally incompetent owner. People start saying things like “that’s such a good try, he’ll get better if you keep practicing, maybe you should try a ball instead”. Not wanting to be sent to the loony bin with my “retarded” dog I don’t say, “He’s just pissed off; he’s trying to make me look bad”. I also don’t say, “I’m pretty sure he just flipped you off too.”  (To explain, I swear my dog lifts his front paw at me when he’s pissed and I’m pretty sure his middle nail is also slightly raised. My son has also seen it.). We leave the park rejects.

Well even though he’s pissed, he is a dog and forgives me the next day when I take him to the park again. We do our normal routine and he rewards me with a few remarkable catches in front of our normal crowd of a few people. Lesson 1 from this story is, never piss off a smart dog. Lesson 2 is if you want to flip someone off discreetly, just give them the dog finger and smile like my border collie.

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