Saturday, December 20, 2014

Cork has settled down, thank goodness!

There's a twinkle in this mischievous Cork's eye. Photo by Leo Dean.

Cork is a great swimmer and retriever

I'm sorry I ripped apart that thing you wanted

A more sedate Cork walks a snow-covered trail here in Nolalu
We all had to struggle last summer to stay patient with our new camp dog, Cork. Like a lot of young chocolate labs, he had no end of energy and mischievousness. I knew lab puppies were a handful -- I've had four of them now -- but it still was a struggle for me to get through this stage. I just made up my mind to outlast the puppy and hold on until he became a more settled dog. Fortunately, that stage has arrived.
Cork, who turned 1 the first of the month, is now a really good dog. He is absolutely excellent at traveling. We took him with us to B.C. and he would ride for hours in his crate for days on end with no complaints. He also was quick to do his business when we stopped for breaks and would eagerly jump back into the crate when it was time to move again.
I think the yard at camp will look like less of a disaster next season. Last year Cork dragged every loose branch and stick for hundreds of yards into the yard where he would shred them into hundreds of pieces. The yard continuously looked like we had just gone through a major storm. He also stole everything he could grab from everyone at camp. The goal, of course, was to get people to chase him.  I was thoroughly sick of that game by the time we left camp.
Now Cork loves walking with me on the trails around our home and has a healthy fear of the wolves that are everywhere nearby.
He has an excellent nose which I hope to put to good use next hunting season. We didn't get much hunting in this past season for one reason or another.
Until about mid-summer last year Cork was a barker. Then, during our Family Week, the first of July, my nephew Mac suggested trying an anti-barking collar. It worked immediately on his dogs, he said. So I got one and boy, he wasn't kidding. The barking problem was history. Cork hasn't worn the collar for months now but he only barks when there is a good reason, such as when he wants back into the house.
Cork loves to retrieve and also loves the water. He still needs improvement on returning the dummy to hand but there's lots of time to work on that.
Thanks, everybody, for helping us get past the hyper puppy stage.
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