08:16 – All of my Saturnalia shopping is done, such as it is.
Yesterday, Barbara picked up an early Saturnalia present for Colin, not that he much likes it. It’s a snout twister collar. It has a running loop, one end of which is connected to the leash, with the loop around his snout. If he attempts to pull on the leash, it pulls down and to one side on his snout. It does indeed stop him from pulling, but it does little or nothing to stop him from leash-fanging. He grabs the leash in his fangs and works his way up the leash, usually getting it wrapped around him in a big tangle, and sometimes wrapped around me. At one point when he was much younger (and lighter), I ended up with him hanging completely airborne like a hooked fish from the handle of the leash.
Unlike all our other Border Collie pups, Colin is rather timid. Duncan and Malcolm, for example, started going up and down the stairs to the basement the first day we had them home. It took Colin weeks to get up the nerve to go up the stairs, let alone down them. If I threatened Duncan or Malcolm with a rolled-up newspaper (which I call a dog beater), they’d yap at me, look me straight in the eye, and say, “I’m not afraid of you!” Colin, conversely, cringes and pulls away.
We’ve never abused him or done more than tap his rear end with the dog beater, but sometimes Colin acts afraid of me. For example, I’ll offer him a treat and he’ll follow me to the treat jar in the kitchen. But as I’m getting the treat out of the jar, he disappears. I’ll find him at the end of the hall or in the bathroom acting as though he’s afraid I’m going to hit him. So we decided to stop using the dog beater and just speak sternly to him when we need to adjust his behavior.