A Shout Out to Alie – The Life of My Working Dog

Posted on February 17th, 2012 by FetchMasters in Positive Dog Training

I just read an interesting article about the discovery of paleolithic dogs being buried with their (chewy) bones. Archeologists theorize the dogs may have been used for pulling heavy objects, such as mammoth carcasses.

I can’t help but be amazed at how long dogs have lived and worked alongside us, taking on a variety of tough jobs that make our lives easier. The archeologists also speculated the (chewy) bones may have been to provide the dog with food on its journey into the afterlife. If that’s true, it reveals that humans have always been bonded emotionally to their dogs.

So allow me a moment of emotion to give a shout out to Alie, my friend and working dog.

She’s happy to let me fire a 12-gauge shotgun over her head and retrieve downed game for me without so much as puncturing its thin skin with her teeth. She will fetch it from land or water with equal determination.

She will retrieve anything I ask her to — from anywhere — enthusiastically and reliably. This includes my car keys or an off-leash client dog who decides not to come when called. (I make them drag a leash so that Alie has something to grab onto other than their tails.)

She hangs on my every word when I talk to her, awaiting the slightest hint of what I’m babbling about. When she hears a word she knows, she launches into action. I swear, it seems like she understands English.

She gracefully deals with client dogs growling or snapping at her. Or she will help them burn off some energy with a good romp if need be.

She always stays close when she’s off leash. She checks in often and will always come when called, even if a rabbit or squirrel is in her sights.

She is disappointed if she doesn’t get to go to work with me. And she is always happy to see me, even if I’ve had a hard day. If my kids and wife steer clear of me, Alie still wants a kiss.

She demos her skills for prospective clients, amazing them every time, especially with her ability to heel off-leash with incredible precision. Her demos have closed many sales for me, and she seems to really get a kick out of it when people ooh and aah over her.

All she asks in return is two meals a day, a comfy place at the foot of the bed, and an occasional game of fetch or tug.

I love you, Alie. You do your cave-man doggy ancestors proud.