The spectrum of nerves

Gooooooooooood Friday morning. Busy day ahead of me; it's one of my daughters birthdays today. Yes it's Friday the 13th and she was born on Friday the thirteenth. As soon as she was born I said "yes a valentine baby," and the nurse quickly corrected me saying "it's Friday the 13th." Seemed like I'd been in labor for over a day, but apparently not.

I'm preparing for an exciting Saturday, I'll be heading up to Pasedena for a big poodle grooming competition that I'm shooting. The last one I attended was I think 4years ago but none the less it was wall to wall standards, heaven for me. They don't look like my dogs but under the masses of hair lurks the standard poodle. They start out hugely coated; so that the groomers can do their scultping work.

And speaking of standards; each and everyone that I have had the pleasure of meeting has been very different. Every dog is an individual and my own two standards are about as different as you can get. Yes they both look similar albeit being different in color but they are worlds apart in personality and temperament.

I think nerves is the biggest difference; Tilley pretty much has nerves of steel unless it is July 4th with the whole fireworks thing. Luke on the other hand is the most nervous ninny that we have ever had. I think I've only once startled Tilley; she is like a rock. But Luke is startled several times each day, whether it is someone who brushes past him while sleeping or simply moving when he wasn't expecting it.

Working with a nervous dog is difficult; you have to take great care to try to give them a heads up. Usually when working with nervous dogs we try to create a positive association to an typical nervous situation with something great. Normally we use really great food so this is out of the question for Luke. Not being a good eater, he often turns down even liver or hotdogs.

Luke has taken to sitting behind my computer chair; which means everytime I move; he flies. He is very nervos about being touched when he doesn't expect when he is down. If you try to step over him or around him he flies up and away. I can pretty much vacuum the girls and they don't give a second glance. Luke runs away if I get closer than 8 feet with the vacuum.

Now at the age of 8.5 Luke is who Luke is. I am working on the computer chair issue; during the day I will move around and make it seem like I might get up but don't. He is starting to stay down longer and waiting for the telltale movement of the chair at least. But he is a very nervous boy in the startle department; things that move on their own, even a door slightly blowing from a breeze will give him concern.

Luke never misses a thing and if he does; it bothers him. He likes to be aware of everything; funny how their brains work. I always wonder what is going on in that curly blonde head.

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