How eager to please he is! And how ready (always ready) he is to work and train.
Ridge quivers with excitement when he wears his training lead. His gorgeous, athletic, canine musculature twitches in anticipation of what he'll be called upon to do. He pants and paces and looks back and forth from Don to the retrieving dummy, knowing what's in store.
He just can't wait to do what Don asks of him.
Here he waits, after Don has already thrown the retrieving dummy, until Don gives him the "okay" to run.
In the picture to the right, Ridge holds a "sit" while paying attention to Don's every move.
In this picture (left), Ridge has retrieved the dummy and is returning it right to Don's feet (or hands).
Faithful Ridge. Teachable Ridge. Steady Ridge. He's a great swimmer, too. And on lead, he's a dream. He pays attention. He listens for commands. He heels without pulling. He sits immediates when told to do so. He's eager to please.
And he has a great temperament (with people and others of his kind).
Despite these terrific traits, you know what the best thing is about Ridge these days? He's finally come to love us as his own.
You may recall that four-year-old Ridge has only lived with us since April 2004--only the past 18 months. And, though we enjoyed him the first year, in the last six months we've seen some changes in him, for even better. He really loves us now. We're his family.
The Barnes' of Puppy Love Kennels (his previous owners) raised him from puppyhood through his first three years of life, and they did a fabulous job with him. Thanks to Denise Barnes (former owner), I'll post some puppy pictures of Ridge tomorrow.
But Ridge experienced fairly intense separation anxiety when he left the Barnes family to live with us. It wasn't that he was a problem (he's always been sweet and got along wonderfully with Baxter); he just didn't seem completely at home. It really took him a year to blossom into who he probably has been all along.
But now, he's home. He's comfortable here, finally. He can't seem to show his affection or faithfulness enough. Inside, he wants to be a lap dog, or he stands on his rear legs until we let him give us kisses, or he buries his head beneath our elbows and nudges us while we're eating or reading or talking, or he moans and groans with pleasure during belly rubs.
We love our Ridgers. And he loves us. He warms our hearts and makes us smile. And he's incredibly tolerant of the other two imps (Baxter and Elsie).
I can't wait to see the puppies that will come from a mating between him and Elsie--what a pairing that will be! We have only one more year to wait (Elsie's one year old now)!
In the meantime we'll just enjoy Ridge as he is--faithful, eager, and loving, and one of us at last.
Sometimes it just takes time.
'Til next time,