(photo: November 1999)
From July 12th 2009:
When we got Caney in June 1999 he came out of the box with the ability to give kisses. You would do the kissy sound, and say kisses, and he would give them. Pretty cool.
Several years down the road he realized that kisses were special and only for when you deserved them. He developed what I call "sweet kisses" and "fake kisses." He still acknowledged the kisses command, but he would not kiss your lips or face. Instead he would come up short, almost like a peck that didn't quite reach. If it did reach it was quick and half hearted, just barely a peck. Sometimes I wouldn't accept that, and I'd grab his snout and give him a big fat kiss right on his lips. Believe it or not, I've had vet techs and veterinarians comment on his lips, and for a dog they are pretty nice. I once had a vet tech give him a kiss right on the lips while he was in for an appointment. When he was a puppy they were pink so they really stood out like real lips, along with pink spots on his nose. As he got older they turned darker, as did his nose, but they are still handsome.
Today we were sitting on the shoreline of the Hudson River and just hanging ou at the Pines and Caney came over unprompted and gave me sweet kisses, and lots of them. That made me feel good because I felt like he was saying we are doing a good job, and he loves us.
What Aim and I have noticed recently, is that while he has always been nervous and less happy when we were separated, he seems to not want us to be apart at all right now. If we leave together he wants to be with us, and if we are apart he seems much more larthargic. He won't walk with me to the mail boxes, but tonight Aim came out with us, and he was eager to walk.
During the course of the day Caney made a few friends, ate a hot dog that was offered from some people BBQing on the river, and got his usual attention and compliments from strangers every time we crossed paths with someone.
He obviously didn't have a ton of desire to get in the river and swim, but he did swim for about 5 minutes, and chase a few sticks. Overall we walked about a mile through the forest along the shoreline. Not a big day for a border collie, but he had a little pep in his step and was definitely happy to be out there.
He even amazed me when Aim wanted to go down a steep shoreline embankment, I said I don't know if he can make....(and as I was in mid sentence) he shot down the near vertical incline in 3 hops. It took us quite a few more. On the way up, I was certain he would need help but he was up top giving us one more encouraging (and arrogant) look of encouragement, coupled with disappointment for his much slowy 2 legged hiking partners.
Aside from the 1lb of steak he had, the 1/4lb of ground beef, and the croissant, he had pizza with us on the deck of Nino's in Lake Luzerne. The pizza was actually pretty good but in hindsight this was way too much for him. Nevertheless, it was nice to spend a beautiful day together outdoors.