excitable (not)

The other day a parent asked if Lu gets really excited to come to school, and I told him no. In fact, she doesn’t get excited about much, ever. Seriously. Car keys? Meh. Leash? Meh. Dinner? Mildly more excited but not the crazed jumping around that Mal does. Arriving at the dog park? I think I’ve heard her whine twice and even when I open the car boot she waits patiently, and when released, casually gets out. Mal will be shaking and whimpering and basically explodes out of the boot sometimes before being told to (and he has a damn solid ‘stay’, too). Getting to school and seeing kids? Ears go back and soft, tail wags, and that’s about it. Us arriving home? She stands on us and wags but doesn’t go mad like Mal. The only thing she gets really wiggly and happy about is pinning us and licking our ears, and that’s very much on ‘her terms’.

Just out of curiosity, I googled: “my dog doesn’t get excited”.

I got heaps of results for fixing dogs who are over excited, or who do submissive/excited peeing, but absolutely nothing about a dog NOT being excited.

Oh, she’s so strange. This is why agility is so hard with her. How the hell do you make a dog excited and keen when they aren’t excited or keen about anything, ever.


Looking at this baby of Amanda’s, I feel so frightened that I’m going to stuff up choosing a dog again. Like, maybe I didn’t pay enough attention to baby Lu’s temperament before we took her home, maybe I should have done more tests or something to find out if she would be biddable and keen and driven. I adore her, I do, but she is such hard work. Meanwhile she keeps running off on me at the park to chase rabbits or birds, or barks at people walking  coming into the park because it’s ‘hers’ and they came out of nowhere and she keeps humping the cats and I’m wondering whether I should even be allowed to get another dog because clearly she could be better trained.


It’s been a really long, long week. It was the first full week of school, with new Prep kids (first year of school) and we have a lot of boys, and prep kids in general are hard work, but this group just seems more hard than ever. I was pretty much dead on my feet by the end of today. I’m quietly (or not so quietly) planning on going to the upper levels next year so I don’t have to deal with new preps again. There’s only so much fake happy one can do. I did have some good quotes though, I should have written more down. Some favourites were:
(All grade 1 kids sitting on the floor, very 1st day of the year, waiting to be assigned a prep buddy for them to look after. The first prep arrives, a girl of Asian descent)

Boy sitting on floor: “Are they all going to be brown?”

Today, lunch-time. One boy brings a packet of chips over to me.
“Can you please open this for that girl over there?” (points across the floor)

Me: “Who??”

Boy: “That girl!” (gestures vaguely again) “My best friend!”

Riiiight…. your best friend whose name you don’t know… good work.

And then there was the girl who was so incredibly needy, like how she pestered me for a good half an hour during our play session because she wanted to dress up in one particular dress that another girl was wearing and none of the other 15 dresses were ‘pretty enough’ for her, and then when she finally got it, she pestered me to dress her in it (no), and then when she managed to get it on, she complained that it was too long, like I was going to whip out my sewing machine and fix it for her…. then, some time later, came up to me, sniffed and said in a sulky, whiny voice: “I have dried snot in my nose” like she wanted me to pick it for her.  Yuck. No.



7 thoughts on “excitable (not)

  1. Penny has the opposite problem of Lu, she gets SO EXCITED about everything, remembering her brain is hard for her to do! We will struggle through with our strange agility dogs& come out on top- I’m sure of it 😀

  2. Penny says:

    Your job could get so crazy tiring. I never thought about how long it could take to get a new bunch of kids to settle in. Plus you don’t know them and their special needs, and they don’t know each other or you. Quite the challenge. You should really have picked that girl’s nose for her. You should have. It was irresponsible not to 😉

    And then Lumen’s unexcitement. What a weird little creature she is. I wouldn’t know what to do with a dog that doesn’t anticipate things excitedly. I suppose that has been the tough part with Lu all along, really rare to see her shake in anticipation about anything. Javelin will shake in anticipation over things yet he has less working drive than Lu. She is such a fascinating little beast, yet she loves life doesn’t she? I would certainly call her a happy dog. I loved her cheerfulness when she stayed here. Perhaps she lives in the moment and not for the future 🙂

    And you are a dickhead for thinking you can’t pick puppies. I can say that because I am completely confident about picking puppies, all the time, 100%. Except in all the cases where I picked puppies. I am sure you will do your very best because that is what you do all the time! I can’t see you going up to the fluffiest one and saying ‘Nic, we need this one because it is cute’. Seriously, you can’t go wrong with this because everyone picks the funky puppies sometime in their life. Sometimes many times in a row, I know one person who has 5 border collies and 4 of them are unable to compete in agility for 4 different reasons. She is a smart, intelligent, educated, experienced woman… and it still happened!

    Big hugs to you. Even though you probably wouldn’t like them. Virtual hugs then.

    • Em says:

      I’m not writing a full reply right now because I’m on my phone so I’ll just say: do you think I don’t like hugs? I actually do. I think you’re not a hugger, too. Are we both secret huggers who don’t know how to initiate hugs???

      • Penny says:

        ahahah, I had a funny feeling you weren’t the huggy type! So wrong. I don’t mind a hug yet I actually haven’t known many huggers so am not very practised in hug-type friendships

      • Em says:

        I think I’m the same which is why I probably come across as non-huggy. When does one hug these days? Sad times? Happy times? Saying goodbye for an extended period? Saying hello after an extended period?! I need to know the protocols here!!!

    • Em says:

      I’m going to try and reply now even though I’m still on my phone so sorry if I write stuff like ‘self port’ or that I like ‘jigging’ which is what it thought I meant when I wrote hugging before.
      Yes, new preps are very very hard. You forget how much you teach them in a year, like how to get scissors to cut open their chips, or how they can put their shoes on themselves, or how if they look more carefully, they WILL find their hat in their bag, and how we adults do NOT solve all their tiny friendship complaints. So many things. And yes, we don’t have that rapport and relationship yet, and for me , that’s such a huge, important part of how I teach. So I get very cranky with them when they test my patience.
      And yes- Lu is so funny and strange, in so many ways. I think that my little blog slogan about living with a paradoxical australian shepherd is very true. But you’re right, she is a HAPPY dog, and a cheeky dog, just not an excited dog. I think she has good work ethic (likes to work, likes to do well, likes to think) but doesn’t have a high drive, maybe. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her shake in anticipation. She jumps up to snatch toys more often now than she ever has- letting go of that self control a bit, but thats the most of it.
      I think you did a good job picking badger?!
      I hope Lu is my ‘funky puppy’ and the next one is easier. I still think that having stuff set up in my yard will make SUCH a difference. She was being all active this evening so I took her out and did some weaves and some jumps (she totally rear-crossed a bar and entered the weaves on the right-hand side – I only wanted to cross the bar but she went and did the weaves too! Well, entered them. I was so excited that she came out instead of doing them all, haha).
      I think if I pick 5 dogs, 4 of who can’t compete, I’ll give up!

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