Lumen – Rozate Vigilante Justice JDM ADX PT
Blue merle Australian Shepherd.
S: Tri Ch (T & H) Rozate Jackhammer TSD HIAc HXAsd HXBsd ET
D: Touchstone Polar Ice
Lumen was bred from ‘Chil’, a working Aussie from America, and ‘Thor’, Rozate’s star herder and all-round good guy. Lu is serious, contemplative, and often paradoxical. She has a high prey-drive and loves to hunt, meaning she spends most of our bushwalks on lead.
Lumen delights in learning, tail wagging in slow and thoughtful way as she works out the puzzle. Speaking of which, we once bought an ‘advanced’ dog puzzle when she was about 3 months old, and she’d solved the ‘easy’ section within 6 seconds.
Lu has been a huge journey in learning for me. She’s taught me so much about motivating dogs, about taking pressure off, about making agility fun and short and enjoyable, and we’re still learning. She was not born loving agility, and still doesn’t love the training – though she does love competitions – and so making things exciting for her is a challenge.
Lumen has also had a couple of turns on sheep and has already shown a natural talent, ability to balance, and a calm steady work-ethic which is at odds with the frenzied lick-attacks we often receive while sitting on the couch.
Lu loves people, children especially, and as such accompanies me to school to be a ‘class dog.’ So far she has comforted those students reluctant to say goodbye to mum or dad, who were having a hard day and didn’t want to read (so they read to her), and has lifted spirits around the school as she accompanies older kids around the school during lunchtimes. Now, if I can just get her to stop chasing the soccer-ball the kids are playing with…
Lumen is hilarious with water- if she needs to drink from a creek, she’d rather walk all the way in up to her stomach than stand on the edge. One of her favourite games is to chase the water from the hose around the backyard. When it’s raining, unlike Mal, she strides forward on a walk, oblivious to the downpour, and walks through puddles rather than around them, and is absolutely fascinated by water pouring along the side of the road. Why is there a stream there when there was no stream there before!? And if I stand in it… woah! Sometimes if she’s inside and we take a shower, she comes in to visit us. Right in. The only deterrent is that the water sprays outwards and into her eyes, so she positions herself directly behind us, under the water so it can’t go in her eyes any more. One of our ‘jackpots’ during agility training is for her to hop in a bathtub full of water and chase the hose in there.
Lu is one of the most challenging dogs I know. Life is very much Lumen’s way or the highway, and we are constantly trying to find a happy balance between me asking her/expecting her to do things and her actually doing them. My dog that had a brilliant recall developed a nasty habit of running off after wildlife, for which I am now paying the price on walks, and she is paying the price through restricted freedoms. Interestingly, at about 3 years old, she seemed to have finally matured and no longer needs to be constantly moving, checking, patrolling, investigating. She is still a very independent dog, constantly weighing up ‘what’s in it for her’ before she does anything I ask.
Since taking Polona’s “Let’s Play!” class, her attitude to food has improved immensely. While she used to be vaguely interested in it, and think slowly and thoughtfully (as I wrote above) – she now chomps my fingers to get it, offers a million frenzied behaviours, and is much keener to work for it. This hasn’t fully translated to agility training yet but we’re making progress.
I don’t know if Lu is ever going to be a highly competitive agility dog, but maybe we’ll do herding and tracking and agility together and our relationship and understanding of one another will grow through doing stuff together. Maybe. 😉