Ever since passing her Canine Good Citizen test a couple of weeks ago, Ivy has been on a tear of bad behavior. She's been whiny, begging at the table, and viciously scolding people who don't comply with her grand plan as Queen. For example, when my husband comes home from work, my younger son and Ivy compete to see who can reach him first. The kid almost always wins, because he closes the gate to get a head start and then I feel sorry for Ivy and go open the gate. She races out like her Aussie butt is on fire and scolds and fusses and complains because the human boy has reached the human man before she did. My husband then opens the tailgate of his pickup and she flies up and receives more high-quality lovin' in five minutes than some dogs get in a lifetime. Revel doesn't dare try to greet the incoming human, lest he lose an ear or something. He waits patiently, panting and blinking and looking cute. He knows there's a great store of love in the household, that a fat percentage is heading his way.
When people have recently congratulated me on Ivy's passing the test, I've been forced to say, "I don't know that she really deserves it." In general. At the actual test she was amazing. Passed with flying colors, in Petco, with no treats. Then comes home and acts increasingly goofy with lots of treats and no Petco smells. But I have decided (with the help of some dear readers who know Aussies better than I do) to take it as a good sign that at least she recognized that the testing situation was an important occasion to which she needed to rise. Unfortunately she also recognizes that hanging out at home with the family is not a nerve-wracking occasion which demands exemplary behavior, and no doubt that perception is due to some failing on my part. I saw a Border Collie-themed bumper sticker the other day that read, "Great dog! Shame about the handler!" and my initial thought was, "Oh no! That's me!" But I had some better thoughts after that, such as: Ivy and Revel love me, Ivy and Revel love me. Ivy and Revel are awfully cute, Ivy and Revel are awfully cute. Ivy is my darling girl, Revel is my baby boy. Just put that on an endless loop, and I can rise to any occasion.