Friday the Thirteenth

Twenty years ago, a dream was fulfilled — I bought a Corvette. The first car I ever drove was a 1972 big-block C3, and 30 years later I was able to have one of my own. I’ll never forget that day and I’ll never forget that car.

Mine was a C5, a 2000 plain-Jane coupe. Its exterior was “Light Pewter Metallic,” the interior “Torch Red.” I fiddled a little with go-fast parts, but nothing radical. It was damned fast right off the lot.

That Corvette was the car I drove to my first (blind) date with Deb. We had to sell it a few years later when we fell on hard times. Though these days I don’t miss it, I’m glad for the five years I got to own it and drive it.

And in case you’re curious, while the car was in my care it always was kept in a locked garage.

At the same time, I secured all of my personal papers, financial records and other sensitive information either in double-encrypted data files or in a fireproof safe tucked behind a false wall — not in my garage with the ‘Vette.

For some reason I felt like sharing that today. I mean, just so you know I’m not a complete idiot.

Thursday was Night Six with Smudge. I’m pleased to report that for the first time, our happy Heeler slept straight through ’til 7am. Not a peep, nary a whimper. That’s pretty cool and (to me) unexpected. She’s taken to her crate well and apparently understands that Deb and I are close by overnight.

She was hell-on-wheels this morning, of course, with lots of pent-up energy.

Smudge has started to exhibit herding instincts, much to the dismay of Scout and Dipstick. Australian Cattle Dogs earned the tag “heelers” because they herd by biting — that is, they move cattle by nipping at their heels.

Over the last couple of days, play with the older dogs has included biting their legs. We’ll need to cure her of that behavior, especially in light of the risk to our three-legged girl Scout.

We aim to make Smudge an off-leash outdoors companion, something that circumstances never allowed us to do with the other dogs we’ve had over the last 17 years. Considering the character of her future environment on The Mountain, out of prudence Deb decided to pick up a tracking device for Smudge’s collar.

The Tractive® module operates in much the same way as our trail cameras. It employs Bluetooth. WiFi and cellular signals, communicating its location to us via an app installed on our phones. Like the trailcams there’s a subscription fee for the required cell service.

So far the setup appears to work well. I’ll share more details after we have some real experience with it.

Technology doesn’t offer a solution to every problem, though. We’re also getting Smudge into formal training at the place we visited the other day. Her first lesson was today at 1pm — Friday the 13th at 1300 hours.

Once again our puppy was intimidated by those surroundings. Noticing how scared she was, both trainers gave her plenty of space to acclimate. What followed in the private session was unstructured and open-ended, and Smudge eventually chilled enough to begin following Deb as she walked around the large room.

The school’s cat-in-residence played a big role in the pup’s comfort, believe it or not. With the friendly feline nearby, Smudge started to relax and her personality re-emerged.

It’s a process. It’ll take time. We left two hours later with lot of homework and (courtesy of one of the trainers) a new nickname for Heelers, aka Australian Cattle Dogs.

Redneck Malinois.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB

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