Alfie's always enjoyed water: walking in the rain, sticking his head under the gushing downspout during a storm, or (as above) fording a creek. I've only allowed him to do this a couple of times. On the day pictured above we were hiking a trail, he was in jacket, and had already done some nice work indicating changes of surface and such. We came to the water and he sat obediently, assuming he wouldn't be allowed to get wet. When I took off his jacket and let him follow me across he was thrilled!
While working, Alfie's usually been pretty good at remaining calm under pressure. The ballistic kitty shown here didn't want to let us pass -- she growled, hissed, and spat. You can tell Alfie's interested! But he "left it" really well. We had a similar incident Tuesday when we stopped by a used bookstore...as I opened the door to walk in, we were "charged" (albeit in a friendly way) by a black standard poodle. The big guy was wearing a leash, but still escaped his person in his frenzy to greet us (and NO, we were definitely not expecting to see another dog inside a bookstore!) I stepped on his leash and he was reclaimed, with apologies. Alfie was QUITE EXCITED. Still, he was able to get back "in the zone" reasonably quickly and worked all right for the remainder of our bookstore visit (he did air-sniff a lot, but who can blame him?)
He's funny when I leave him with the family...apparently, while I'm gone he pretty much remains "on watch" near the window the whole time. Last night I had to attend a meeting at church and he stayed home with the kids. I was happy to see him bouncy and playful as I left. When I got back though...it turned out that the moment I left he'd flopped down and showed no further interest in doing anything during my absence. When I got back I was surprised to find him happily standing in front of the door, tail waving. The kids said that about four minutes before, he'd jumped up from where he was lying, barked once, and went to stand at the door...and, yes, it so happens that four minutes is approximately the time it takes me to drive home! Do you know, I have NEVER believed those weird animal stories before, but am beginning to wonder...what do these dogs sense that we don't understand?
Although I'll miss him, I know he'll settle in to his new place just fine. In fact, he'll bond much more closely with his future partner than he ever has with me. That's just the nature of the working team! And if so...what a team they'll be, don't you think?