He being, “officially”, now AKC- and USDAA-registered Los Rios’ Gut Feeling. AKA Phineas. A crazy sounding name with a few months of well-pondered reasoning behind it.
Los Rios is the name of my family’s ranch, still in existence, but unfortunately no longer in our family. It was my grandfather’s and his father’s apple ranch in the San Bernadino mountains, I’ve talked about him here after his passing last year. I am not certain, but there are plans with some of my remaining family members to keep things alive in some way shape or form, and down the road, my dream is to be a part of Los Rios the next. And, of course, all the dogs will be a part as well, so Phineas has been deigned the founding canine member of the Los Rios kennel name.*
The “Gut Feeling” part is sort of obvious, but also has a double-meaning. Obviously I took a leap of pure dumb faith when I decided to take him. I knew it wouldnt be easy and I did it against both my and other involved parties’ best judgement. However, I now know my instinct was correct, and he is becoming exactly what I was hoping for, a brilliant performance dog. To top it off, one of my favorite Devo songs is “Gut Feeling” and its eerie, bizarre tone is quite fitting for Phin. Really powerful and unique and capped off at the end by crazy rock out mayhem… I was driving a few months ago and it came on unexpectedly, and it just struck me as so him…. I think its a perfect fit.
In more Phin news, he has made me feel better about his ability to operate “normally” in public. We stayed at a friend’s house for New Years last night. This AM we walked quite a bit and graced two separate breakfast/coffee establishments. He was extremely well-behaved (as long as his brothers weren’t kegging off on their own little tirades—yappers), and even solicited petting from a “mature” gentleman who was parked next to us at a nearby table. I think the elements that made him okay with this specific guy were, 1) the outdoor, unfamiliar environment, 2) the fact that he had been able to acclimate to this man from about 20′ away for a good 20 minutes before we got up to leave and walk near him, and 3) the fact that the guy remained seated and had a pretty calm energy. So… at least I am narrowing down his triggers. He seems to be mostly set off by restricted space, sudden environmental changes and areas that he feels are “his”–ie the training center and home. Also in both my parents homes he is a bit of a liability, so I am learning where he needs to be carefully managed. But today he got a gold star—holding his mat stay with his bros while little kids roared around us, birds darted in and out of the bushes and other (less-well-behaved, ahem) dogs barked and strained at us.
Proud of my boy today, a great start to a New Year. Happy thoughts to all of you.
* I propositioned Pete to change Forest’s name as well but was denied. So Forest shall remain, just Forest. Such a simple name for such a complicated dog….
** Yes, I was a rotten person and put a GL on this squalling puppy. Feel free to yell at me…