Much to the disappointment of my loyal trusty dog, Cody, I have an irksome addictive habit that takes time away from the day of fun he has planned for everyone. That addictive habit is cycling. Much to Cody’s annoyance, cycling is a time consuming selfish way for me to spend the morning. Why would anyone want to get on this weird contraption? Sure it has wheels like a car ( Cody loves going on car rides), but there is no back seat, it doesn’t go very fast or make loud accelerating engine noises and you certainly can’t stick your head out the window-there is no window! Maybe if he were a small dog, we could use my bike to go to the dog park, but since Cody weighs 65 pounds, this is out of the question. So from his point of view, a bicycle is a useless object, it has no purpose other than being a fast moving object that he must chase, ridden by some poor bike riding victim who happens to cruise by the wrong part of the neighborhood-past Cody’s house. How dare they? This is my property I must effectively deal with the cyclist, chase the hell out of them all the while snarling, foaming and showing off glistening white teeth. I guarantee you that cyclist won’t be back anytime soon. Of course, this is only a fantasy in my dog’s mind because I would never allow my border collie car chasing pooch to roam the neighborhood on his own. That would be trouble.
Being a border collie, Cody has an extensive vocabulary library and is very attuned to any words that may reference cycling or any future riding that may occur. He is the first dog I have ever owned where I have to actually spell out certain words such as ride, riding or bikes. Sentences such as where should we go riding, when do you want to go riding or are the bikes ready for tomorrow immediately trigger his warning signal to go off as if a Tsunami warning siren has just been initiated and you only have 20 minutes before death and destruction will occur. Cody has us trained so well that we will change the word go into embarking, depart or any other variant on the word go just avoid letting the poor little guy down.
Of course, as soon as any bike is spotted being carried from the garage to the backyard for a pre-ride tune-up, Cody is quick to catch on and let us know that going riding is not listed on Cody’s schedule of fun. This is when the puppy mind games and tactics begin. First panic sets in realizing that he may be soon left home while the humans are out playing, possibly with another dog. Traders! So he lays down on the floor with his paws under his chin staring at Rick in the backyard oiling the chains. Rick soon enters the house again, and then the, please don’t go tactics begin. Wow, he really wants a bone right now, so we open up his bone box, and he selects a bone and starts throwing it up in the air, prancing around. Cody uses his persuasive puppiness to try and convince us that he is much more fun than a ride and how could we possibly give up the chance to play bone just to go riding. This is true, Cody is a lot of fun, but we humans also want to go play on our bikes so while bone play is excellent fun, unfortunately, little buddy it will have to wait til after mountain biking. Begging for a piece of cheese is another Cody tactic. Eating a snack might possibly slow the humans down. Oh wait, I know I will ask to go pee, that should stall them for a while. Once I am out there I won’t actually go pee, I will just strut around the backyard searching for squirrels and lizards. My owners know they can’t leave unless I have gone potty and if I don’t go potty they will be afraid I may not be able to hold it for very long so they will have to cut their ride short.
When various playful moves can’t dissuade us from leaving, he resigns himself to the fact that he is going to spend a dreary morning all alone. He hangs his head down, lowers his ears and sulks off to the living room to watch us depart. So with our bike kits on, tires pumped, chains oiled we head out the door praising our little pooch telling him what a good boy he is, guard the house against bad guys and we will be back soon.
Arriving home begins a celebration like no other. We can hear him barking already as we roll up to the house. We open the door and unleash a monster of uncontrollable excitement. Leaping to and fro, whining and slobbering all over my bike kit I am greeted with an abundance of unabashed love. The humans have returned, the humans have returned now the real fun begins!