radarAbout 3 ½ years ago my wife introduced me to a new family member, a 3 month old Australian Shepherd, German Shepherd & Lab mix.  She had seen his picture on an animal shelter website and decided to drive 60 miles to go get him.  And she found this 25 pound bundle of energy.  He does not miss much and is super alert, with all of that going for him, Radar seemed to fit him quite well.  He is mostly black with brown markings and kinda funny ears.  Did I mention he had a lot of energy?  He can jump about 4 feet in the air from a sitting position and he is addicted to tennis balls, Frisbees and sticks.  One odd thing about him is his habit of French kissing, he loves to sit right next to people on a couch and when they look at him and open their mouth to say something, he sneaks a kiss.

Living life as Radar is quite demanding, being part Australian Shepherd, he has a need to gather and herd other creatures.  This includes me, my wife, our other 2 dogs and the two cats, he is in charge and he does keep us in line.  The day starts out at dawn when there is enough light to see where the ball lands.  Of course, he does like a challenge and there are times when we test his hearing by throwing the ball in the dark.  It might take him a few more minutes than normal but he invariably returns with the ball.  Around this time of day he is on alert for when the school bus arrives, the big yellow thing that swallows people from the neighborhood, a rather formidable foe.  He does give it his all however, racing across the yard barking with all his might, probably just telling the driver to return the kids in the afternoon.

Then it is time for the walk.  There are times when they get to run free down by the river and fun is had by all.  Radar loves to chase sticks into the river and he has learned about the currant.  When I throw a stick straight out from the bank he will start swimming at an angle and usually intercepts the stick before it gets downstream from him.  If I throw it downstream, he runs along the bank first before plunging in to get it.  And if I throw it upstream, he has learned to just paddle slowly and let the stick come to him.  This game can and has gone on for up to about a half hour walking along the river, usually my arm gets tired before he does.  There are times when we stick to the paths away from the river and Radar lets his jealous side show when we meet up with other dogs.  He has the two sisters and if another male is in the area he refuses to let the girls say hi, of course, he feels free to visit other girls on the trail as a true chauvinistic male dog does.

After the walk it is time for a break and a nap, he is more into power naps, he plays hard and sleeps hard to recharge his batteries.  I mentioned that he is addicted to balls and Frisbees, I do have proof of this.  We were on a trip with all the dogs in a cozy trailer and Radar was acting a bit strange, one afternoon he actually started snapping at his sisters and us.  It was then that we realized that all of his toys were up in a cabinet and he had been without for a couple of days.  The Frisbee came out and he was in heaven, he has a 25 foot long cable attached to the trailer so he can move about and he had a blast.  He has learned to hike the Frisbee as a football center does, then spins around and chases it down.  He can do this for as long as he wants all with a very serious look on his face.  On a weekend day, it is quite hard to accomplish much due to him placing a tennis ball directly in my path and becoming a pest, he truly loves to play.

I have learned a lot from Radar, he is quite persistent and very dedicated.  He looks for new challenges to keep his games interesting; there is nothing better than getting a ball stuck in a wood pile then figuring out how he will retrieve it.  He does take life seriously, on drives in the country he looks out at cattle and you can see the wheels spinning as he tries to mentally herd them as they are scattered too much for his liking.  But most of all, he is truly faithful, invariably I will find him laying in our driveway when I get home from work, with a ball in his mouth.  Lets PLAY!!!!

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