Yesterday we took our big truck into town for a smog check.  And as previously mentioned, we socialize our Border collies throughout their lives.
 
We went into Paso Robles, CA, into the down town area.  This part of town is as busy as down town Los Angles, with people walking up and down the street, with lots of cars and unexpected noises on the road in this bustling down town area.
 
Like usual, I took the dogs along with me to the gas station for the smog check.  One attendant needed to look at the mileage of the truck and noticed the dogs inside.  She ask if they were friendly, and I told her yes, and they might lick her.  As she leaned inside, Chris, who was in the front seat, came over to greet her.  Chris was in her face, literally, and I was able to get her to back off, and give the attendant some space.
 
After the paperwork was done, I took out all three of the girls, so the guys at the station could do their work on the truck.  We sat right next to all of the gas pumps, taking in the sights and sounds of the down town area. 
 
As I sat in the chair, settling down the girls, I noticed that Kate was acting kind of unusual.  Then I saw her head duck at a noise.  She was reacting to some of the down town noises.  She hadn't been in the city for quite a while, and had gotten sensitive to the loud noises again. 
 
Kate is a noise sensitive dog.  That is part of her makeup.  What I have done in the past to help her through it, is to desensitize her by exposure.  I am also careful not to pet her when she is over reacting to those noises.  This time, I told her to "knock-it-off", then ignored her, checking her out of the corner of my eye.  It took her about five minutes for her to get over it, and settle down, accepting the noises again.
 
Dogs tend to draw people to themselves, and the girls were no exception.  I got many comments about how well behaved they are, and how fit they look.  I told them that they were working sheepdogs, so they needed to be fit.  One guy even told me that he needed to show his dog, my dogs, in order to show his dog how dogs were suppose to behave.  I thought that was pretty funny.
 
By the time we left, Kate was completely desensitized and relaxed to the down town noises again.  Tam and Chris, who are basically noise attractive, took the entire expedition in stride.  The girls were very well behaved, and left a good DOG impression on the business and the city.
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