Dang gravity!

Mayday is named for her reckless airborne tendencies.  Lady Ace is a codename in a movie I watched as a kid.

Mayday’s nicknames: Miu, Monkey, the cheekiest monkey in all of monkeyland

Mayday’s songs: Jimi Hendrix – “Little Wing” and Townes Van Zandt - "To Live Is to Fly"

 


Mayday’s flying career began with a plane-ride from Blue Moon Kennels in Australia at 12-weeks old and she’s graced my pack with her cheeky-monkeyness ever since.  She is the product of a long search for the “just right” border collie – loaded with “go,” intelligence, intensity, and drive, all tempered by a lovable nature, biddability, and off-switch.  Mayday is snuggle-monkey around the house who explodes into action the minute she’s set to a task.  With attitude to spare, she keeps the pack on their toes and can always incite a game of catch-me-if-you-can.  Crafty and always plotting, when another dog has a toy she wants, Mayday will grab whatever is available – stick, rock, plastic bottle – and pretend it is the coolest thing in the world until the other dog unwittingly drops his toy to investigate.  Mayday loves dogs and people alike.  When she meets new friends, she’s got the most irresistible wiggle-worm greeting, slinking up with her whole body wagging and a coy upwards glance – I’m sure she knows just how cute she is.  I once had her at an agility trial checking running orders and turn around to find that she’d wormed her way into the timer’s lap . . . fortunately, the adoration was mutual.  Though she loves to make new friends, Mayday has a special affection for her “people” – I often know a friend must be nearby because Mayday will pull at her leash when she knows her fans are awaiting her arrival.  Perhaps it is a result of growing up with Flat-coats, but Mayday loves to swim and retrieve, and help me “sort” the laundry.  She also enjoys retrieving birds and accompanying the retrievers on pheasant hunts.

Flying low, flying high, and everything in between, Mayday does almost nothing at less than full-speed.  Often when I let the dogs out for a romp, Mayday runs big joyous circles round the barn and field, leaping or dodging whatever comes in her path.  I sit in awe as I watch her canine acrobatics – such a graceful athlete, effortlessly changing speed and direction on a dime.  Thanks to some schooling from the aussies, she’s turning into quite the little frisbee dog.  Her reckless flying tendencies also come in handy for agility training.  Motivated by food, toys, and a simple love of work, Mayday learns new behaviors in a heartbeat.  She is a very operant dog, keeping me hyper-aware of my clicker timing – it only takes a couple of missed clicks to teach her the wrong behavior, and its all to easy to miss clicks when she’s moving as fast as she does.  Her confidence on the equipment is borderline reckless, yet she’s always thinking and evaluating.  Each newly learned behavior is met with a “let’s do it again, Mum” attitude, and her stamina and focus are limitless – its so easy to forget that she’s still a puppy!  Mayday will be introduced to sheep this year.