Book Excerpt: Codi’s Focus on Frisbee

“While giving Frisbee performances, Codi’s concentration also showed itself in what some spectators felt was a negative manner. It wasn’t that she growled at people or threatened them in any way; she just ignored any attempt on their part to pet her. Usually it was a little kid who would approach her during one of her brief rest periods. The child would first look to us for approval to pet her, and afterward reach down to stroke her head. In the exact moment the child’s hand would move down to touch her, Codi would deliberately lower her head even further to ensure the attempt would fail.

This was actually a very comical behavior to witness, as her body language effectively said, “Leave me alone, I’ve got work to do.” The person was typically taken aback by her response to their advance, and sometimes would ask if she was an unfriendly dog. Our response was always to politely explain that she was a working dog who just didn’t want to be bothered while on the job. We also let them know she always did the same thing to us in such situations. It wasn’t personal at all to Codi, it was just business.

The fact was her intensity made her appear aloof, or perhaps in some sense a bit arrogant. We just learned not to take it to heart. We knew she loved us. It just wasn’t her nature to express it the way dogs usually do. That love, however, was very evident whenever we’d return home from being out for a spell, as each time we were greeted by an aggressively wagging tail. And, sometimes, if we were very lucky, we even got a small lick on our chins!”