Knocked Down, a Good Dog Gets Back Up


Last in a series

Jamie’s mandatory retirement from obedience competition at age 11 was followed by an acting gig, appearing in the Albuquerque Little Theatre production “Of Mice & Men”, to rave reviews, I might add. Not even the casting director noticed her two missing teeth.  Cathy and Jeff have said that she may have been the best dog they ever had – but they’ve thought that of each of their dogs. Jamie was nobody’s fool. She never chased another horse.

When Jeff and Cathy went rummaging through stacks of old photos it came to them why Jamie’s massive facial/skull remodel would have been worth it to her – the great jack rabbit chase north of Cheyenne, Wyoming. They’d pulled off the road to see the original ranch house of the “My Friend Flicka” book, in the midst of nowhere, and let their 4 dogs out to sniff and investigate.

Suddenly a huge Jack-a-Lope creature leaped in front of Jamie. She took off with Jeff in hot pursuit.  As the rabbit pulled away, Jeff’s hat was all that could be seen over the rolling hills.  No cell phone (early 90’s). Jamie returned 2 hours later covered with burrs and stickers, then another hour later Jeff (in the same shape).  Jamie was smiling. It took hours to clean her up, but that grin never left her face. The jack rabbit’s fate remains a mystery, even to this day. Lesson learned: never take a dog off leash who loves to chase, especially in the middle of nowhere.  Jamie was 12 or 13 at the time and still going strong.

A wild and active Border collie puppy, “Mick Jagger”, entered my life 2 years ago. This fine young barbarian started puppy kindergarten at age 12 weeks at the Aztec Animal Clinic. Following graduation we enrolled our young rocker in basic novice class at Sandia Dog Obedience Club. Our instructor was – Jeff Robb. With that strong foundation Mick has advanced to Rally competition, scoring first place in his first two trials. Dogs are wonderful; obedience instructors are salt of the earth.


For help with behavior problems, you can sign-up for a Zoom Group Conference on my website,

Dr. Jeff Nichol is a residency-trained veterinary behaviorist. He provides consultations in-person and in groups by Zoom ( Each week he shares a blog and a video to help bring out the best in pets and their people. Sign up at no charge at Email pet behavior or physical questions to or by US Post to 4000 Montgomery Blvd. NE, Albuq, NM 87109.