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Opie

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NEWS
By TIM ROWLAND | December 13, 2007
We have time to think about our dogs, what, maybe three hours a day? Conversely, a dog has little else to do in the average work week than gnaw rawhide and think about us. Those odds aren't good, but it's never been of particular concern before, since in the past all my dogs have had the equivalent of cotton candy between the ears. I am thinking specifically of Lacie, who once was chasing a fox out at the college when it performed the highly elusive maneuver of going up a tree.
OPINION
June 4, 2012
As documented previously, the bouvier des Flandres named Opie is not the most aggressive animal, which is normally one of the breed's selling points. For example, where a German shepherd might immediately enter a melee fangs at the ready - killing everything in sight on the theory that the courts will have less to decide that way - a bouvier will literally sit down and think the situation through before choosing sides. Opie sort of takes this bouvier character to the extreme.
NEWS
By TIM ROWLAND | March 25, 2008
The bouvier de Flandres named Opie turns 1 year old this week, a fact of chronology that could not be proved by the fact of behavior. In theory, he's not a puppy anymore, so he shouldn't be doing any of those kooky-crazy puppy things that include, but are not limited to, jousting with imaginary foes in the backyard and pulling up newly planted cherry trees. We try to get through to him - we try to convey the gravitas that comes with being a full-grown dog. But it is no use. Other dogs have invisible fences around their yards; Opie has an invisible fence around his brain.
NEWS
By TIM ROWLAND | November 15, 2007
Opie goes to obedience school A personal journey Part I We're in the training hall, 7-month-old, 70-pound Opie is in full freakout mode, lunging at his tether, I'm lunging at Opie, we both get tangled and end up on the floor, I'm told to start shoving treats in his face and I do and he throws them back up on my pants, he howls and groans and I'm looking around desperately for help and it finally arrives when the teachers decide that...
NEWS
By TIM ROWLAND | August 5, 2009
o If you like reading Tim Rowland, you'll love watching him. See what else Tim has to say Beth likes to say that every animal on the farm needs a job, on the theory that they are happier when their minds are occupied. So they all have their assignments, although sometimes it requires stretching the definition of the word "job" to the red line. For example, the donkeys' job is to protect other animals from coyotes. They do this job very well, in the sense that they also -- based on results -- protect the other animals from wolves, jackals, hyenas, pirates and T-rexs.
NEWS
By TIM ROWLAND | December 4, 2007
Opie Goes to Obedience School A Personal Journey Part II There's a Far Side cartoon that shows a dude in hell pushing a wheelbarrow of coal through the flames, whistling and having a grand old time. One devil looks at another and says, "You know, we're just not reaching that guy. " That's how I feel about the bouvier des Flandres named Opie. There's a smart dog in there somewhere, I know it. But his genius is tainted by youthful cackling and exuberance to the point that his skills become progressively more difficult to recognize.
NEWS
By TIM ROWLAND | January 17, 2008
We didn't realize Opie was largely white. Opie didn't realize he was equipped with a tail. You can learn so much from a haircut. The bouvier des Flandres is now 9 months old, so in theory, he ought to be about fully grown. The fact that the animal kept expanding nonetheless was finally explained when we figured out that the inner dog may have maxed out, but the outer coat had not. His sheepdog tendencies didn't bother me all that much, but then I don't clean the house.
NEWS
By TIM ROWLAND | August 7, 2007
Commentary His breed is a Bouvier des Flandres. If you ask me, that's a pretty pretentious title for a dog. So to take him down a peg, we named him "Opie. " Grace and agility are never strengths in a puppy, but this one took a lack of coordination to new levels. As a matter of fact, he fell over more often than a two-legged bar stool - so much so that for a time we seriously considered naming him "Thud. " Opie is a big black mop of a dog, and although he will top out at close to 100 pounds, at the moment the Bouvier rather resembles a 35-pound bear cub - or a black sheepdog, but with more hair.
NEWS
By TIM ROWLAND | December 27, 2007
When someone has all the promise in the world, all the talent, all the goods, and then throws it to the wind, it is always a time of sadness. All one can do is shake his head at what might have been. The bouvier des Flandres named Opie was primed to excel as we walked into his graduation day competition at Peaceable Paws. He had come a million miles since his first class, when he was so hyper and out of his mind with unreasonable excitement that he went full TV weather girl and had to have visual barriers placed around his person so as to put the brakes on overstimulation.
OPINION
July 20, 2011
I've been reluctant to write about the reivuob ed srednalF named Opie lately - primarily due to Facebook. Last time I mentioned Opie - and referred to the fact that he's not the world's bravest dog - some Facebook reivuob ed srednalF group got hold of the column. These people mean well, I'm sure, but they come from across the country and are apparently unfamiliar with this column, So they all got together for an Internet chat and concluded that Opie's reserved nature must be attributable to the fact that he is routinely beaten.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
May 20, 2013
We have an open-door policy in our house. Not that it was my idea, or anyone else's for that matter. The problem arose thanks to the designers of door knobs, who for centuries were content with the standard, round, dog-proof design. Then someone, I don't know when, got the bright idea that levers would in some way be superior to the spherical model that served society so well from time immemorial. This is a standard peeve of mine. No, peeve is too mild. Florid, murdersome rage might be more like it. I'm speaking about perfectly good protocols that people feel the need to change for the sake of change alone.
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OPINION
June 4, 2012
As documented previously, the bouvier des Flandres named Opie is not the most aggressive animal, which is normally one of the breed's selling points. For example, where a German shepherd might immediately enter a melee fangs at the ready - killing everything in sight on the theory that the courts will have less to decide that way - a bouvier will literally sit down and think the situation through before choosing sides. Opie sort of takes this bouvier character to the extreme.
OPINION
By TIM ROWLAND | November 24, 2011
It is only natural that at bountiful tables across this great land of ours today, thoughts will inevitably turn to begging, and those who do not have what we enjoy. We try not to think about it, but we must. We know it's out there, even if we do not look. The hungry eyes. The pleading. The sense of utter dependency on the good will of man. So what to do? Do you slip Rex a little piece of turkey under the table or not? Most dog owners I know have a standard policy: They would never, ever, ever feed their own dogs at the table because they are worried about the precedent it will set. But at someone else's table, they will stuff the equivalent of a side of rhinoceros into the grateful jaws of the family pooch, knowing they will not have to deal with the consequences.
OPINION
July 20, 2011
I've been reluctant to write about the reivuob ed srednalF named Opie lately - primarily due to Facebook. Last time I mentioned Opie - and referred to the fact that he's not the world's bravest dog - some Facebook reivuob ed srednalF group got hold of the column. These people mean well, I'm sure, but they come from across the country and are apparently unfamiliar with this column, So they all got together for an Internet chat and concluded that Opie's reserved nature must be attributable to the fact that he is routinely beaten.
OPINION
February 23, 2011
Little is required of the bouvier des Flandres named Opie. His job is to be a faithful companion at home, and not embarrass us too much when we go into town. He does a pretty good job of the former. Opie is generally a reserved animal — not the bravest buckaroo, Beth likes to say — who will assess a new situation thoroughly before he offers an opinion or engages in a course of action. For this reason, bouviers are popular as police dogs. They generally don't rip people's heads off until they have thoroughly absorbed the situation.
NEWS
By TIM ROWLAND | November 30, 2009
o If you like reading Tim Rowland, you'll love watching him. See what else Tim has to say When normal people have guests, there are a standard number of questions to be answered. What do we serve? Which wine would be appropriate? Is the tablecloth clean? Where should people park? Do we force people to watch our stinkin' slide show of our trip to Dollywood before or after dessert? We can't be bothered with these trivial matters because one question relegates all others to afterthoughts, and that question is: "What do we do with the dogs?"
NEWS
By TIM ROWLAND | September 9, 2009
Ogden Nash defined a door as something that the dog is always on the wrong side of. Ogden Nash didn't know the half of it. Look, I've had dogs before, I know they always want to go out and -- depending on where they perceive the action to be -- sometimes want to come in. But Opie, the bouvier, and Hannah, the bulldog, raise the bar. Juliet, the Siamese cat, is worse than both. Remember the first time your dog scratched on the door to go out? And you thought it was cute? Oh, he's so smart.
NEWS
By TIM ROWLAND | August 5, 2009
o If you like reading Tim Rowland, you'll love watching him. See what else Tim has to say Beth likes to say that every animal on the farm needs a job, on the theory that they are happier when their minds are occupied. So they all have their assignments, although sometimes it requires stretching the definition of the word "job" to the red line. For example, the donkeys' job is to protect other animals from coyotes. They do this job very well, in the sense that they also -- based on results -- protect the other animals from wolves, jackals, hyenas, pirates and T-rexs.
NEWS
October 21, 2008
It wouldn't be a complete lie to say that Opie was on his best behavior last Saturday. But there is such a slim line between the animal's best behavior and his worst behavior, that it's almost hardly worth making the distinction between the two. The bouvier des Flanders was the grand marshal for the Washington County Humane Society's Bark in the Park event at Doub's Woods (my request to the school board to ceremonially change the name of Emma...
NEWS
By TIM ROWLAND | September 11, 2008
One senses that if it were up to Magellan the pig, he'd order up a hurricane every day of the week. It's interesting to see how different animals cope with six hours of driving rain in different ways, and Magellan was clearly the most comfortable with it of any critter on the farm. He greeted the soaking the way an unemployed Key Wester greets a sunny day on the beach. He parked himself right out in the open and went to sleep, the only movement coming from his sides as he breathed out a particularly contented grunt.
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