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Ziggy Tails Season 2 Episode 1

Hmm, season 1 ended July 7th with a promise of Season 2 to be out in the fall of 2021. That didn't happen. The summer of 2021 was extremely busy and somehow I said season 2 would be out in the fall of 2021 once things slowed down. Not sure why or how I thought that. Fall is my favorite time of year for hiking and then the holidays start up. I'm not the only one with deadline delays. I have been waiting anxiously for the Top Gun sequel to come out and they keep pushing it forward. Now it's scheduled for May 27, 2022.

While Ziggy Tails doesn't normally have a need for speed as Top Gun does, but the main character is just as handsome, if not more so. Ziggy has changed significantly since the first season. While he made a few appearances in general posts since July, the focus was not on him and our adventuring together.

Episode 1 of this new season will just be a catch-up time. I confess, I am a wimp. It's been too darn cold to do anything more than just our little walk up back and even that hasn't happened the last few days with wind and arctic temperatures grounding us indoors. We have been spending the time being creative with house activities such as hide and go seek, nose work, and fetch from the couch.

I would like to say that the time between Season 1 Episode 10 and Season 2 was a vacation but truth be told, we had some trying times. I had one really tough week where Prince Ziggy almost sent me over the deep end. Nothing was working and I wasn't sure what I had gotten myself into. I didn't go into being an Australian Cattle Dog owner on blind faith. I had done my research, but I truly was worried I had made a huge mistake. I wasn't giving up, I just didn't know what I was going to do. So, I reached out to ACD groups on Facebook and made appointments with my trainer. Spending a night in tears and reading everything everyone suggested, within two days there was a complete turn-around with Ziggy. I don't even remember what I changed. I was doing something wrong and once I corrected it, he respected me more.

Ziggy isn't even the same dog as he was five months ago. Sure, he is still just as handsome, goofy, and the occasional bad day or two, but he has matured into an almost well-behaved little guy. He will turn one year old on the 26th of this month. He listens as long as the cat or a squirrel don't run by. He has learned a number of fun tricks and his basic obedience just keeps getting stronger. What I like most about his growth is he is starting to cuddle. There is a very short window of time for this and it's only in the morning. It used to be less than a minute, only a few seconds in fact. He likes to cuddle when he first gets up. What started as a few nose rubs, then a longer sit and pet me time, to just this morning it was 20 minutes of cuddling, lying on the bed with his head on my pillow and my arm around him. But that's it. When he gets up he is Mach 4 - maybe he does have some Top Gun in him.

The two cutest tricks he has learned is to hold a treat on his nose until he is told to take it. I am not sure if this is a fun trick or a cruel trick, we like it and he does it so I guess it's cool. The other one is he plays dead. I going a "gun finger" at him and say, "Bang." He falls to his side. He doesn't really like to do this trick and will let out a sigh and or a moan in protest. But what he can't comprehend is that those actions only add to the trick. He actually sounds like he is being shot.

It is so much fun working and training with Ziggy. He is so smart it's scary. Sometimes we try to out smart him, but fail. For instance, I will put him in his "place" - his raise cot. I will go hide his treats while he is watching. I will fake placing kibble in places. But when I release him, he goes right to the few spots where the real treat is. He also knows when I have treats on me. If I want him to do something and my pockets are empty, he knows and thinks twice about doing what he is told. He is improving on this though. I do believe he is starting to really trust me and when I ask him to do something he does it. But not always, as in yesterday.

He followed me up the attic/office stairs when I went to feed the cats. This space has been a dog-free zone for the cats since Ziggy was afraid of the stairs. But, not yesterday. I guess the desire to catch the kitten was greater than his fear. That's just like humans. So many times our fears hold us back from doing things but when we get a desire so strong even our fears can't complete we can conquer anything.

Ziggy may have overcome his fear of going up the stairs but nothing was getting him to come down, not even holding the kitten on the steps to entice him to chase her down. I spent almost two hours gently encouraging him with treats. I even closed in the open area with sheets and blankets, but nothing was getting that dog down on his own. We had to resort to the grab, scoop, and lift method. Thanks to hubby, he was able to carry Ziggy down the stairs.

What's ironic is that when out hiking he has scrambled up and down open log ladders made by trail maintainers without me even telling him that's the way to go.

Hopefully season two of Ziggy Tails will delight you and warm your heart this winter. No matter what, Ziggy is sure to please, even if there is a tear of two. I just need to remember, that when things aren't going well in the training department, more than likely it has all to do with me and not with Ziggy. I will probably do well to use that with all areas of life as well.

Here is the latest picture of Ziggy, taken just now as I am trying to tire him out playing ball inside the house, something I never let the boys do growing up. They don't think that's quite fair.

Happy Hiking,

Emily and Ziggy


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