Ollie is a Cairn Terrier. In addition to the Cesar Millan book, I also purchased a breed specific book about Cairns so I could read up on their general traits and characteristics. They're reputedly stubborn. Check. They like to try and be boss. Check. They have a strong prey drive and chase instinct. Not so much.
I've been worried that Ollie would spend the bulk of his time standing at one of the two sets of french doors leading out onto the back garden, barking his fool head off at the squirrels who live in our trees. Or that he would drive me mad chasing them and then standing at the base of a tree to bark his annoyance at the feisty little furry-tailed critters that dared set foot in his territory. And I figured he would practically drag me to my knees when we were out for walks in our very leafy neighborhood as he would spy the squirrels that cross the road, scurry up trees or bounce through the underbrush in the greenbelts. Uh no, that would all be incorrect.
Ollie seems to be totally unaware of the squirrels. I've even taken to "helping" him by stopping him and trying to get him to take notice of the squirrels practically prancing by under his nose. He just looks up at me with his little Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip eyes because he's blind to the furry little acorn burying, birdseed stealing varmints. He's completely oblivious to their existence. Ollie is all about the birds and airplanes.
For some reason, Ollie is fascinated with the sky. Anytime he spots or bird or plane, he stops to stare. He seems to be especially aware of planes at night when we go out for potty breaks and will even bark at them. Last night I heard something - presumably one of our local foxes - rooting around in the leaves on the other side of our privacy fence. Even Helen Keller could have heard the ruckus they were making. Ollie appeared to have no knowledge of any such ruckus and proceeded to snuffle around the grass in search of a good spot to do his business.
Here is a pic of Ollie and the 5th grader last week. I had taken him on two separate 1.5 mile walks that day and he was really tired. This daughter likes to hold Ollie like a baby when he's all relaxed... and less likely to nibble on her toes. He just loves to play that game because she's so obliging, hopping around as if she's dancing on hot coals. Maybe he doesn't have the urge to chase squirrels, but he's all about the 11-year-old toes.