Mischa joins Chicken Soup Club
She plays sports, jumps hurdles, and teaches life’s lessons.
Pretty impressive stuff. But Mischa, a seven-year-old black Australian Kelpie has now become a media hound. Her story appears in the new Chicken Soup for the Soul book, I Can’t Believe My Dog Did That.
Mischa’s owner Loretta Olund, who wrote the story, can’t reveal details until the book appears in bookstores Sept. 17.
However, she hints it will be about two events in her dog’s life:
“Mischa wanted to bring me two toys and could only pack one in her mouth, so she figured out an ingenious way to bring me both at once. And in her agility class when the instructor was trying to get her to do something, Mischa decided to do it her way – and impressed everyone.”
Micha may have a stubborn streak but she makes her point.
One time Olund says she was trying to get Mischa to do knee-high jumps. She missed the mark a few times and got some reprimands.
“Most dogs will do anything to please their owner. Mischa is different. After I scolded her, my words had the effect that Mischa just sat down and refused to move. Then when I used words of encouragement, she tried again, and I praised her for every successful attempt. Soon Mischa was jumping high into the air.
“She taught me a good lesson that day about using kind words and positive reinforcement to get what you want.”
Intelligence, initiative and independent thinking are only three of Mischa’s attributes.
Her speed and agility also makes her a good athlete – and fun to watch.
“Mischa loves to play sports,” says Olund. Asked which ones, Olund starts to list them off: soccer, basketball, hockey ... and Mischa’s ears go straight up.
She knows her master means she can play.
Olund drops a soccer ball. Mischa immediately gets into the play, showing off her impressive moves. She “rounds up” the ball, never letting it out of her sight, and, in a blur of fast and fancy footwork, guides the ball all around the backyard.
Between games, Mischa ferrets out Ringo, the cat, from her favourite hiding place in the high vegetation out back. Rounding up duties over and “missing” feline accounted for, Mischa then allows Ringo to return to her cat nap. It’s all in a day’s work for the ‘wanna-be’ sheep herder.
“She is a herding dog by instinct, so it’s natural for her to move the ball where she wants it to go,” said Olund.
“She’s never seen a sheep or a cow, so she’s got to work with what she’s got – and that means balls, our cats (four of them) and dogs smaller than she is.”
Olund is excited to have Mischa’s antics featured in the upcoming book. She receives $200 in prize money and 10 copies of the book and is donating one book to the SPCA’s annual Paws for a Cause fundraiser held Sunday at Cottonwood Island Park.
Proceeds from the event help the local shelter.
“We go on the Paws for a Cause walk every year and we take part in all the events afterwards,” says Olund who has some practise hurdles set up in her backyard.
The new Chicken Soup for the Soul book, “I Can’t Believe My Dog Did That” including the story of Mischa will be in bookstores Sept. 17.