Monday, September 8, 2008

Day 15


Well, it's day 15 of the blog and day 3 of socialization and training for Bear...who is rapidly managing to steal the hearts of my neighbors here on the hill. One guy in particular, a cattle farmer who lives up at the top of the road, cornered me at the library during the Pumpkin Party meeting. He's been watching Bear and I on the road in the morning, at lunch and in the evening.

"What a dog that is! He is absolutely beautiful!" says he. "I can't believe what you've done with him already! What kind of dog is he?"

So I told him..."He's a pound puppy."

He couldn't believe it. Loves the dog who he has been waving and grinning at...with enthusiasm, every time he passes. If Bear comes up missing, I'm going to know where to go looking!

In any event, it was a really good day with training. Willie is still pretty jealous, but is also beginning to "instruct" Bear in the finer points of the pecking order in our house. You see, in Willie's mind, he is the top dog. As a point of fact, in Willie's mind, he is the only dog. In short, he does not share or play well with others because with BJ, he never really had to as they were into completely different things. BJ was into being directly under the hand of either my daughter or myself. Willie was and is into playing ball...until Bear got here. Now he has taken possession of everything else in the house as well, except me. Known throughout the neighborhood as "The Brat," because he terrorizes everyone until they play ball with him, here he is in all of his glory...

I know, "He's soooo cute!" which is why he gets away with his behavior, but he is now learning that there are other cute dogs on the planet as well.
Yesterday on our walk, that seemed to lessen some when we walked them together. Seizing on the exhaustion and sore muscles of the day today, I decided, after Bear did so well on his morning walk, to try taking them for a walk in tandem. It was wonderful! Will had a bit of trouble at first heeling with me, but once he got the hang of it, did a wonderful job. Bear decided, as we turned to come back up the hill, that it was time to take a nap though. Pulling contests with this dog are a losing proposition as he locks his legs, digs in with the paws that are more like flippers and doesn't budge.

Thus, I decided that this was an opportune moment to utilize psychology with my new friend.

I loosened the leash, turned with Willie, who was more than willing to just leave him there, and took two steps. By step three, we were right back in tandem.

Lesson learned, don't fight with him, just do.

This afternoon, as the dogs were pretty tired and I didn't want to stress them anymore with another walk, I decided to use the lunge line with Bear outside to give him some romping room and socializing with Will. We use a 25 foot horse lunge line that we got for my daughter's dog when he was young. Basically, a long web leash, we use it first for play room for them and then for training them to come. It's really great and, with large dogs, works very well. Bear really enjoyed having some freedom and he and Will even managed to play for a split second.

It was good.

No walk tonight after dinner as I had a meeting at the library... oops, time for Bear to "go hurry!" Be right back!

My apologies!

Where was I? Okay, no walk because of the meeting and the Vet felt that maybe we should back off a little on the exercise. I don't think the dogs are the only ones who are feeling yesterday! Anyway, just because I can, this is my daughter and her dog, reunited last week. She tells me that BJ is doing great and adjusting to his new roomie wonderfully, which makes me feel about two inches tall but we will get there too...eventually.

No, his eyes don't usually glow...

So that was day 15. Little by little we are getting there!

Happy wanderings!

The Writer ...and her dog, Bear

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