Sunday, July 5, 2015

Train your dog.

I have a new dog. Her name is Harley Diamond and she's a red Doberman. She's a goofball but she's smart and she learns so fast my head spins. As much as I miss my Willow (every day) this girl fills me with fun and glee each day- she really is a wonderful puppy. Harley Diamond is 8 months old, and we have spent a lot of time together with me teaching her right and not so right, to sit, to stay, to wait in doorways, to look to me for guidance in new situations, to fetch and come and all the dog stuff. We work at this every day, for hours sometimes, so she can fit into my life, and society, nicely. Don't chase the cat, don't pull on the leash, jump in the car, sit until I say jump out of the car, no barks, no nips, no teeth on people EVER, be nice for pats from the old and the young. It is training 24/7. So, when I encounter YOUR dog on or off leash, and she/he makes my puppy show her teeth in submission or pee or cower on the ground, my very good, respectful puppy, mind you, maybe that's a sign to you that your dog needs some work. When you say, "Oh, he's good with other dogs" and then growls and charges my immature dog who is not sure what to think since all I have done is show her that other people and dogs are kind and trustworthy, maybe you should work on your dog. I'm not a very aggressive person, but when my sweet, trusting, perfectly socialized dog is cowering in fear because your dog is intimidating her, I may just have to get in your face a little bit. I have some friends who have a dog-agressive dog. They have gone out of their way to make him safe around other dogs and they are so responsible and on top of this situation that all I have is respect for them. But this week, Harley and I have encountered so many dogs in public that have tried to injure her, and possibly me, that I am beginning to think that no one cares to train their dog. Train your dog. Just train your dog.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Thanks for choosing me, Willow.

Willow was not a planned addition to the family. My Doberman was 9 years old, and doing well, and while I knew another dog was in our future, I wasn't actively looking. A routine trip to the dog food store always included a perusal of the bulletin board- and that day, a sign was hanging which advertised a group of Boxer pups (see this blog's banner- can you pick out Willow?) and my curiosity was piqued. We called the number and made a trip (I cannot remember if we went directly there) to see the puppies. (I already had it in my head that I wanted the reverse brindle female, before meeting the puppies in person.) The puppies were adorable- all of them. We sat among them on the floor, and they scampered around, pounced mercilessly on the breeder's cat, and ran amok. There were 2 large brindle females, and one of them climbed on my lap, and promptly fell asleep. She had a tiny brindle dot on her flashy white ruff and I remember petting the little spot as she slept, while I watched MY puppy, the smaller, reverse brindle, run about. The breeder agreed to sell us the dark female, we gave her our deposit, I handed the sound asleep puppy back and we left.  The pups were very young, and the breeder recommended that we come back again in a week or so to meet our puppy again, because their little personalities were not quite developed yet. We agreed. The little female would be named Belle, and we arranged to pick her up on March 10th, after a quick trip to NYC for my friend's birthday. This meant she would be 10 weeks old, staying with the breeder and her dog mom an extra 7 days beyond her siblings. When we returned a week later to the breeder, we sat again on the kitchen floor and called the puppies to us. Some came and ambled over us and then went their separate ways, chasing each other and sliding across the kitchen floor. Heartbreakingly, my little Belle acted skittishly and wouldn't venture near us at all. I sat and waited, but she just watched us suspiciously, and never even attempted to come over. Meanwhile, the big brindle female found her way over, plopped down on me, and again, fell sound asleep. I looked at my husband, looked at the breeder and said, "Is this one spoken for?" She wasn't. "We want her," I said. We named her Willow, as in BtVS, my at-the-the-time TV addiction.

Willow and the orange ball. One of my favorite photos, taken the day we chose her. 
Willow was always thinking about something, even as a puppy.

She wasn't the puppy I initially wanted, but, true to form, Willow knew what was best. I'm so glad I paid attention and listened, it was only one of many things Willow would come to teach me.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Willow 1/5/03-9/5/14.

Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936). Verse: 1885–1918. 1922.

“The Power of the Dog”

THERE is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware 
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie—
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head. 
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs 
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find—it’s your own affair—
But … you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!). 
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone—wherever it goes—for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way, 
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we’ve kept ’em, the more do we grieve: 
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long—
So why in—Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Dogs Love Blogging!

It's been a while since I put up any new posts, but that is because I have been very busy. Gramma and Grampa came for Christmas, so I had to get all ready for that, and then I've been on a few trips with Mom, and I go to see friends a lot and I work a lot. Here are some pictures of what I've been up to, because they are worth a thousand dog words!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dogs love Charlie!

This is Charlie. He's a Boxer, like me. On the day before Easter, he came over to meet me and play. He's only 2 years old, and he had a tough start to his life. He's a rescue from the Plymouth pound and he sometimes can be skittish around some people. He seemed to like Mom right away, and me, so that was good. It didn't take too long for me to teach him how to go in and out of the back door, look for bunnies in the back yard and help Mom with kitchen clean-up. (He doesn't eat cookies!! I don't get it.)
While Mom and her friends colored Easter eggs and made a LOT of noise, Charlie and I hung around the house and waited for the dog-fun to get started.

He found the water bowl. He made even more slobber than I do. That's saying something.

Looking for bunnies.

Checking out the back yard.

Waiting for the dog fun to start.

Once we started playing frisbee, it was evident that Charlie was a star when it came to leaping and jumping. He rarely had all his feet on the ground.

I was always careful to keep one foot on the frisbee- when it wasn't in someone's mouth.

Charlie air-borne again.

Both of us are REALLY FAST! Like lightening.



I knew jumping was not the way to get the frisbee.

 But I didn't tell Charlie that.

Even though he could fly, running was the key to frisbee fetch.

He was a cute kid, and he could jump, but it's who gets the frisbee in the end that counts.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dogs love birthdays!

Today I am 10. Well, actually, I was 10 yesterday, but Mom never gets a date right, so I guess I am 10+ 1 day. I have a FaceBook page now, and all my friends are wishing me a Happy Birthday and Mom turned the heat UP and gave me a special breakfast. I don't have the heart to tell her my birthday was yesterday... but I will. It has been a pretty good year, I guess. As a dog, I see things people don't see, because I am shorter, and because I listen the best of anyone. Since dogs don't talk, people tell us everything, so I know how Mom feels every minute. It's also easy to tell from just looking at her and watching what she's doing. In the morning, I wait and see what's going on for the day, I sit and wait by the bathroom, or on the couch. If she takes a shower right away, I know she's working, and she always tells me when she will come home. She's usually right. If she gives me a cookie, I'm staying home, if she puts my collar on, I go to school. Yesterday, though, she put my collar on, and took me with her, to work! She works in a place where a lot of people live, most of them with gray hair and some of them in chairs with wheels. I have been there before, but yesterday we stayed for a LONG time, and she kept me with her the whole time. Last time, I mostly hung around in the office. Yesterday, she just tucked the end of my leash in her back pocket, and told me to stay close by. I followed her quietly all day, sometimes we would stop and I would put my head in someone's lap and they would pet me and tell me I was beautiful. They would look at my tail wagging, and I gave a few kisses, but I did not jump or squirm or move too quickly around anyone. One lady reached out to pat me from her bed, and said something, and Mom told me she didn't talk to anyone anymore. But I heard her, and she was saying that I was a good dog. I put my head on her bed and waited until she was done petting me. It was nice to spend my birthday at work, even though no one knew it was my birthday.

This has been a pretty exciting year for me. I got to do a lot of things with a lot of people- but mostly I have been here for my Mom. My favorite times are when we sit on the couch together and I put my head on her, with my face right next to hers and she tells me about her day. We play stair-fetch when it's too cold or wet for outside fetch, and of course, I am a great help in the kitchen. Mom keeps the garbage a little too full for my liking, and sometimes I get in trouble for helping with that. We took lots of trips to see Grace, Karen, and I finally got to go to Gramma's house. We went to a far away place called North Carolina, where I met Jack. He made me run right into the ocean. Once.

I got a new BFF, Elvis. He's a puppy, so I'm waaaayyyyy better than him, but he's growing on me.

Of course, there was the HAM. That was a significant event. And, Gramma! She sent me stuff for Christmas!!

All this remembering is making me tired. And the heat just came on! Have a good New Year (I went to a party for that!) and give your dog a hug!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Dogs Love Bilingual Moms!

Oh boy!! Today was a fun time because Mom and I went to Plymouth to help Auntie Amy train a prison pup, Mona, who was very nice and very smart. We got a refresher course, too, because sometimes Mom forgets that I have to be told some stuff- I'm not perfect all on my own, you know. After we met Mona and some other dogs who need help with their manners in public, Mom noticed I needed a drink. We walked over to a little shop and we passed by lots of people sitting and eating ice cream. One of them said "Ay, mira a esta mujer y su perro feo." ("Hey, check out this chick and her ugly-ass dog.") Before I knew what was going on, we were stopped and Mom was speaking to a lady saying, "Ella es hermosa y muy elegante, pero gracias a su ridícula opinión" ("Really?? Are you not aware that Gringas can speak Spanish, also? Oh, and don't call my dog ugly, bitch.") Then we went into the water store and I got lots of attention because I don't think dogs are allowed in there. But I was good and didn't shop or sniff anything that looked breakable and my water was cold and delicious. Gracias, Mom!