A blog about my life with dogs.......

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My dog, your dog, the individual.

Puppies Comet and Cupid

If you read the last post then you know that because of my lack in judgment I lost my dog.Then, thankfully, found him. I have put so much work into Comet it's just plain crazy. I have put more work into Comet and his recall than some dog owners who have very reliable off leash dogs. So what's MY problem? My expectations of my dog. Comet is the offspring of a working Great Pyrenees and an English Shepard. I've never met Comets father, but I have heard about him. Lots of my neighbors have met him, and the friendly folks at the Cedar Valley Humane Society (2years ago) knew him by name. Like most Great Pyrenees, Comets' father was a wanderer. His people had lots of trouble keeping him in and he was known for taking off and roaming long distances. 

When Comet was a pup I spent a day volunteering for Great Pyrenees Rescue of Iowa to get to know the dogs there. Archie, still listed on GPRI's website as adopted, was a dog I found in my neighborhood and believe to be a brother of Comets from a previous litter. The woman in charge made it clear to me that this is a wonderful, handsome and strong willed breed that is very loving but also very drawn to roam. From the start I have known that Comet would not likely be a good off leash dog, so I put lots of work into his recall, and continue to. In a class room full of dogs his recall is spectacular. In the woods, he may always forget I exist and choose to roam.

At 2 years old Comet has many other talents. At a local group home Comet is the highlight of the day for the residents. One of these residents recently fell ill and was hospitalized for an extended period. When she moved to a floor that allowed therapy dogs I didn't hesitate to ask for the okay to bring him in. I knew it would brighten one sick woman's day. It would be Comets first time in a hospital setting and first ride in an elevator. I thought we would be stopped on our way in but we walked in without the lift of an eye. I was glad it was just the two of us on the elevator just in case Comet got nervous, but he stood politely like a champ and when we arrived at the patience's room he cuddled next to her in bed. When nurses came in and we had to back off Comet sat politely curled in a chair next to the woman's mother who also happened to be very sick herself. She petted Comets head, and told us about making funeral plans earlier that day for her and for her daughter . "It's better to be prepared , I guess" she said looking into Comets eyes. Maybe she wasn't telling us after all, maybe she was just telling Comet.

Comet spent over an hour being petted and adored. He seemed to know this was the time to be gentle and quiet. When nurses came and went he wagged his tail but nothing more. No excited barking. No herding. For the last half of the visit the patient held Comets leash. Her hands were so shaky from her illness and meds that she had been unable hold a cup or a telephone but she had no trouble at all holding onto Comets leash. After taking treats gently from her hands he fell asleep at the foot of her wheelchair.

Comet is a wonderful and special dog. But he's not like your dog and the wonderful special dog that your dog is. It's easy to forget when we see breed standards, or we watch other people with there dogs and wish we could do what they do, that training isn't the be all end all. Each dog is an individual. Comet and I have built up a relationship of trust. He seems to trust that I will not take him into harms way(other than that evil ear cleaning and bummer bath time) and I trust that he will not become scared and act out when the IV machine starts loudly beeping and 2 new people walk quickly into the room.

We trust eachother.I just have to make sure I don't misplace that trust, oh say, in the woods.

Tool Box
Have you heard about the Nina Ottosson interactive dog games?
No, this is not a video game for you, it's,....well.... like a board game for your dog!
Check it out. It's a fun way to spend a cold and rainy afternoon with your dog.
 I have the Dog Brick game. While I myself wouldn't collect them all, 
having one is a fun thing to have around. 
Have you ever felt physically exhausted but mentally bored? Or vice versa?
Your dog can feel the same way. These games are meant to mentally stimulate your dog to work out problems and be rewarded when they achieve success.

To end this blog here is a link to another dog individual. A German Shepard named Buddy.....

and speaking of special dogs here is a photo I haven't looked at in a very long time......
......a photo of 3 very special dogs.

No comments:

Post a Comment