Awww, he’s still a little baby bottoms, even if he’s got himself a big baby bottoms! So sleepy. Kenai, 47 wks
This is his new favorite napping pose. Instead of getting all the way on the bed, he sort of puppy slides; front end first, ooching the back end up in sections. This pic is the second to last section. Next he’ll shift the rump to lay across the foot of the bed. Must be a feel good stretch kind of thing. Silly wumps.
He had a stimulating Thanksgiving. We so rarely have company come over that the boys aren’t exactly well practiced at controlling their excitement with the prospect of people love. Poor Kenai had his gentle leader on until he got the idea that he still has to stay on his bed.
Only getting attention when called over for it isn’t a boy’s idea of fun. They were supposed to play with him on demand (insert puppy pout, puppy sigh).
Overall he did very well, and even with his brother’s happy antics, Kenai stayed calm. He didn’t mooch from the table a single time, my good boy, and didn’t really bug anyone. Once when Melba approached him all noisy and excited, he had to be clamped down on for the initial stages of the rough you ups.
She’s used to the swats and jumps of her lab, but Kenai’s considerably larger. Riling this bull elephant up to “play” isn’t a good idea when you’re in your 80’s…He outweighs her already!
I get asked a lot if Danes are good with children. Yep. Very good with kids. If… if is the big catch. Their personalities are wonderfully tender, gently protective, and tolerant. When grown. Puppies are another matter. They must learn from day one how to interact with kids, especially small kids.
Dane pups will be as excitable and playful as any other pup, only with some serious poundage. An excited 4 month old Dane can knock down a grown woman, so yeah, a toddler will get some bruises if it’s not supervised.
My first baby sitter was a Dane. Riptide was 6 months old when Mom got him, his training well underway. I was 2 days old when we met, and it was love at first sight for us both. Riptide was my first boyfriend. He would lay down beside me, that big nose keeping track of when I needed a diaper change. When I could crawl, he would walk along behind me, even moving toys or other obstacles.
Standing up involved grabbing his fur and using him to keep from tenderizing my rump roast. He cried a time or two, but never moved. He would block the stairs, and if I tried going around him, Riptide would keep his big butt in my way. Spankings meant he was put in another room first, where he cried with me.
Outside, he would kill snakes and groundhogs, and run off cats and stray dogs when I was out with him. He would retrieve my toys and balloons too. We shared cookies, took naps together, explored the woods as a pair. Riptide was a companion and protector.
But Riptide the Gentleman had to learn not to run around playing near me, to never ever swat or bump, surrender the ball when I wanted it, and be gentle. It came naturally to him, but he was just a youngster himself. He was supervised around me until Mom was certain his behavior would always be calm. For him, that was a solid year. Then she would let us be alone together, though she was never far away.
For Kenai, as calm and gentle as he is, I wouldn’t trust him alone with a little kid yet. He swats too frequently, and plays too hard. He’ll be very well behaved for awhile, then start getting over-stimulated. He’s attracted to the little peoples, tickling babies with his whiskers, trotting along next to kids and doing his sits for them. They’re like magnets, and when they cry, he gets all upset and wants to fix it. But he’s a gorilla when he plays.
Our late Brazos, once he was over his teenage dunderhead stage, yeah, he was beautifully gentle, trustworthy around babies on the floor. His tail got gnawed on, his ears were pulled, he was crawled all over as an adult. Each pup will need time to grow up and calm down before you can put them and the kids out back without watching.
Someone else asked about stopping the swats. Jeez. I emailed back with what I’ve tried, but had to confess I’ve never completely stopped it with Kenai. It’s a frustrating failure. He does it less and less as he ages, and is more careful about where and how hard the feet hit, but he still forgets himself and wallops when playing. Grrr. He’s been no where near as easy to redirect and manipulate as my past Danes.
With other dogs, Kenai is an unredeemable ruffian. A top notch thug, and middleweight golden gloves boxer. Perhaps that will also decrease, after adolescence, if I just keep on keeping on with corrections. How sorry I was not to have a helpful solution. Who knows, maybe something that failed with Kenai will work for that pup?
Saturday morning I began seriously looking at mobility harnesses for Kenai. Most people buy them around a year old, acclimating the dog to the feel and use of the harness they’ll wear throughout their working lives. I’m sure it feels odd to them at first, heavier and more restrictive than a nylon walking harness. Thankfully, Kenai is pretty tolerant of equipment. Except the fleece coat—it must offend his dignity or something, the man-snob.
Anyway, the arrival of a harness will mean a new stage of the brown bear’s training; balance and the beginnings of carrying stuff. He’s far too young for carrying my schoolbooks, the big heavy things. And there won’t be any real bracing tasks yet, not until he’s grown.
We’ve nibbled the edges of carrying and balance, but once I have a rigid handle or backpack pouches, he’ll start hauling lightweight grocery bags for me. Toilet paper, dinner rolls, shampoo bottles…not the eggs though. That could be messy.
All our hands free heeling practice really did have a purpose! And so did his walking harness. I wasn’t just being a despot. “Thou shalt walk NICELY little boy”…
We’ll officially have moved into stage 2 of 3 in his SD training when his harness comes! Basic obedience, balance harness, and weight bearing are the 3 stages for Kenai. It’s exciting and intimidating at the same time! There’s so much to learn and get used to, for both of us.
He hasn’t fully perfected the basic obedience, and probably won’t be totally reliable until he’s grown. That’s okay. Who knows, perhaps a heavy leather harness will make him feel like he has a job to do? He does walk better on his easy walker harness, and did with his little boy back pack several months ago.
Not having done this before, I’m sure there’ll be lots more flubs racked up in my “oops” page. Oh and plenty of “what the heck was that about” from the brown rhino’s repertoire. That’s the fun of it, I guess, laughing at the duh moments.
“Hope and fear travel together…”
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on November 29, 2008
Kenai looking ever so regal in his new vest! And check out the shine on that fur again.
This pic was from Saturday, our public practice time without his gentle leader. He was doing so well! Tuesday he turned 47 weeks old. It’s interesting in a useless sort of way that counting his age in weeks makes him “older” than just going by months. There’s 52 weeks in a year, not 48 weeks, and 48 divided by 4 is 12 months.
Oh well, when he turns a year old officially, January 1, 2009 (New Year’s baby), I’ll stop counting weeks and just go by months old on his growth and progress pages. He and Beebs are New Year’s babies. BB’s official AKC registry name is “Shakira’s New Year’s Champagne”, since his color is a little lighter than Kenai’s. It fits his bubbly personality too!
Kenai’s registered as “Shakira’s New Year’s Celebration”. I chose “celebration” because he is a celebration for me; he’s going to make going places and doing things possible that I generally don’t without help. That’s worth celebrating! He’s already brought about some remarkable changes for me, and in me. My lovely lion pawed dear is worth more than the world to me.
Kenai’s had a couple days at home, okay 3 days, getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday. Our friends, Wade and Melba are coming over. We’ve split the cooking between us, which makes it easier for me to actually enjoy their company. I hate that inner tension of wanting to see my friends, but dreading the fatigue and pain that comes from having company. Bluck!
I’ve been able to scrub the couch, since it picks up the oils and odor from the boys laying on it. BB especially has a very strong body odor. I’ve also dusted, and today I’ll run the sweeper to pick up as much pretty brown hair as I can. There’s not as much coming off the Brothers Grin as there used to be!
Kenai’s weigh in Monday has me floating! He’s gained 1.3 pounds–I can’t see the vertebrae of his spine anymore, nor the ridges of his shoulder blades. The depression between his hip bones is gone, and I’m only seeing the last two ribs now. Not to mention his coat has shine enough to show up in a picture once again.
I’ve done something novel, at least for me: I opened a cafepress store with Kenai’s pics on mugs, shirts, and other gift items. There’s a link in the text box to the right. I’m slowly changing the jpeg pics to png pics for better quality printing, but this darn dial up has trouble with the larger png uploads. And being a fumble-bumble when it comes to photo stuff, I haven’t figured out how to put captions and such on the pics. Working on it, though.
Maybe there’ll be some income to pay for his expenses. Between the two boys, it’s $145 a month for enzymes, almost $100 a month for food. Special K really needs a harness soon, and that’s a costly thing to buy. So I’ve made a 10% mark up on the cafepress–If 10% is good enough for Jesus, it outta be good enough for me.
I’m not depending on cafepress income, not with the current economic situation in the US, but it surely would make the budget breathe easier. Me too. Mom three. Who knows, maybe I’ll give BB a shop too? Besides, a boy should have stuff, right? Sasquatch stuff!
Since it is Thanksgiving, I probably should give thanks for heaps of good things in my life. I’ve got a pair of really good friends I can count on for anything, Wade and Melba. I’ve got a terrific Mom, who supports me financially while I’m not able to support her and I. I’ve got a pair of baby bottoms, one all wiggly and fun (BB), and one that’s strong and caring (Kenai).
I’ve gotten encouragement from so many people via comments on this blog, which I don’t always get a thankful reply back to. I’ve had such good advice and reassurance from the yahoo epi group, helping me get my boys back to health and vigor. Mom’s been able to pay for their care, thank God. My health has held up enough to care, train, and provide exercise for Kenai–it could be so much worse, remembering how hellish the first few years of my 30′s were.
I could rattle on, but the idea is remembering the good things and giving them more emotional weight than the not so good things. I’m not as steady in my thankfulness as I could be, but who is? It’s a lesson that could be learned from dogs, isn’t it? Enjoying whatever is in front of us right now with all our hearts is no little lesson!
Thank you Kenai, my growing up rhino baby. You’re a gift from heaven itself.
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on November 26, 2008
Kenai epitomized, an outdoorsman in his tall grass, 46 wks old
Boy ‘tis been a rough week on my body… Preventing a hard, hard BB splat getting out of the car Monday, Tuesday’s long list of errands, Thursday’s cleaning and dusting while Mom was gone so the stirred up dust didn’t cause her breathing problems; all contribute to a painful week. To top it off, Kenai is waking me up at night so I’m not getting good enough sleep to feel better.
He’s waking me up because of my breathing. Took awhile to figure it out, too! Mom finally saw him pick up his head and start listening to me, then get up and wake me up. I’ve been a wheeze woman for a few days. When he doesn’t like the sound, he gets on the bed with me until I’m awake, then goes and lays down again. By 4 or 5 am he’s hungry, so it’s up and make his breakfast. I’M GOING TO BED AT 8 OR 9 PM! Guess I’ll never be hottie of the nightlife around here. Oh well.
Friday wasn’t anything remarkable, but SATURDAY! That means my special K got his weekly run in the baseball diamonds! I could almost hear him shouting “yippee, look at me ma!” We didn’t stay too long because there were other places to go.
But the rhino got to run for awhile, and that made him happy. He gave me 11 really good new pics. One of them is very similar to “kangaroo puppy” from a couple posts back, but this time, even his skin is having trouble keeping up. It’s “kangroo puppy in a wind tunnel”!
To put them all up before he turns 47 weeks old, I’d have to post 3-4 times a day! Guess I have to choose the best of the best. They’re all so good! Maybe I’ll make a picture book from one of those self-publishing sites, and use the proceeds to fence in a big chunk of his field. That’s an idea.
Then it was into the larger town nearby for a stop at a puppy store. We got there before it was open, so Sasquatch got himself a wander in the undeveloped lot behind the store. All those swell smells! He didn’t want to leave his newly found patch of tall grass. But the store was stuffed with outside toys and big, big chews for big, big boys like him.
Kenai is the proud abuser of a soft plastic jolly ball on a rope to play with in the UK (unmovable kennel), waiting for its debut sliming Sunday. We got two pressed rawhide bones too, for the Brothers Grin to gnaw on while they wait for meals to hit the raised feeders. Bones are good things. They get the drool going so a boy can slobber before he eats too.
Then we headed back towards home with a stop at his favorite small puppy store. Guess who was there before it was open. So again, it was a wander, followed by a heel practice without his gentle leader. He did surprisingly well, considering the exciting surroundings. When I’d had enough (sadly quick), it was back to the car to rest the final 10 minutes.
Low and behold who should appear in a car next to us but another Dane! This was a little guy, just 5 months old, and sweet as candy. Rufus was a blue merle, several inches shorter and lots of pounds lighter than Kenai because of his age. He’s going to be a big fella, though, pretty good sized for 5 months old. Did I mention sweet? Aww, Ru was the gentlest little guy, all leans and nose smooches.
He and Kenai had sniffs, swats, leaps and nuzzles until TEENAGER K started playing rough. Then Kenai found a mad momma staring down the length of his suddenly immobilized snout. That brought the dunderhead hijinks to a quieter end. I made him sit stay while I petted the other pup. Then after a couple downs and stays, he could re-enter the puppy games. The second round he had to earn with good behavior.
He wasn’t being mean at all, just too excited and forgetting his size. The other owner actually thought it was kinda funny my thug got his thugness put away for him—she’d had lots of male Danes and every one of them had been afflicted with the teenage knucklehead syndrome. Been there, knew how it was done. That’s what I like about owners of really big dogs: they aren’t taken back by the occasional need for putting overly stimulated poundage in its place.
The two boys trotted around the store together, getting in a game of tug, chase and peek, and watch-us-do-our-sits-for-treats-together. That last one is followed by slobber slinging in duplicate. Kenai doesn’t really slobber very often, remarkable considering those lips and jowels, but when he does it’s spectacular. Could probably drown a toy breed.
By the time I got home, there wasn’t much by way of limbs still working on me. So he got his lunch and we collapsed on the bed. “Whoosh” is the sound of Kenai running past at a thousand miles per hour, and it’s also the sound of the two of us deflating when heads hit pillows. That was all she wrote for the two of us, flat as popped tires! Cooking human supper was in serious jeopardy. So was the possibility of excursions Sunday.
I may have to go back up on my dose of Lyrica to get through the season change, and colder weather. It’s getting tough to keep up the pace of outings, and he needs them now that adolescence set in. He really does need the time in public to keep him from getting rusty, because he pulls the leash more, doesn’t listen more, etc. I gotta keep going, so I might be having to ask for more medicine to control the fibromyalgia pain.
I’ve started taking some super-duper specialized probiotics that are supposed to balance out the natural flora in the intestines. Having CFIDS, I can easily develop problems with yeast and bacterial overgrowths, making me fatigued and feeling bad. It’s doing something, that’s for sure, because I’m having familiar yeast die off symptoms. Uuhg. But if it prevents another monster bout of candidiasis, and gets rid of the tinea versicolor troubling me, it’s worth it.
It was recommended to help with Kenai and BB’s bacterial gut imbalances by a holistic vet, a possible contributor to their low pancreatic enzymes. It’s made for humans, but works well at replacing the need for antibiotics in milder cases of SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowths) in dogs.
After some research and discussion about it with the holistic vet, I decided to start taking it myself before I give it to them, and see what happened to me first. Oddly enough, it makes me hungry. Perhaps it’s the dying yeast begging for startches and sugars, who knows? It’s doing something, after less than a week. Seems promising. I doubt it’s going to “cure” my CFIDS, but if it helps without side effects worth complaining about, that’d be great.
Kenai’s developed a quirk. Not that he has any quirks already. But this one is a new boy wrinkle in toy times. He plays best with pilfered toys now. Snitched from BB’s box, boosted from the kitchen toy stash, or any toy that doesn’t belong to him is a trophy.
Doesn’t matter that much, really, but he thinks it’s the coolest thing since peanut butter. He has a big old sasquatch game out of his slight of paw! It makes his thieving heart happy, the silly boy. Is it me or is he bored with his own toys?
He’s also developed a quirk about the UK, the unmovable kennel where he has his daily run time. He makes figure eights around me, running with his snatched up weed stalk or squeaky bone. First he has to “steal” something I’m pretending to want.
Our signal for keep-away-is-okay is “gimme that you boy!” Then a tushie touch game is on, the long legged brown bear zooming past to see if I can molest his rump or grab the weed on his way by. Goosed ya! Ooh-hoo-huu! Zoom!
He’ll run straight past, but he really, really likes doing figure eights. Goofy gus. And he doesn’t mind being left there while I sneak to the freezer in the garage. He loves it when I magically appear at the other end of the UK, having quietly come back a different route than I had left. Play bow, swat the air, and goober run time! Momma snuck up on you!
I hope his having such a good time in the UK once or twice a day is keeping him mentally happy, since there are a lot of times I’m not up to doing much. He’d be happier if he could be outside more, and riding in the car more, no doubt. What boy wouldn’t? It’s a really good thing he’s not a high energy dog.
We only made it out in the car twice this week, but I tried to make dusting and cooking and tub cleaning entertaining to him. Takes longer to actually get done dusting and cooking and tub cleaning, but with any luck the brain teases make up for reduced outdoor exercise, courtesy of his affinity for critter chase of late. All in all, he’s not too bad off in his human owner–luck of the draw didn’t go against him.
Not even his skin can keep up! And hey, check out the shine on that coat again…doing better!
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on November 22, 2008
Kenai in the throes of his couch-ate-my-ball game, 46 wks old
Tuesday was a long day for K, starting with a store. Normally I wait until he’s had other stops to get in his working boy groove before I go into a store. But he did okay with the gentle leader. Then it was up to the clinic to wait for Mom’s PT to be over. Kenai doesn’t like to wait, the impatient teenager. He was whiney, able to see Mom but not go over and sit with her too.
He made some friends all the same. One doesn’t expect to find a Great Dane in a physical therapy clinic, so he did attract attention. Especially from a former Dane owner, who wore out her phone taking pictures! The stinker knows when his picture’s being taken because he’ll stand up straighter, sit prettier, and hold his head up all handsome like. He gets practice at home…
Speaking of pics, my streak of poor quality shots continues. I may be a camera hag but that doesn’t mean I’m good at it!
One thing I didn’t like about the clinic adventure was he refused the elevator there too. That meant I climbed stairs. I had him to hold onto, but I don’t want to climb stairs when there’s an elevator in the building. We may have to call the clicker training lady from awhile back to work on that. A shot of new person energy might be refreshing to us both, who knows.
While Sasquatch is in his fervent adolescent mode, we’ve gone into a training glide. Having been through other puppy stuff stages with him, I’ve gotten used to the reality of hurry ups and pauses. There are times when he and I zoom along, practicing, and improving daily.
There are also times when he seems to totally forget what he’s supposed to do and has done for months. So I’ve learned to glide, waiting out the phases and hiccups.
Sometimes ya just have to keep on keeping on, following the routine, doing your thing until the weird wears off. I know he’ll turn out just fine, and have had some encouraging glimpses of grown up Kenai.
Back at 9 months old, he was THE service dog in action: I could walk into a place and hardly pay any attention to him at all. Easy is coming I’m sure. He’s a good boy. He just has to grow up, and there’s no rushing that.
There are some camps of doggie training that object to the rigorousness of training assistance animals, competition dogs, drug dogs and the like. It’s believed that expecting the level of obedience required of them from an early age is somehow callous, that their puppyhood is denied them.
It’s true that many pups simply could not be contented with daily practice, daily exposure to new situations. They couldn’t make it through the training with their happiness intact. It’s stressful to be out and about for many dogs. For others, it’s fun and entertaining. Kenai certainly gets housebound!
That’s why there is so much emphasis placed on picking a pup with just the right temperament. There has to be an innate and abiding desire in a pup to be with their human anywhere and helping their human or the work is drudgery. Working dogs have drive. If they don’t have something to do, they get frustrated.
There have been times I questioned myself about Kenai, his independent streak showed itself to be wide and deep early on. He’s not the stereotypical working pup, not by any stretch. He has a mind of his own, with brains enough behind it to keep me on my toes.
Most of the time, 99% of the time, he’s quietly laying down or watching what’s happening around him like some lion king. It’s that 1% that surprises me! For instance, I have to lock the car doors when I leave him because he knows how to open the door and get out. He’s done it, scaring the fool out of me.
His problem solving skills are most often used for his own desires. Yet when he’s not in “practice time”, when it’s a real situation where I very much need him, he’s there. He’s absolutely THERE and on the job whole heartedly.
So with Kenai, I think he gets bored of doing the same thing without a reason. He won’t do the same trick over and over for long, no matter what kind of treats or toys you have. He’d certainly never put in the hours of repetition that a dog in obedience trials or agility does. He just wouldn’t do it. He wants variety, the spoiled brat!
I’ve seen the tendency, but wasn’t so consciously aware of it in my past Danes, that “yeah, already get that, what’s new?” I sometimes laugh about wishing for a dumb hound, or one too obsessive to get bored! Ah, but dumb isn’t any fun. A girl’s gotta have some fun, messing with a sasquatch…
Kenai has taken a big liking to the UK out back (unmovable kennel). He romps, he chases his squeaky bone, he goober runs and plays all out. I need balls. I need lots of balls, and big ones for outdoor time. He gets bored with his toys, so a big stash with big variety is the next penny-scraping endeavor.
I went to buy a basket ball or soccer ball the other day and nearly died at the price. It’s a ball for crying out loud, and it’ll have holes in it within 10 minutes! (Squished balls still play good, BTW). We went home without the basketball.
So the hunt is on for outdoor toys they can’t demolish. Jolly balls look interesting, and toys on a rope too. That’ll be tommorrow’s outing, hitting the puppy stores. Today is Thursday, so we’ll be staying close to home, checking in on little brother BB who has to stay in his expen while Mom’s gone.
Gotta keep the boy company some of the time so he doesn’t get too lonely. Big Bro and me will be having a romp in the UK for sure, and maybe a quickie outing since we didn’t do anything yesterday. Not much today, though. A tidy up upstairs would be a good idea, now that I actually looked at the mess…
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on November 20, 2008
What an expression! Deadpan contempt for girlie dress up… Kenai 45 wks old
Kenai is acting like a man-snob again, turning up his snooty nose at a fleece coat. He’s not sure he likes this coat thing. “Does it make me look like a girl?”. “Am I wearing a skirt?”. “A little cutsie for me, ain’t it?”. “DO I look like a Yorkie to you?” Maybe he’ll like it better when he realizes it’s for playing outside this winter. Hum. He doesn’t change his mind easily.
Saturday’s run in the baseball diamonds was as thrilling as the last one. Sir Snobby ran like a lion, almost non stop. I would leave him sniffing at one fence, walk towards the second diamond and call him, and he would rocket right by going to the other fence.
I was startled how easily he came, too! Any excuse to really rip the terrain apparently. And the lack of critters helped I’m sure—nothing more interesting than me around. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that in our field of battle? I draw the line at hanging dead rabbits and squirrels around my neck…
OMG how cold it was. Reminded me of a high school football game that was so arctic, coffee froze in thermoses. Mom’s lighter fluid froze and she was not happy about it. Okay, it wasn’t THAT cold Saturday morning, but cold enough to launch an all out search for the fleece doggie coat when we got home.
The coat itself is a handmedown, one I’d made for my late Taj to keep his tush warm. It’s essentially a horse blanket, slipping over the head, and a tail opening at the back. Being fleece, it doesn’t slide off one side or the other, either. I’m getting a sideways guess that this will soon be inherited by BB…BB’s not a snob. He’s a cartoon.
Kenai probably wants hunting haute couture, something in moose hide with a manly appeal. That or au natural…Snob! He’s not getting LL Bean for Christmas, no Cabala’s credit card, nor a weekend getaway in Fairbanks, either. He gets too haughty and I’ll put a pink argyle hoodie on him for spite.
I watched a show on Animal Planet last night, “Dogs 101”, that talked about several breeds. One was Great Danes, and they said the hunting, guarding, and working instincts were long ago bred out. Right. Allow me to introduce you to Kenai, AP. Another breed was the bloodhound. Okay, that’s where Kenai fits: so intensely involved in tracking a scent that owner’s commands go unheard.
My toffee tush is a throw back to olden days, the hunter and estate guarding dog. Sigh. He is awfully noble and gallant in spirit though, which is just who he is. (Smile). That’s my boy. We have one Stoic, and one Stumpy to enjoy for their individual personalities. The Brothers Grin are inimitable; Mr. Dignity and Mr. Mess, Zen Master of Vibes and Bump ‘n Wiggle Boy, Straight Line Wind and Gallopoling Gallop…
Sunday was a good day for Kenai, though you’d never know it to hear him whine so much. He was out in the UK not once, but twice for exercise. The weather was about 30 degrees warmer, and the sunshine was good. The downside was it made him hungry, hence the whining.
I serious considered throwing in an extra feeding just to hush him up! Jeez. Noisy boy. Just when we thought he was going to drive us nuts, he followed Mom to the bathroom and initiated himself some entertaining “Messing with Sasquatch” time.
He is hysterical doing that, barking, shaking the widows when he slaps down into a play bow, stomping his feet and whar-wharing at Mom. She makes faces at him sitting in a chair and he gets louder. She stands up and he leaps behind me, sticking his nose around one side of me to bark, then the other.
She stomps her foot and he whacks at it with one paw then retreats. If he gets too close she gooses his tush and he spins in circles a couple times, then play bows again…The two of them are a trip! The bathroom is the only place he does it, too.
Funny guy, having his MWS time with Mom makes him just about grin. He gets to be noisy and rambunctious, unless the tiger paws hit skin. Then he gets scolded. Mom’s skin is extremely fragile from years of gold injections for her arthritis, so pinching her can cause bruises and bleeding.
Kenai gets all concerned about blood on either of us, wanting to lick at the spot and leaning ever so gently against you. Bear boy fix it. He’s a sweetie, though he forgets himself from time to time and inflicts a scratch or two himself in the throes of play fun. Then he gets all sad and tries to fix it. What a love.
Monday involved a trip to the vet for BB, so I made use of it for a weigh in on both boys (separately of course—2 Danes in a small lobby?). I’ve missed a couple updates on my guy’s growth page, forgetful creature that I am. Oops. We weighed the wumps and went home after Beeb’s appt. It wasn’t a warm enough day to linger around town!
The UK (unmovable kennel) is in a rather protected sunny spot, so we had some fun time chasing his squeaky bone and playing touch the tushie as he ran past. It’s the best game for setting off goober runs! If I get touch his rump too many times in a row, he gets all goofy and has to do goober runs to get the silliness out of his system.
I guess it’s like playing tag when we were kids, getting that adrenaline tingle when “it” almost gets you. Or when the creature in the haunted house is running along behind you and everyone is freaking to go faster. EEEECH! Whatever it is, Kenai loves the “touch your tushie” game, and the resulting zoomies.
He was panting when we went inside, and the evening was nice and peaceful. Peaceful is good.
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on November 18, 2008
Kenai’s “you’re not going to take a shower are you” face, 45 wks old. He can’t quite grasp that some of us actually like taking a bath…
Dogs are uniquely gifted at eliciting bizare behavior in humans. They can make a grown man crawl around on the floor with a fuzzy toy in his mouth. They can make a sourpuss of a person soften up or even laugh. Kenai can make cold phobic me go for a walk in blistering wind chills. BB can make you want to sit on the ceiling fan to watch TV undisturbed.
The tools at a dog’s disposal for making people do things are many:
whines so grating it could put cheese on your salad,
gas toxic enough to melt your eyeballs, and sent in your direction by the wagging tail
overturning the sneaky furniture that stole their favorite toy unless you fetch it for them,
dropping a ball so slimy it won’t bounce anymore on your good clothes,
BB’s favorite of nipping or licking Mom’s toes until she gets up, (aka, foot fetish puppy style)
raking the curved toenails down your leg until you pet them, and scolding is just another form of the attention they were after,
Kenai the Zen Master of VIBES drilling holes in your head,
bury the Sunday ham so you can’t take it back before their snack time,
and the ever pitiful back turning, puppy pouting syndrome.
This is just a few methods of manipulation! There are as many tricks available as there are dogs. They experiment on us, you know. They use us to sharpen their problem solving skills like a cat using a clawing post. To their credit, they make us learn to use ours if we want to actually control them. And we thought we trained them…
The more intelligent the dog, the more they subject us to experimentation. I had a Dane who discovered he could make the door open from outside if he rang the door bell. At 2 am. Had a Husky who discovered she could sing and get applause followed by the desired attention when she was supposed to be NOT interrupting the party.
There’s something to be said for dumb hounds…had a couple of them too. They weren’t much fun, but they weren’t much bother either! If you’re looking for a dog as an accessory, like a throw pillow, purchase the mentally challenged pup. For dinner party entertainment, pick the mischief boy or girl!
All of this is slightly tongue in cheek of course. But it points to how much more complex a relationship there is between dog and human than a sit and stay. They don’t just learn tricks for treats, and neither do we. Dogs have personalities, brains, and know how to use them. (Sometimes on us).
I’ve learned more about dogs from Kenai than the bookself alone could manage to make stick. He’s a daily post-it note with fur! Breaking a habit I don’t want him to have is far from simple. Anyone whose pup took a liking to hand mouthing and wouldn’t quit can second that.
Sometimes, most of the time, to change a behavior we don’t like is a trial and error thing. Having some idea of why they do what they do is often the most effective info you can have. Take the hand mouthing: it can be sleepy comfort driven, stress relief, teething, misplaced dominance, submissive begging… and it won’t be the same with each pup or the same each time they do it.
The thing with dogs is you can gather info in your head, but making use of the info to actually stop a behavior requires intuition. Dogs make you feel; understand what they’re feeling, aware of what you’re feeling, sense how the two sets of emotions affect each other. They provide us the opportunity to live from the heart in a heavily intellectualized, brainiac world.
It amazes me how much of my heart had deadened itself over the years, numbing the sorrow and fear that appeared when illness so drastically changed life as I knew it. I wasn’t exactly a “balanced” or grounded person to begin with, still carrying the scars of growing up in an abusive home.
One of the most startling “lessons” from Kenai was how little emotional awareness I possessed! Emotional dexterity? Ha! Flexible as steel tubing is more like it. The difficulties I’ve had training and raising him have been world-class eye openers into what was going on with me more than him.
Dogs can heal us, just by being dogs, reflecting the emotional goings on that we hardly notice anymore. And what doesn’t always come across with typed communications is that I’m grateful to my big brown post it note for that. Heck, I was profoundly grateful of what he would do for me before his little beige bottom left his mom’s body!
Long story short, dogs teach us to interact with head and heart both–they make us live whole.
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on November 15, 2008
Well it seems my two weeks of successful shooting sprees are over. I’ve been trying since Monday night for a good pic of Kenai, and nary a one. But good and funny don’t always have to come in the same package! This is Kenai’s most marvelous new bully stick, the first in a blue moon, and he can’t decide if he wants to chew it or poke little brother’s butt with it! You can just see the edge of BB’s backside in the pic.
Personally, I think it looks like a blow dart…
Monday was a rainy wash, and all we did for Kenai’s outdoor time was spend time in the UK, the unmovable kennel. He chewed enough dead plant matter to be counted as livestock on property taxes. Okra stalks, volunteer bean vines dragged around, a dead branch from the magnolia that hangs over the chain link all provided the “how now brown cow” plenty of chew and chase time. He actually didn’t want out, even after I had walked to the house and back without him twice.
If it wasn’t for his tendency to swallow what he chews, I’d happily have left him to enjoy himself to his heart’s content. We can’t get a break from the wind long enough to burn the plant debris out. Mom would not be happy with me if I caught her magnolia tree on fire, especially if it spread to the rose arbor. And let’s not forget the well house 6 feet away.
Tuesday was more interesting for Kenai. He learned that swiffer dusters aren’t confined to floors, as I dusted off the walls and ceilings of a couple rooms. He barked at it until a dust bunny came off the edge and fell at his feet. Then he decided its purpose was to retrieve playthings he couldn’t reach.
Next in his education was that furniture polish makes a boy sneeze if he sticks his nosey nose too close. He was looking to see if that too would provide him something to play with. Not exactly, buddy.
We sat my shaky bum down after that, and potted up some chionodoxa bulbs to flower for us at Christmas. Of course Curious K stuck his nose in the jiffy mix, so we had to wash the snoots. It was easy to find him, by following the trail of peat moss. A boy just can’t hide from the washer woman!
Since I had to clean the nose, I decided to clean the rest of him. The bandito’s curiosity earned him a humiliatingly undignified mini-bath with a soapy wash cloth. Ick. Since I had to clean the snoots, then cleaned the dog, I decided I might as well clean the couch a bit with the soapy washcloth. Don’t ya love how to do lists seem to grow as you go? Start with one thing and wind up with many. Sigh. It seemed reasonable at the time.
No way was a soapy washcloth going to really clean the couch, but the doggie shampoo seemed to remove at least some of the surface oils making it smell some. If I do that every few days, perhaps I can get it clean, clean over time? The upholstery really does need a thorough sanitizing steam job, but with luck, we can put that expensive needful thing off until after Christmas.
Then it was nap time. I don’t remember how it went, but its inadequacy was obvious by 4 pm when it was time to start dinner. Tuesday afternoon was my galloot’s first restaurant visit in almost 3 weeks. Now that he’s feeling better, I thought it was time to give it a try.
Oh boy, is he out of practice. I was glad we were nearly alone in the café. He didn’t hold his down stay when his favorite waitress came to the table. Twice. And he whined twice. Silly pup!
His health is doing much better, though he still isn’t quite back to normal. I’d call it good, but not yet tip top shape. One really, really, super yippee thing is that as his body condition improved, so did the sore hind legs! They can be a little tender, particularly after a good run ‘n romp. But he’s not crying or nibbling them at times anymore.
Wednesday was a typical day, a quickie run in the car, some nap time and hanging out. Nothing remarkable really, save for finding a neighbor’s dog marking in our back yard. Darn it, I wish people would be more responsible–there are three or four dogs in the neighborhood that just run loose all day and night. This area is really bad about that, and being in the county, there isnt even a leash law to enforce. Grrr.
With all this winter like weather, I’ve pulled out my red nail polish! I love that color, and wear it all winter, until spring makes me change to pink again. Red is a good color; bright, bold, and invigorating. Winter seems to have arrived a tad early, this year. Cold, wet, and grey has been the weather, so I’ll take a shot of red to liven things up!
Winter’s also brought its cold winds early. That I could do without—the Menieres flares up, messing with my balance and causing endless ringing sounds. Next Saturday will be a challenge, (Saturday’s fast becoming run in the park day for Kenai), since we’re going to be out in the horrendous cold with high winds.
Scarves not withstanding, cold blowing air will give me the weeble wobbles! I can tell you I’ll be as round as a weeble wobble too–entirely, perfectly, routundly round–wearing every article of clothing I own, and maybe borrow some of Mom’s. In olden days, it was called “dressing trunk poor”. I might even wear the trunk…
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on November 13, 2008
Kenai’s happy walk in the park, 44 wks
Kenai had himself a marvelous Saturday morning, going off in the car as the sun was coming up. We explored a new place together, with plenty of new smells to entertain his brain. I couldn’t smell anything, my nose froze. Kenai did, though, having a hypothermic human after 20 minutes of sniffy snoots. Man that wind was brutal.
Unfortunately for me, 2o minutes of cold air wasn’t enough to tire out the newly dubbed polar bear. The next time I name a dog, it won’t be a name from Alaska, or anywhere else where the temps go below freezing. A dog prissy about the cold would be nice! We’d snuggle up under blankets and snooze until spring… but an Alaskan-named dog I have, so it was into the deep freeze again.
THE PARK!! He was standing up in the seat before the car was stopped. I could hear the “yeah, ma, yeah, lemme out” loud and clear, and he wasn’t making a sound! Vibes. The boy can send vibes. They come through driver’s seats, across rooms, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Kenai’s vibes could penetrate superman killing Kryptonite.
He got his off leash run inside a different ball diamond this time, (a little variety is good) and being Saturday I wasn’t anywhere near as worried about being caught—city workers have the good sense to stay home where it’s warm on weekends. He rocketed past, played with a giant leaf blowing around, kicked up sandy soil, and rounded third base several times. Oh the joy of his free puppy times—it was all too much for him and he had to leap and buck like a mustang in the middle of it. Fun, fun, fun it was.
I thought about crawling in the dryer when we got home, but made do with a cup of hot tea and breakfast. Having our Saturday breakfast to ourselves, Mom and I realized that there was no mood of having to hurry, no trying to enjoy the quiet quickly before my brother and his daughter woke up, no feeling of pressure at all.
That was the most sumptuous, indulgent sensation! It’s hard to describe the relaxed ambiance; reminded me of a time in college where my roomie and I had the dorm to ourselves over a holiday weekend. We stayed up eating ice cream and chocolate, making all the noise we wanted at 2 am, showering until pickled and all the other things girls do when there are no other restraints on them. That was one of my best memories.
For the first time in more than 8 months, there was no one else in our house but the four of us. We laughed, we made plans, and didn’t have in the back of our heads the thought that those plans were likely to be intruded upon by someone else…Kenai wasn’t the only member of the 4-pack who enjoyed that Saturday morning leisure.
I might have carried the leisure too far with my super long nap and slacking off in front of the tube most of the day: Kenai was bored by bedtime. He was going to drive me balmy if he didn’t get some toy time. But I’ve learned a new rule of playing with Danes, so it wasn’t wasted time by any means. I made the mistake of yawning as he picked up a fuzzy baby I’d tossed, and it wound up in my mouth too. (Bluck, spit, spit).
Dogs that are big enough to stuff toys in your mouth while you’re standing should not be played with when you’re sleepy.
The night was exceptionally short—BB had a big bad bout of diarrhea at 3 am. Since Mom throws up at the smell, Kenai waited in my room for an hour while I did the clean up job. I washed 6 carpet runners, mopped 4 rooms with bleach and detergent, used an entire roll of paper towels, cleaned up a shaking pup, and nearly emptied a can of air sanitizer.
It’s hard to imagine a pup that small having all that poo in him. Small relatively speaking, anyway. Beebs is about the size of Chloe the lab, just an inch or two taller. He has gallons of poo potential, apparently. Must have a hollow tail.
We like to keep his leavings soft so he doesn’t constipate, but that was a whole lot softer than we want. I’m not entirely sure what caused the stinky explosion, either. He wasn’t into anything Saturday, he didn’t get any people food. The current suspect is one of those treat balls, that has hidden yummies for a dog to figure out how to get to. No more treat toy for the Master of Mess, at least for awhile.
So our Sunday began a little early.
Kenai was the only one of us not out of commission by sun up, which meant being creative or being pestered. We had a moving game of ball walking between the kitchen and the laundry room out of necessity. We invented a grab the bottoms game while I did my hair. We stumbled onto a game of back-talking with Sasquatch when he got a look at my cold cream covered face. We even made up a game of pin the appendage while I attempted to put on lotion (while he attempted to lick it off).
I did my best to keep his pot stirred through the mundane activities, hoping it would provide a little exercise. The ulterior motive was to avoid another outside hour in the cold! Brr. When he still whined for play after all that, I decided I could at least take him for a drive. Going in the car doesn’t have to become going out of the car, right? Wrong.
He whined about not turning into the park. So we went for a walk around a school. That wasn’t enough to tire him, despite walking against an 18 mph wind. As soon as the feeling of being an unpaid servant to a trust fund brat overcame me, I went home and crawled in a heated bed. Tough puppy luck, boy, I needed to defrost and ease the leg tremors.
He whined. I snored: right back at ya brat!
My eyes opened to pretty, boy wrinkles looking me, awakened by those hungry vibes of his. I sucked down a cough drop to ease the dry throat, then mixed his food and finished the laundry, watching TV between loads. I rarely ever sleep on my back, and the sore throat is why. On my back, I snore. Any other position, I don’t. But my upper back and neck needed the heated mattress pad more than my sides or knees. It was a big surprise to discover I’d actually fallen asleep on my back. Guess I was worn down pretty bad.
Kenai had quit his whining with a full tummy, playing and walking around with me as I boiled the last of the potatoes and fried some eggs for a lazy cook’s supper. By Monday or Tuesday the last of the starches bought to stretch our groceries while my brother was here will be gone. That means DIET CHANGE has come again. In anticipation, I took the little smokies out of the freezer—low carb here I am, make me feel better!
Messing with Sasquatch time!
Sasquatch talks back!
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on November 10, 2008
Here’s “grinning kangaroo puppy”, as promised! Kenai 44 wks old, having a run in the park.
It’s finally OVER! My brother packed up and moved out Thursday. He still doesn’t have a job but Mom gave him $1200 and sent him out the door. I’m trying very hard to be considerate of her sad feelings about the whole 8 month ordeal, but containing my elation is not easy. I want to do a goober run with Kenai!
Finally, the monkey’s off our backs so to speak. The money to get him out has put an end to Christmas, but I can live without presents. I just want peace. Baking home made goodies are just fine for nearly all the people on the gift list. Shipping costs are deadly, but there’s nothing better than apple butter cookies and fudge on Christmas! (Except for the baker’s well earned massage).
Kenai had an early morning wander in the field Thursday, just a short one. Then we went to the UK for a romp. Okay, it’s the unmovable kennel, and I discovered another hidden length of chicken wire that had been stomped down. Who could have done that? Don’t know anyone with big feet.
I got part of it out the garden, but the other half will require gloves—a thick bunch of Johnson’s grass has grown through it, practically cementing it in place. And there’s one piece of rebar to get rid of so he doesn’t get hurt. Sasquatch has room for a goober run in the UK. We know since he gave it a try Thursday morning. It’s about 30 feet long, 15 feet wide.
He actually had himself a marvelous time. The ground is so soft and rich (all that work!) that it inspired him to have a scratch or two at it. The scolding for that inspired another goober run. I do believe he’s going to enjoy his UK time, and the cool air seems to invigorate him. The muddy feet will inspire me to have a second wander in wet field grass before going inside from now on.
Once inside, Kenai had a quickie rest, then was in the mood for some toy time. The pouncing suddenly reminded me of a show I saw, of how polar bears break through ice to grab a seal. He rears up on his back legs, then ka-pow! Both feet in one spot. He doesn’t rattle the windows, but I’m sure it sounds like a polar bear in the rooms below! Especially when he’s “talking” at the toy, whar-whar-WHAR-whar…What a boy!
We had a couple errands Thursday too, useless stuff really, but it was a chance to be out and about, which my brown (polar) bear likes. Friday morning I stopped for a fountain drink, and there are 3 big grassy areas around the store. On a wild hair I drove over to one and put Kenai on his long leash, thinking he might enjoy a new patch to sniff around.
Low and behold what should do but start to move around me in wide circles! So he has a new phrase in his vocabulary: good circle. A 20 foot radius is a nice big area to trot, pausing of course for scents or to stand up and watch a car going by. My mini horse started to longe for part of his exercise, in a doggie sort of way.
Exercising him wouldn’t be such an outright endeavor if that field was fenced, for sure. I don’t even want to think what it would cost to put up a 6’ chain link even around just one acre. Ya think the feds would give me part of the $700 billon if I said pretty please? Maybe if Kenai said pretty please? He does have a very appealing attentive-face sit, with all his boy wrinkles and bright eyes. Who could resist that?
Someone passed a link on too me about what colors dogs can or cannot see. Who would have guessed that blue, yellow, and grey is pretty much it? And the plethora of red toys and balls are the same color to dogs as the grass they have to search through for their toy? You’d think dog toy companies would have a better understanding.
Blue and yellow is the easiest for a dog to see. It was a neat link http://blogs.psychologytoday.com/blog/canine-corner/200810/can-dogs-see-colors It also explains why Kenai prefers his yellow tennis ball when playing on the blue area rug in our bedroom but has to use his nose to find it outside! I hadn’t really thought about how each toy appears different in various backgrounds.
I loved the comments about writing a book! I always wanted to be a writer, and love to rattle on. Problem is, when I sit down to “write a book”, I can’t think of anything to say. I did start copying the blog posts, but it soon became obvious that if I made a book from them, it would be big enough to cold-cock an elephant!
So then I decided to have a “blog excerpt” book, summarizing Kenai’s progress, growth, and the lessons I’ve learned. It soon began to feel like a book report, dry as old toast. I’m toying around with it, and looking for other ideas. Writing would be a good way to get some extra income, and something I’d enjoy. We’ll see what happens.
Well, my brown polar bear wants to go play in the cold, so that’s it for blogging today. I’ll be taking his blue ball out with us…
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on November 8, 2008
Kenai gave me tons of good pics Tuesday during our park excursion. I screwed up the nerve to turn him loose in the baseball diamond, and he ran himself silly. There’s too many pics to choose from! Dignified ones, goofy ones, happy ones, silly ones…
I’ve got one pic where he looks suspiciously like a kangaroo, one of him walking all peer-of-the-realm like, another in his new vest…I decided to use the vest pic for this post, but for our Australian friends, the next post will have kangaroo puppy. Some of the funniest pics come from snapping in mid-run.
He had to walk the perimeter of the diamond on leash, so I could be sure that all exit gates were closed. Then he was free to run. Oh he had such a good time! We were pulling out in the car as a city park vehicle drove by. Wonder if he saw us? It’ll be a few days before we go back, just in case. Oops. Guilty–I broke the rules.
We went to vote next, and Kenai did quite well considering all the new people around him. He was determined to sniff a person or two, but the gentle leader took care of that. There was a whine or two while I filled out both sides of the ballot, but overall I was proud of his performance. For some reason, no exit poll folks approached us—hum, do you think it could be the huge dog? Nah.
The urge to cook overcame me Tuesday, so there was a big crock pot of stew warming for lunch and snacks. Supper was potatoes au gratin from scratch and smoked sausage. Desert was cookies. Wednesday I was glad for all the leftovers!
Kenai pined away for the human food, poor kid, moping on his bed by my chair. He’s stuck with puppy gruel. At least the dog food is doing good things for him, even if it isn’t hamburger stew. Hamburger stew would not do good things to him, with all the fat in it. His exercise would be running to the potty spot all day if he had some stew.
November 14th is the class sign up date at the community college I attend. I’m really wondering if Kenai will be ready, since he seems to whine there and not want to hold a down stay. If not, he’ll have to either wait in the car or stay at home with Mom while I’m in class. He just needs a little time to mature so he’s less prone to excitement.
It’d be so good to get back to school. As I’ve started feeling worse, my world has shrunk again. I only visit five or six internet sites now, and lost touch with some internet friends that only email me if I email them first. It’s strange the way a shrunken world feels: like a soap bubble around you with only so much oxygen available in it.
Peripheral things fade away to the outside of the bubble, where you can see them, but not quite extend the oxygen far enough to include them anymore. Only the top priorities are granted oxygen. We have this daily ballet of balancing Kenai’s physical and emotional needs with my physical and emotional abilities, having a finite amount of oxygen.
Considering all the obstacles we’ve tackled, the less than easy situations he and I have made it through, I think we’ve done pretty well. That belief doesn’t always show up on a blog, BTW. Most of what winds up on a blog is what upsets the author, by default. And what upsets a person is usually given a disproportionate amount of paragraphs!
Short of a 20 page daily essay to include the uninteresting, what a person will read about Kenai is difficulties and triumphs of every shape and degree. That’s the effect of the shrinking bubble: focus narrows to the one most important thing in my life. That’s Kenai.
So we have our ballet—he needs freedom and exercise, I need him safe. That’s why we hit the baseball diamond. He needs some toy time, I can’t overexert myself, so I sit down as much as possible while we play. He needs outside time, I need to regain some influence over his concentration, so we have “awareness walks” in the field now.
I know it sounds very “new age”, but I don’t often feel that super deep spiritual connection with Kenai. Every once in a while a person will get a dog that they are so in tune with that words and leashes aren’t needed to communicate. Back in the day, it wasn’t difficult at all to relate to a dog on their intuitive level. The fibro fogs, the anxiety, and CFS had stolen away much of my awareness without my really noticing how much is gone.
I don’t often feel I understand other people anymore, either. Signals seem to cross or just not be recognized. It’s a waste of time dropping hints with me, or expecting me to read between the lines. And generalized disapproval isn’t very effective—it upsets me without providing specific ideas of what to do or not do.
Having to focus so hard on the logistics of life left no oxygen in that shrinking bubble it seems. I’d lost my intuitive understanding of other beings. That loss has really come to light with Kenai. Not being one to shrug and relinquish what’s important to me, I’ve been trying to get my intuition back.
When I take him out to the field now, he has to be on a long leash so I use the time to just try and feel his energy. The idea is for me to not only be aware of his energy, but to be aware of mine. I’m working on finding that ability to understand him with my feelings instead of my head. Not to mention recognizing and remembering how his and my energies interact.
I wait for him to look at me, then I click and allow him to go sniff about (Control Unleashed idea). While he’s doing his doggie thing, I close my eyes and try to sense what he’s feeling, what he’s thinking. Anytime I catch him looking at me, I click and usually get a happy “Hi babes” in, with maybe a rub or two if he’s close enough. I try to reward any attention he pays me. (another Control Unleashed idea).
When it’s time to move on, I say in my head “ok, time to move”, then stand up taller and start to march. If he runs ahead of me, I shift directions to the right or left; I have to be in front, and he follows. All of this is without words, learning to lead him with intention. It’s amazing that most of the time he falls right in with me, even at the end of the 20 foot leash. Sometimes though that smell is too good to abandon so easy!
As “Dog Whisperer” as it might sound, I’ve decided to try living on his level more: he’s instinctive, intuitive. The idea is to tighten up how he and I connect, by making myself more instinctive and intuitive. It’s another ballet between us, moving together innately, without all the go lefts and stops and let’s go commands. It’s a strangely prayerful, meditative time for lack of a better way to put it.
Sure, I miss having the natural ability to relate to a dog intuitively, downright effortlessly. That would be ideal, the effortlessness. But if living with chronic illness can teach you anything it’s this: ideal is a fairy tale. There are few if any ideal relationships in the world, and fewer still that didn’t take a fair amount of effort. Most of us are stuck loving and listening as best we know how, learning new ways when we need to.
Not measuring up to some idea of ideal (including our own) isn’t the end of the world; it’s a door to another path…if we have the courage to walk it.
Posted by greatdaneservicedog on November 6, 2008