Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Now What?

My Bad Dog woke me up last night. First it was the click click clicking of her toenails on the hardwood floors. Whimper, whimper, click click click. As noted previously, she usually tries to rouse my daughters first. One was in bed with me, but dead to the world. Sophie tried the other, succeeding in waking her, and so that daughter got in bed with me, too. All the while, click click click. I got up and looked out the window to see a furry rounded back end disappear into the hedge. Raccoon or possum.

The whimpering and click click clicking continued. Finally, I got up, pulled on the 10-year-old Ugg-boot-lookalikes, and took My Bad Dog out to the backyard. It was a beautiful night. Moon, clouds, stars. It was also cold.

I lost patience with the sniffing, we went back inside, and that was that. In the morning, after coffee, we went to the park and harvested two tennis balls, then went to the dog park.

If there were only dogs at the dog park, I would get along fine, but I never know what to do with the people. I was appropriately submissive, not speaking until I was spoken to. The queen of the dog park soon revealed herself: a large lady of about my age with a sweet mutt of some Dobie mix. She knew the names of all the dogs and of all the people. She handed out treats, reprimands, and advice. When she saw people running by on the trail, she said, "There they go, running for their New Year's resolutions, let's see how long they last." Which acerbity might have had some credibility if the speaker were a wee bit more active herself.

There was a sweet white Lab mix puppy, a gorgeous grey pitbull, a lovely shepherd/Borzoi mix, and a funny-looking scruffy grey terrier mix. My Bad Dog got along with all. She had to register her disapproval when the terrier mix tried to mount her, and again when the shepherd/Borzoi thought he could intimidate her, but all in all, it was quite pleasant and the dogs got along and played and chased each other and all that.

I was feeling strongly that My Bad Dog really is My Good Dog. She was friendly and waggy to all. We met a little pitbull mix on our way home, and Sophie was sweet and patient. Then we met an Aussie and a lab mix, both of which growled and barked, and Sophie just stood in a relaxed posture and wagged her tail. 

What the. Just when I thought I had found a way to make My Bad Dog's life more fun.

P.S. I watched some dog training videos and thought it would be fun to teach My Bad Dog to come to my left side or right side. We did some work on that, and she is a quick learner. I gestured to my left and said, "Left side." Eventually I got her to understand I wanted her to come and sit on my left side. We did the same for right side. She did a great job. It took about 15 minutes.

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