Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dickens Digest: Pup Stuff

I haven't had this pup for even a month, but as I look back on our relationship I've realized some very important lessons:

Lesson #1-Toys:  The dog toy manufacturers are going to hate me for this, but nothing makes my dog happier than a stick.  He'll carry a stick around for hours while ignoring those expensive "guaranteed your dog loves it" products.

Lesson #2 - Rest:  This little guy has the heart of a lion (or a Scotsman, but I digress).  In our early days he'd go and go until he got whacky bitey and running near empty.  Anything for his human to a point, then he bit back.  I've learned that living this life entails the same kind of willingness; however, we humans also have to "bite back" when our health declines or our mental state requires sleep.  I've "biten back" for my mother and father, but this little guy's teaching me to do so for myself.

Lesson #3-Challenges:  Dickens looks for challenges.  He bores easily.  He wants to know the next hill (chair) to climb.  He likes to be engaged in life.  If a toy doesn't amuse him, he'll find something that does.

Lesson #4-Socialize:  Folks have remarked to me that they've never seen an animal go so over the top at meeting strangers...human and canine.  He's not afraid to show he cares.

Lesson #5-Don't Overindulge:  Too many treats spoil the stomach.  Savor each morsel as if it were your last.

Lesson #6-Pay Attention:  There might be something special right in front of you.

Lesson#7-Explore:  Leave no stick, rock, or leaf unexplored.  Live.

Lesson#8-Play Nicely with Others:  Yesterday, Dickens had a mini-playdate with a Norwegian Elkhound named Brady.  Dickens came to the meeting at full throttle nipping, biting, and trying to climb up on Brady.  The Elkhound turned his back on him in a "Forget it, kid, your outta your leagu stance."   Canine mothers usually subdue bratty behavior with a paw, packs ignore the offending dog until he comes around. 

Lesson #9-Ask and Listen:  Dickens now asks for a snack, to go to the bathroom, or for his stuffed rabbit.  He always pauses during his rant to listen to see if I'll respond to his plea.

Lesson #10-No matter what don't forget to lick someone you love.  Throw you paws around the human and look up longingly, when she picks you up lick like there's no tomorrow. 

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