Archive for July, 2009
Does your dog seem to copy your behavior? Sometimes it’s hard to tell, but I think that my dog Kaya is trying to talk.
I’m not talking about barking or howling — she does that too. But often if I say something to her (and yes, I do talk to her, just like you talk to your dog), she seems to answer by licking her chops or clicking her tongue a little bit. It’s almost as if she sees my lips moving, and so she wants to reply in kind.
“You’re a good girl” – she wags her tail and smacks her lips.
“Do you want a biscuit?” — she smacks her lips.
Stomach rub or back scratch — she smacks her lips.
Granted, the vocabulary may seem to be limited. But I think she’s “talking,” and if you saw her do it I think you would agree.
I have an answer to the lost sticks and balls. I throw stones instead. I don’t have to buy them or try to find them. The stones are plentiful at the beach.
Tasha swims to the plop of the stones, and when she can’t find anything, she plunges in after the place where the stones go under water. I don’t lose anything that way, and it gives Tasha the impetus to swim after the empty location in the water. She doesn’t come out of the water while trying to find the stones, but instead swims around the lake trying to find them. It’s good exercise for her, and it cools her off.
Tasha is getting to know that 6:00 hour, and stands just outside the doggie door, waiting for me to go with her to the lake. I understand her excitement, and I open the door to the gate so she can rush out and make her way to the water. She doesn’t wait for me, but instead dashes across the street (a bad thing!) to the locked beach entrance, and then she looks back at me, eager to run into the water. It’s heart warming. I feel lucky to be able to provide her with great exercise and a place to cool off.
It’s far less expensive to buy frozen meat bones from a butcher than from a pet store. I try to get my dog Tasha bones on Thursdays, when my local butcher has bones on tap. They come six to a pack, and cost only about $3.00. Compare that with the frozen bones at the pet store, and it’s a real deal. The marrow alone is worth it.
There’s a problem, though. While Tasha drools at the site of a bone, she immediately grabs and buries it. The next thing I know, she is carrying the bone back inside, full of mud and dirt and ready to chew. When I can, I wipe up the dirt, wash off the bone, and give it back to her. That’s when the chewing starts in earnest.
I often have empty, chewed-up bones all over the house. Tasha won’t touch them again after the raw meat and marrow are gone. I throw them away as I find them, only to give Tasha yet another bone.
A bone for Tasha is the perfect lead into a day when I won’t be at home. Just before I leave the house, I give her one of the bones. By the time I get back, the bone is pretty much chewed and sucked up.
Another problem is waiting at the butcher to ask for the package of bones. I hate looking at all of the raw meat, whole fish without heads, and slabs of salmon. Being a vegetarian, the scene appalls me. But it’s worth it for Tasha. All she knows is that she gets her fix of the raw, cut-up marrow bones to bury in the yard, and then retrieve!