Archive for March, 2010
Tasha has two new friends, Besa and Bruno. Besa is an eight-month old part Border Collie, part something else. She’s perfect for Tasha’s energy. The two of them play tug together from the same stuffed toy, go romping in the woods and get all muddy together, and are in each other’s mouths. They bark at the same things and have become good buddies.
Bruno is a very small Rat Terrier. He’s almost so ugly that he’s cute. He’s only nine pounds, so he gets to go everywhere that a cat would go–on the bed, under the bed, on the couch, on an airplane. He’s a lucky dog.
At last Tasha has met her match with Besa. I’m happy for all of them!
Tasha drools. When she gets excited, that’s the first thing I see. It happens mostly at the dog park, and I haven’t seen any other dogs that salivate as much as she does. I constantly need to wipe the drool off of her mouth, her neck, and her chest. I wipe the drool onto her coat, knowing that it will brush out eventually. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good picture of Tasha drooling yet.
I’ve gotten used to Tasha drooling, but when she does, both friends and strangers look at me like I have a rabid dog. It’s not something you get used to or pretend not to see. It’s become part of her character–her charm!
Today a friend of mine suggested a solution to Tasha’s lack of attention when I call her to come. Blow a whistle, and when she comes, give her a piece of a hot dog. Simple. So I went out today and bought hot dogs. I’d never bought them before. I was prettty sure Tasha would eat any kind, so I went for the cheapest things that looked like what I know of hot dogs.
I came home, and with a piece of hot dog in hand, made Tasha sit. I then made her stay, went into the next room, and called her to come. She did all three things expertly, so I gave her the hot dog. Wow! She went nuts. For a dog that never gets people food, she was more than excited. I tried it again. Made her sit, stay, and then called her from a distance. Again, she behaved with perfection.
Now all I need is the whistle so when she’s outside and I call her she’ll relate the loud noise with the treat. Hopefully, this will solve the problem of the disappearing dog when Tasha goes with me outside. The Pavlovian approach wins!