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Friday, August 27, 2010

Good dog!

Yesterday Spike spooked at everything driving by. Busses, trucks, little Volkswagens. It didn't seem to matter what size the vehicle, he scooted behind me, tripped me by running in front, or tried to hide.

"Yikes, what's the matter with you?" I scolded as I unwrapped the leash around my legs again. "C'mon Spikey, it's ok!"

Finally, I stopped and waited as cars approached. Kept him beside me. Let him shiver until they were past.

About the tenth car, he quit watching. Settled down. Stopped worrying. What it took was the experience of nothing happening.

That works for me in real life too. When I'm anxious, if I can slow down, maybe even stop to look around and analyze what's happening, I feel better.

Our walk this morning was uneventful. He didn't flinch once. "Good dog, Spike!"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The energy of youth

I don't remember having the energy young Spike has, bouncing up and down our stairs. Fetching. Running.

He just spent an hour on the 40' leash, chasing flies in the courtyard, barking up our 150' driveway, getting tangled up in ivy when he checks out the flowerbed.

He's on the hunt for the squeaky toy I tossed over the railing. Spike keeps coming upstairs empty-mouthed. His nose helps him find me when I hide behind doors. He's pretty good at rooting out what he's looking for, so I'm going to keep him tracking until he finds it.

"Where is it? Go find!" He's been looking for fifteen minutes and keeps coming into my office to see if it has magically appeared. Nope. He pants off the heat, and off he goes again.

Tonight we'll take him for a slow run on the Walky Dog. We have to pick up some books at the neighborhood library. Afterward I bet he sleeps like a pup!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Toys and stuff

Spike got a shave at Petco, so naturally we had to check out the clearance section. I found a second harness ($2) and a few collars ($1.20 each). What I needed - leashes and a raincoat - were still outside my budget.

Spike's doing well at learning not to pee at every corner. Tug tug on the leash. From his excited sniffs, other dogs obviously hadn't been as disciplined. He scratched and rubbed himself all over when we got home. Probably itchy from his cut and getting used to his hair length = short.

He gets excited when I pull out the carrier and buckle it into the car. He hops onto the passenger seat, puts front paws on my arm to be scooped up, doesn't mind hind legs held as I fold him into the bucket, and doesn't squirm when I fasten a collar through the loops that hold him in.

When we drive, he loves to look out the window or he turns to me for a pat on the head. Good doggy!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Home at last

Spike is happy to be home, and happy to see me.

I'm so thankful for Spike's great care while we were in Asia for 5 weeks. Thanks to Rachel and my daughter-in-love Melissa for pampering him.

Yesterday we took our first walk through the neighborhood together. It was one tug after another. Spike's inclined to run ahead and pull. He's been indulged while I've been gone, but sorry doggie... I'm back!

Tonight, after strictness yesterday and the morning walk, Spike was walking almost beside me. I had decided that when I got back from summer travels, Spikey would become a "GREAT" dog... good manners, no jumping on people, barking only on command, playing fetch and doing tricks when asked. He's on his way today, aided by a piece of sardine and tiny chunks of beef brisket (smoked for yesterday's lunch by my husband). This dog is food-driven and will do anything for a good treat.

I'm glad to be back, glad to have my dog around, and having fun! Can't imagine what I was missing before Spike came to live with us :-)