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One Dog, Two Dog

Since Ginko is pretty much Sofa Captain, homebody, boy about the house, I forget what he is like in public. In a word: Unruly. It’s a good reminder for me when I get my rant on about people who have little control over their dogs and how that affects my sensitive Lilly Girl.

I have One Dog, who spends much of her time responding to my cues and requests and general being-ness.

I have Another Dog, who didn’t have the benefit as a pup of what I know now.

While out for his wellness exam, I tried to get him to focus on me, using food and other Relaxation Protocol-like strategies I use with Lilly, and they didn’t work worth beans.

You know why?

Sometimes, Ginko trade the sofa for a pile of snow.

Because … I’ve never taught Ginko to focus. I’ve never taught him to settle and relax. I’ve never asked him to do more than a SIT here, a WAIT there, and maybe a passable leash walk, if there is nothing exciting him.

Oh, he went to a dog training class as a youngster, and we’ve certainly done our share of waking and hiking and hanging out. I just didn’t keep up with it throughout his life.

We did play a little Doggie Zen in the exam room while we waited and that *did* keep him quiet and somewhat focused (instead of panting, pacing, whining).

Toward the end of our veterinary appointment on Monday, Tom had to meet someone for a work thing, so I navigated Ginko through the lobby and out to the car alone, before going back in to pay.

Ginko pretty much dragged my butt the whole way because he was so happy to be leaving. I thought I did a pretty good job avoiding the Cocker near the actual exit and the young Golden puppy and his family, plus the stray people here and there in the lobby.

Ginko was VERY motivated … DOOR = OUTSIDE.

When I returned an older woman, joked (I hope) that she didn’t know who was walking whom.

I wasn’t sure if she meant to commiserate or judge, so I just smiled and said, “Yep. He’s a monster, but I love him.”

You see, I am Mom to both kinds of nervous dogs. I have both sides of the coin. Next time I get on my high horse, someone remind me of that.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Roxanne Hawn - May 26, 2010

See, in the Husky example … those reminders seem deliberate. With Ginko? Well, he is just plain clueless. :o)

D.K. Wall & The Thundering Herd - May 26, 2010

Laughing – thus the beauty of Siberian Huskies. Just when you think you are making headway, they like to remind you that they can embarrass you any time they want.

Roxanne Hawn - May 26, 2010

Well, Rod … perhaps we are living the same life. :o)

I swear. I’ll do better next time around. Lilly has taught me so much.

Then, again, I know how much time and love KB puts into her dogs’ training, and even she gets embarrassed sometimes.

Rod@GoPetFriendly - May 26, 2010

Are you sure you’re not talking about our dogs, Ty and Buster?!

KB - May 26, 2010

I know exactly what you’re saying. When I take R to the vet, I am frequently completely mortified. You know how he barks when he gets excited? Well, you should try being next to that in a small room… And, even “dog people” back away from him, not sure what he’s going to do next. This is all because he insanely LOVES going to the vet.

His out of control behavior at the vet is despite us trying every conceivable strategy to calm him down (and you know that we took him to classes with a great trainer from age 8wks). Every now and then he has a good visit to the vet but I never can figure out what triggered him to behave better.

So, yes, I know both sides of the coin too.

Maery Rose - May 26, 2010

Oooh, I know how embarrassing that can be. No matter how much work you do, you can get into a situation that isn’t like your usual environment and it’s like you’ve never ever used the word “heel” or “sit” before.

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