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This is a video of Patchs and Neka playing. It was taken in my back yard in June 2009. This kind of play session happened 2-3 time per day, everyday! And they both looked forward to some rough-housing to burn off their extra energy.
If you read my past few posts you will remember that Neka was a “basket case” when I got her. The Rescue I got her from told me that she was so anti-social that she would never be able to be around other dogs, and would have to be the “only” dog in the household. They also had concerns about her being around kids and men as she seamed to be very fearful.
This video was taken almost 22 months after I got Neka. By this time I had worked with her for hundreds of hours. Both alone and in controlled situations with people and with other dogs. She was pretty well over her fear issues and had been well socialized. She had learned that dogs and humans were her friends and she loved to play with other dogs and loved to be around people, especially little kids.
When this video was taken Patchs had been living with us for about 2 months and it was like they had been best buddies for ever. They bonded almost instantly! In the 3+ years they were together they only had one little issue and it was over a treat that fell on the floor. The whole thing lasted about 2 seconds because I was right there to stop it as it started! (Patchs started it).
Socializing dogs correctly is the key. With these two, it took me almost a full month of backyard playtimes to make sure that they were cool with each other in every situation before I agreed to bring Patchs into our home!
Socializing is not rocket science. It is just a matter of being aware of the dog’s personality and body language, and then being able to control situations before they get out of hand. This comes by bonding with the dog as soon as you can. Being able to stop play sessions like this one when I saw things starting to “heat up” kept them from playing to rough or going to far. A simple “Enough” followed by “Lay Down” given to each dog was like pushing the “restart” button.
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If I Were a Dog
by Michael Albee
If I Were a Dog, I would want to be loved by a kind and caring master.
… I would want to be loved just as unconditionally as I love.
… I would want to hang around with my master all of the time – my master is the center of my world.
… I would want to have a warm and comfortable place to live with lots of food and water.
… I would want to be outside all of the time when the weather is nice.
… I would hang out in the yard or on the deck and soak up the sun.
… I would relax and breathe the sweet, clean air and listen to the sounds of nature around me.
… I would run and play all day long because that’s what makes me happy.
… I would want to be friends with everyone I meet.
… I would play and share my great life with anyone who is my friend.
… If I was alone, I would call to my master and ask him to share the joy I’m feeling.
… I would share my happiness with the ones that love me.
… I would go for walks every chance I get because I love to discover things.
… I would strut proudly as I travel, because I’m walking with my master.
… I would be sniffing side to side to make sure that I didn’t miss anything.
… I would give chase to anything that moves, not to hunt it, just to play!
But if I were a dog and I had a master who beat me or treated me badly, I would run away and look all around until I found a master who loved me for who I am. When I found him I would lick his face and cuddle with him so that he knew I loved him.
But since I’m not a dog, I promise to always keep these things in mind as I interact with all dogs. I also promise to look out for, and help dogs that need my help to live the life I would want … “If I Were a Dog!”
Feel Free to re-post this as long as it is done in it’s entirety
Copyright 2014 – All Rights Reserved
This is a photo of my dog Princess Neka. She was one of my biggest challenges and one of my greatest learning experiences. She came to me as a “frightened of everything” German Shepherd Dog. She had been dumped in the country as a young dog and she had no trust of humans beyond the point of taking food and water. The rescue told me that she would never get along very well with other dogs and she should never be around kids.
I worked with her every moment I could for about 6 months. After just 8 weeks she had 5 new dog friends and was hanging out in my back yard with 3-4 of the neighborhood kids.
Before she passed away she was visiting a Nursing Care Center and she was mentoring several dogs that I was working with that had behavior issues. She was just days away from taking the test for CGC when she passed away of a sudden illness. She was only 6 years old.
I was going through some old photos today and came across this one. The poem is set to a 60′s some by the Troggs. The song is called “Love is All Around”.
The photo was taken in 1993 in my back yard.