Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Visiting the Yappers at the Mobile Dog Park

To my neighbors, especially those with dogs, I'm sorry.

My dog, Rack, is awakening.   He is beginning to shake off the mess of being a "Former Shelter Dog" and simply learning how to be a dog.


We actually do enjoy meeting other dog owners, talking about our dogs, giving each other hints.  All that stuff.

But there's a wrinkle, and I'm trying hard to iron that one out.

You see when I got him, he didn't want to associate with anything.   People, dogs, or anything else.   About a week later, we noticed that he actually wagged his tail at other dogs.

About a week after that, the flood gates began to open, the rainbows shimmered in the skies, and the choir sang out.   Rack learned how to like other dogs.

We had a short bit where the other dogs were more assertive than he was.   My neighbor's dog, Buster, a smallish mixed breed with some German Shepard in there somewhere, actually climbed on top of Rack despite his being about 1/2 the size of him.

Last night, we were asked to take Buster with us for a walk since his owner hadn't been able to take him out for a week.  A cold.  He called it "Ebola".  

Yeah, there's something nasty going around.   I'm laying low and not feeling completely right myself.

Did I mention that Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey tastes like someone squeezed Fish and Chips into a glass?  I challenge you to drink that slop without cringing.

But I wouldn't feed that to either Rack or Buster.

Last night Buster did try to dominate Rack.  Rack's play now is way too energetic for that.   He simply started bouncing all over the little dog.   Buster backed off quickly and assumed the Beta Dog position at the back of the pack.  Rack's 43 pounds of muscle vs Buster's roughly 25 pounds of pudgy dog who needed a little less food.

Where ya belong little one, back there.  Let the front of the pack be for us big dogs, ok?

I have a habit of walking the dog almost immediately after I get up in the morning.   If I sleep in to a normal hour instead of my regular two hours or so before sunrise, I end up in the Mobile Dog Park.  Mobile Dog Park Time is probably why my body is getting me up around 5:30AM, or earlier.  

Mobile Dog Park is what a neighbor calls it when you find yourself walking with a pack of 10 or so dogs.  If I'm finding Mobile Dog Park a bit overwhelming, you can imagine what happened with Rack.

He spotted Pepper, the elderly Dalmatian first.   We walked down the block after I calmed Rack down.  A few vertical leaps of five feet happened, then I got him to sit while Rack dusted the street with his tail for a while.

Ok, we got the Pepper Walk down.  He's used to walking with her.  

Getting to the end of the block it happened.  10 yappers all at once.

My own belief is that in general, the smaller the dog, the less likely it will be trained well.   People don't really know how to make sure the dog comes first and the toy breed is inconsequential.

Place 10 of them together and you have a lot of barking.
A lot of barking is a lot of energy.
Dogs feed off each other's energy.

That means Rack was trying to leap into the air until I got him to sit.

It actually was pretty easy.   I'm learning that once I see the speed ramp up on the tail, shorten the leash.   He's even starting to sit down on his own as a "trick". 

Hi, other dogs, I'll wag my tail furiously and dust the pavement since I'm going to sit down.

Now, if we could just get him to stop the Right Angle Shoulder Wrench trick when we see a Big Truck or Bus.

Once he finally settled down, Rack realized that tiny fussy little yapper dogs are not all that entertaining and decided all for himself that it was time to go somewhere else more interesting.

Whew.  The Tightly Coiled Spring is beginning to learn that living life at "11" on the dial is tiring!

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