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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Inch by Inch, Step by Step

Chip still has some training to go to make him a "good" dog.

But first ... tah dah! today he took his last antibiotic!

On Friday he gets a dose of something to kill the remaining developing heartworms. The adults were all killed two weeks ago. Then, two more weeks of being relatively quiet, then neutering, and teeth cleaning.

Then the real training begins, his socialization. We take Bear to a weekly socialization dog park. Unlike most dog parks, this one is supervised by our trainer, Jason Vasconi. He plays music and all of us wait until he says the word, then we release our dogs. The humans walk in a circle for an hour, and the dogs do what they will. The reason for the circling is that when humans stand still their dogs assume that is a territory formation, and they guard that territory. Moving humans form a large, migrating pack, and all the dogs move along with us. If there are conflicts, Jason breaks them up.

I think back to our dog Gypsy, who never got flea preventative, never got shots that I know of, lived in the back hall, roamed the neighborhood all day long on her own, and who got run over finally. I would never keep a dog in that way any more. I have come to believe dogs cannot be kept outside. They need to be with other animals and people. It is doubly hard on a dog here in a hot climate.


botz said...

Now days, dogs need the kind of attention you're given chip and bear. Public Broadcasting had a really good history of dogs recently. Apparently, they have been training us for a long time to be their caregivers.

Gypsy was so adored...yeah, accommodations could have had a lot more comfortable (!), and the practical aspect of grooming could have been WAY more than her one summer bath (man, she stunk!)...but she was so loved by all.

Gypsy wasn't run over. I was there. She must had a heart attack and dropped in the middle of Quincy Street or was napping and seamlessly entered the next realm, but she definitely wasn't run over. I was skipping school, as usual, and some kids came over and told me she was in the middle of the road, her favorite nap place, but in the pit of my stomach I knew this was it. I sat in the road with her and cried until Uncle Bill showed up and placed her in the trunk of NaNa's car.

robyn said...

I remember washing Gypsy in the basement. Oh how she hated that.
Botz that must have been painful to watch Gypsy die. I remember wanting to die before Gypsy died so I wouldn't have to go through the pain and loss. I used to call her "girl". She was the best dog.

It's great to hear about your dogs. I check this thread everyday to see if there are more pictures and stories. Liked your description of the gathering of humans and dogs.

I loved having a dog in my life. We can have birds, fish and cats in our building. Not dogs, bears, antelope or camels...just to name a few.
So I have wild birds at my feeder and the memory of a great fish named "Blue".
We have flirted with getting a canary. Even visited the pet store and ogled but it's such a huge investment in time, energy and love...then of-course they may get sick and will eventually die. I enjoy the wild birds.