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Brut Quote

Brut Quote

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Are you thinking what she's thinking?

Anthropomorphizing:  to treat nonhuman thing as human: to give a nonhuman thing a human form, human characteristics, or human behavior

Call me crazy but is really such a bad word?  Is it really that far fetched that our dogs may think like us and why are humans so quick to deduce that they don't?  Why do we automatically think dog thoughts are so alienated from our own?
Yes, I did just fall off the milkbone wagon and I've always claimed to be a little dog nutty, so have some fun with me and join in my crazy dog thoughts.

Dogs have been living with humans for many years and have evolved with us.  Unless you went out into the woods and plucked yourself a wolf pup out of the den, then your dog was handled by and lives in a human world.
Except that I thought of first!!

We seem to be so afraid that we are anthropomorphizing ourselves onto our pets like it is the root of all evil.  Have you ever shared a knowing look between a spouse, partner or friend and knew what the other was thinking or that you were sharing the same thought?  Ever experience it with an animal?  Why would it be so different?  Did you think it was just some strange coincidence?  A fluke of nature that your dog just happened to look at you at that exact moment you said something to him and gave a response?  Did he communicate with one of those all knowing looks that said he understood?  Isn't eye contact the most direct form of communication?  Your dog knows you inside and out, your movement, your language, your lifestyle, isn't it safe to say he may even think along the same way you do?

I was thinking the same thing!  I am a godess!

How many of you have studied your dogs behaviors, movement and body language to know what he is thinking?  Doesn't your dog do the same thing with you?  Dogs are much more receptive to subtle cues and body language and have keener senses of us then we do of them.  We are more aware of how dogs respond to our emotions, yet we can't conceive how they also think in response to us.  In order for us to feel something, there is a thought to go with that feeling.  Wouldn't it logically have be the same for dogs?

Now if you told me your dog took off in your car and stayed out all night drinking beer and playing poker, then I would say your anthropomorphizing, but signaling he was thinking the same thing you were, well that's unconditional love and just plain cool!

I'm not saying that every thought a dog has is centered around us but I think we are too quick to dismiss that dogs are complete and separate creature from ourselves.  We are all mammals with the same basic needs of love, shelter, food and water.  What gives us the right to limit a dog's thought to only what we teach them?

Go ahead, call me crazy!  What are your thoughts?


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Friday, April 29, 2011

Chance Walking Update

I have been a little lacking on my updates with Chance and his leash training, because up until recently I haven't been walking him as much.  We started picking up again at the beginning of the month.  I have been focusing on loose leash walking as he has the heel position down fairly well.  I've been correcting his tugs on the leash with a quick tug back and for the most part that has been enough.  If he begins to pull or his drive starts to kick in, I stop and wait for him to look at me before continuing.  It has worked out well.

Our last walk we had three great successes.  He always picks up speed when we reach the end of the driveway ready to cross the road.  This time he walked in a perfect heel position when we crossed and that was how our walk started.  That's when I knew this was going to be a great walk.

Second was when we started down a new road that he hasn't been on since he has been in training.  I had to reinforce his pull a few times, no little tugs were going to slow him down as he kept picking up speed.  So I had to put on the brakes several times, but again the reinforcements were working.

Our third triumph was when we happened to be stopped and a couple houses down a raccoon crossed the road.  This was the first time I've run into any wildlife on my walks with Chance and this little critter scooting across the road, was our first challenge for a dog a with a strong prey drive.  Once the raccoon was on the other side of road, Chance made one move to go after it.  I stood my ground, told him, "NO," and he sat back down.  Chance went back and forth between following the scent and turning to talk to me about his situation as if he wasn't sure I understood what was going on.  We must have stayed in that same spot for five minutes or more, as he continued to smell and talk to me.  When his body language began to calm, we headed towards the spot where the raccoon passed.  I wanted to gauge his reaction and see how he would handle as we got closer to the crossing.  When we hit the scent he went began to pull and whine.  So I made him sit, thinking that was enough for our training today and we turned around and headed home.
 I was so proud of him for all three of these accomplishments, but the raccoon was the real test and I think he did fantastic.  I was utterly amazed that he actually sat when we first saw the creature, but was even more blown away when he kept seated, checking the scent and talking to me.  He only made that one move and never tried again.  I wish I had the whole thing on tape.  It was so funny and cute and so very mature of him that I wish I could show everyone how well behaved he was.  Even before that incident, I was thinking how much fun it has been training him and how much we have both grown together because of it.  As we now have a strong foundation and are beginning to build from there.  I'd say we are at a beginner- intermediate level now and it is so comforting to know that it can be done.  I have been thinking about Blaze next.  She will really put me to the test, but I've been building some confidence now and I am beginning to see the possibilities even with her.  I have been so afraid that after Chance being so easy to train, that there is no way to train Blaze.  What I am realizing even more than before is that is a learning process.  I am going to screw up and make mistakes, but that it doesn't mean the entire process is a mistake.  That I don't have to throw in the towel just because things didn't go as planned and that best I can do is try, try again.  For the first time in my life, I think that is pretty cool!!

Read about our last update and progress at We Are Still Walking!      

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Water Walks with Daddy

Come rain, sleet, hail and snow, that's the way our Huskies must go.  I have to say, of all my walks with the dogs, today was the best so far.  It was pouring rain and I was going to wait until it stopped before taking the dogs for their walks, but I decided to go spontaneously.

I started with the Front Dogs because the Back Dogs were just chilling out and didn't want to go outside because of the rain.  So I first took Blaze and at first she didn't know what to think, but when I opened the gate she had no problem and away we went.  Of course as we left the house it started to rain harder, but that didn't phase Blaze a bit.  She wasn't paying any attention to the fact that she was getting soaked.  Her mission was to search and sniff out anything she can find in a short period of time.  Needless to say the rain had no effect on her and it actually helped when she stopped to dig a couple of holes because the ground was so soft.

Well, by the time Blaze and I finished our walk, I was half soaked.  After taking Chance for his walk, I can say I was totally wet, except for my top half that was covered by my raincoat.  I still had four more dogs to walk and there was no getting out of being completely drenched before it was all over with.

As I was walking Brut, Zappa, Fiona and Silver, I decided the best way and easiest game plan to deal was the rain was to "act like a dog" and follow their lead.  The dogs were really enjoying themselves and so was I as I walked in their "paw steps."  It was a blast and I knew before it was all over that I was going to feel great regardless of the downpour.   Each dog got their own shower and it is too bad I didn't bring some shampoo!  I couldn't have killed two birds with one stone.  Maybe next time!

I was really glad I started with the Front Dogs first because that meant Silver was going to go last and she is the easiest one to walk.  The last walk was the hardest because let me tell you, my pants and boots where so heavy that my legs felt like lead weights.  I imagine the dogs were also carrying around a couple extra pounds of heavy fur as well!  When I finally changed into some dry clothes I looked around and I saw all six dogs crashed out with spiky wet fur and content looks on their faces, making our water walk one of the best walks we've had.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Zappa's Christmas Gift

There is nothing more special than coming to bed and finding Zappa on the bed waiting for me.  It is such a rare occasion, it is like Christmas when I see him sprawled out on the bed.  I almost hold my breath as I try to slide in around him.  He can be skittish sometimes and I try my hardest not to disturb him so he doesn't jump down.  He can be fussy about being over petted as well and it is so hard not to kiss and squeeze him to death because I get so excited about this sacred moment that he is sharing with me.  I do not take this special gift lightly when I am blessed with Zappa presence.  It is like we are having a secret meeting between the two of us.  I was surprised again last night and once I snuggle in it was like everything in our little world was just right.  Besides there is nothing better than having a little Christmas in April and throughout the year!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Can't Be Alone...

Does anyone else think about the fact that their dog is going to die?  I'm going to go out on a limb and say that we have all thought of it from time to time and wonder how we are ever going to live without them.  I'm not talking so much about the morbid details but the huge loss that will occur when they go.  My dogs are still young, at 7, 4, and 3 years old.  Here's the part the scares me, I have four dogs all the same age.  Zappa, Fiona, Chance and Blaze are all from the same litter and only hours apart from each other.  Brut their father is only a year older than them and then Silver will be turning 8 this summer.  Each pair of dog is tightly bonded with each other.  Brut and Silver, Zappa and Fiona, Chance and Blaze.  They can hardly stand to be separated for a few hours, how will it be if one or the other dies?  Will it be like long term marriage and when one goes, the other won't be able to live without the other?

Their ages alone are enough to make me think I should have a reservation at the local loony bin when the time gets close but couple that with the fact of the intense connection between the three pairs is it almost too much to bear, but I do think about it sometimes.  I know I can't be alone.  To lose one of these dogs would be like losing a body part.  I thought losing Alex three years ago was a heartache that I could never go through again and he didn't join our family until he was 9 years old.  I still don't know that I've totally gotten over him.  I still miss him to this day.  Silver and Brut we got as young puppies and the other four I watched be born.  Oh, and what about the rest of the litter, if they all live full lives, we will be losing them around the same time as well.  It really is a scary thought.  There have been several recent deaths of dogs around the blog world that has made me think about these precious lives we hold so dear to our heart and must learn to let go of.  I'm sure there is no comfort when the time is right and we must do what we must do out of love for our beloved, but friends I don't know if I'm ready for it.  Are we every really ready for it?

Cherish the time we have together.  Their lives our so short to begin with compared to ours.  Enjoy the moments.  Pay attention to the little things and hold them all as close to your heart as possible.  Life goes too quick not to love.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Memories-The Puppy Song

For an after holiday treat, we thought we'd show you something cute and fun to smile about.  PUPPIES, of course!  With Daddy singing his famous puppy songs.
The puppies are six weeks old and even though Daddy always had a hard time remembering their names, he never misses a beat.  Watch how Daddy eventually captures the puppies attention as they all watch and listen.

Watch here or on YouTube

Now that's what we call "Puppy Love!"

Saturday, April 23, 2011

And They Said It Couldn't Be Done!

A rare moment between Zappa and Brut

"You don't know what you are getting into."  The exact words of a trainer I spoke with over the phone about my situation of the aggression between Daddy Dog Brut and his son Zappa.  The trainer sounded as if the entire situation was hopeless and that my only real means of a solution was to get rid of one or more dogs.  Yes, things were in dire straits at that time period, Zappa was growing up and the challenges between the two boys were intensifying as Zappa refused to submit to Brut. Giving up any of the dogs was not an option.  With such few dog trainers in the area, I relied on books, tapes and a lot of observation to understand what was happening between these two dogs and the rivalry that ensued between them. 

When Brut was almost two years old and Zappa was around 8 months, for some reason Brut started to let up on Zappa.  It was if something in him began to calm and accept that this kid wasn't going anywhere.  Somehow there was an unspoken truce between them, that I had little to do with.  They were actually playing and chasing each other when they were alone through this period.  It was magical to watch.  The fights became few and far between.

They rarely play together anymore, but love chasing squirrels around the wood shed.  We go through phases when one acts up or the other, but most of the time they ignore each other.  When they pass each other, they always turn their heads away from the other.  They have worked out a system during TV time if one is on the couch, the other is on the floor or in the bedroom.  Sometimes I just watch in amazement of how they respond to each other in what can be a close quarters.  While Brut is considered the alpha dog, I have seen him back down from Zappa countless times, just as I seen Zappa surrender to Brut with a warning bark and then walk away.  It really takes you aback that two such powerful dogs each being strong willed have a respect for each other that many times makes me hold my breath with hope and fear at every encounter between them.

Fights are inevitable but only happen occasionally now.  They happen with less intensity and usually when someone oversteps their boundaries.  What if I'd heeded those words of that trainer and many others who suggested that I should get rid of my dogs?  What if I'd given up on either of them?  Isn't it amazing what love and a little hard work can do?  It took us three years to reach this point, and they said it couldn't be done.



Friday, April 22, 2011

Brushing Miracles with Chance

Today I witnessed a miracle and while it may not seem like much to someone else, it was rather sacred in our little home.  Chance let me brush him while he laid in one of his crater holes in the yard.  He was relaxed, calm and gave me a look of contentment as if to say, "That was just what I needed." 

Two years ago, if I had a brush in my hand, Chance practically ran screaming trying to find a place to hide.  If I tried to brush him, he tried to snap at me.  Food and treats meant nothing to him if a brush was near and for a dog that worshiped food, this was shocking.  He was shedding heavily and  I was at a loss.  All my conventional methods weren't working.  So I had to get inventive.
First I tried a rubber tipped glove to at least work out the dead fur.  It was a poor tool, but Chance wasn't threatened by it.  I spaced out these brushing very far apart, like weeks at a time.  So as not to overwhelm him and to see how he would handle it.  Then I moved to a plastic brush, also a hopeless tool for his fur, but it was great for getting him use to the feel of a brush.  My husband had much better success with Chance using this tool than I did.  Then I had a brain storm months later, a shedding blade.  It had worked for Fiona who was also sensitive about being brushed.  Chance took to the shedding blade wonderfully.  It was a total success from the start and Chance began to take treats again.  This meant he was accepting the brushing process.  HUGE STEPS!!  It was unbelievable.

So this takes us through the first year and a half, when I begin to infuse a wire brush into our brushing routine after using the shedding blade for a few minutes.  He took to that as well.  Soon that was all I was using on him.  No problems.  This spring I Incorporated a raking comb and he didn't even flinch.  Just sat down and waited for me to begin.  He is almost my best dog now for brushing.  So when I saw him lying in his crater alone because Blaze was gone for the part of the day, he acted like this was the best thing I could think to do for him.  He laid there just soaking in the sun and the comfort of being cared for.  It was one the most beautiful moments between us and all I could think of was how far we've come together in this part of our journey.  It must have been exactly what he needed today and our time was so precious, he never asked for a treat.  That was just incredible to me.  It was that tender and sweet.  He let me know when he was done and after a few hugs and kisses we enjoyed a playful romp with his toys.  It doesn't get any better than this.  Just me and my Chance.     

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

Blaze! Get back in the picture!

This is the world we awoke to today and boy, oh boy, it was just looked just like Christmas!  We are used to one last blast before spring finally wins the battle with winter, but after a couple months of no snow, this was quite a surprise!

Back Dogs charging out!

Chance and Blaze played for an hour in the snow like it was the first time they had ever seen it.  While the Back Dogs rolled on their backs and that was about it.  Sometimes they are just hopeless if I'm not out there to entertain them!  Silver was holding up her paws like she was walking through fields of manure.  She looked at me like, "You've got to be kidding me!  You expect me to walk through this?"  She's become quite the baby the older she gets.  It was too funny.   

We took all the dogs for a walk through the forest near our house and enjoyed the quiet surroundings.  It was a peaceful day as we relished in the last bouts of this winter wonderland.  After going through the brunt of winter, it was nice to enjoy a temporary taste of this beautiful season, knowing that soon enough the snowflakes will be gone and there will be six sad Huskies waiting for its return.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How Did You Get That Name??

We think Mommy has been getting too serious around here and thought we should help lighten her load up, by doing the post ourselves.  We thought we'd tell you all a little about ourselves by sharing how we got our names. 

Silver-If you're wondering what in the world our Mommy was thinking when she named an all black dog Silver, well your not the first.  It may sound strange but the thin white line on my chest is like a Silver lining and it stuck.  Although if I do say so myself, it is rather unique.  :)

Brut-Well, Daddy originally named me after the men's aftershave, spelled the same way.  Little did they know that I would live up to that and more.  Hehehe!  Almost like a self-fulfilled prophecy!!  I think I fill out the name quite well, if I do say so myself.

Zappa-I was named after Daddy's coolest guitar hero, Frank Zappa.  I was named before I was even born!!  I'm not quite sure who this guy is that I'm named after, but Daddy says I would make him proud!!

Fiona-Well, I was also named after a famous artist/musician named Fiona Apple that is one of Mommy's favorites.  She says I have the same diva, sultry style as this Ms. Apple.  I'm not sure who this chick is, but I don't think her voice can hold a milkbone to my howl!!  I honesty don't know what they were thinking when they decided before I was born to name me after this girl.  I'm thinking she should have been named after me!!  My sassy moves would outdo her any day!  The nerve of them!!

Chance-I was named Blue when I was born because of my blue ribbon to tell me apart from my brothers.  For some reason Mommy and Daddy couldn't come up with another name for me.  My previous owners finally gave me my new name, it fit like a glove.  Mommy says it's the best name that could have been given to me.  When I came back to live with Mommy and Daddy, the name fit even more, because I was given a second Chance.

Blaze-When I was born I was named for the white streak down my nose .  It is hard to see now, but it is still there.  Little did Mommy and Daddy know it was going to mean so more than that!!  My previous owners tried out another one for a while, I don't think it ever stuck because when I came home to be with Mommy and Daddy I went right back to being Blaze and everything the name stands for!!  A Blaze of wild and crazy!  Believe me Mommy and Daddy wouldn't have it any other way!!  (wink!wink!)

 Here are some of our nicknames that Daddy has given us:

Silver-Silver Dollar

Brut-Booter, Boot Head, Bruter Boy, along with a few names I'm not allowed to say!!  :) 

Zappa-Zappa Dappa, Zap, 

Fiona-Fiona Bologna, Fiona Baby, Princess

Chance-Chancer Dancer, Chancer

Blazer-Blazer, Blazer Laser, Princess 

So tell us how you got your name. Any funny nicknames?  What makes your name special and unique and do you think you live up to your name??

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Angels

One of the most amazing things about having so many dogs is finding each ones true spiritual gifts in my time of need.  My childhood abuse can bring me to my knees as I continue to recover from the damage that was done.  I went through a flashback a few nights back, as I actually relive an experience that happened to me from that time period as if it is happening now.
As this nightmare began, I was with the Back Dogs, who all continually rotated their positions so that I was encompassed by them.  Zappa was on the couch with me and licked my tears and hands, helping to keep me grounded.  Then when I needed to be nurtured, Silver was by my side and let me cry in her fur.  Zappa returned as the tears and pain began to build, when Brut got silently on the other end of the couch.  I was protected by each of them as the pain hit it's peak.  All the while Fiona was directly across from me, knowing she would be my nighttime protector when I went to bed.

When the flashback ended, I walked in shock to the Front Dogs room, where Chance and Blaze immediately laid next to me, each on one side.  They kept squeezing as tightly as possible to me acting as my shields, as I lay in complete exhaustion.  They didn't even get up when Daddy came home and when it was time for bed, Fiona who never lets me down was there to keep me safe as I slept.

What was the most beautiful thing was the security, the love and comfort they gave and how all of them were in tune with me.  Their spirits were in tune with my pain, the reason for that pain and they were there for me.  This isn't the first time it has happened and I doubt it will be the last.  I have found there is more to dogs than being just a great companion.  It is like having a Higher Spirit always there taking care of you.  It has been proven to me over and over.  I am ever so humbled by the love that exist in these beautiful beings and the true blessing of having the honor to call them mine.  A gift I will always hold dearly in my heart until the end of time.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Memories-One Line

OK, so I have an inch think folder of info about dog pregnancies and births.  Silver's been in pre-labor for 19 hours and I've been up with her since 7:00am the previous morning.  Knowing things could happen any minute.  There was one line that I remember in that stack of papers that stuck in my mind:  Follow your dog outside, for how many times does a soon-to-be mother dog think she has to go potty and starts giving birth.  I remember laughing at the statement, it just cracked me up the possibility.  So I ran after Silver every time she had to go out with my flashlight in the midst of a bitter winter night, watching every move she made.

Next thing I know, Silver is squatting and next thing I know there is a bubble coming out of her.  I freak out.  In those few seconds I don't know what it was, but somehow something register to me that it wasn't a puppy.  I rush Silver back in the house and sure enough her contractions begin.  I wake up my husband and Silver drops Zappa in my husband's hands. (Monday Memories-Surprise!) Soon enough nine puppies follow and there is a total of ten.

Now the vet had told us that there were ten puppies for certain, but there was always a possibility of one or two that couldn't be seen on the x-ray.

Silver jumps up after the last puppy Fiona was born and is ready to go outside.  Her skin has snapped back into shape except for a bulge about the size of a puppy on her right side.  Is this where Fiona was?  Or is this the hidden puppy that couldn't be seen? (Monday Memories-Black Beauty Momma) Dog moms are known for having so many puppies, getting up and walking around and then give birth to more.  There can be an hour or more between puppies and we just weren't totally sure about this bulge and what it meant.
Then I remember the gray bubble Silver had expelled.  I run out into the yard looking for signs of it where she had squatted.  I check a few other places she had been.  Nothing is there.  I am baffled.  I know what I saw.  I am starting to panic.  Silver is showing all signs of being done giving birth, but after being up for over 24 hours now, I can't stop worrying about the possibility of this "lost" puppy and gray sac.  It has to mean something.

The vet says to wait.  If there are more puppies they will come.  If not, he informs us to take her to the vet and have her x-rayed.  I end up checking the yard a few more times.  I am scared and I can't seem to make any sense of that gray sac I know I saw.

Are all you mothers and breeders laughing at me yet?  It wasn't until almost six months later I was typing out my whole dog breeding and birth experience for my records,  when ONE line in my thick stack of notes finally caught my eye:  the gray bubble was her water sac.  Talk about a sigh of relief!  Finally the mystery was solved.  Out of all the information I had compiled it was only mentioned ONCE, just as the line about following your dog outside in case they think they have to potty.  If it hadn't have been for latter statement, I probably wouldn't have thought to go outside trailing after Silver, and would have missed seeing the mysterious water sac to know that the birthing process was about to begin.   How one line made all the difference in knowing what to do and while the other slipped from my mind and posed fear and panic that I would never get an answer to until many months later.  Funny how things work out.

Silver didn't have anymore pups.  We did end up taking her to the vet for x-rays just to be sure.  Another Monday Memories in the works....             

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Moon Trip

Mommy wouldn't let us go to the moon, something about the price of rocket fuel...

So we created our own moon landing!

Look at all these craters!

With buried toys!!  Who knew??

That's one small paw for Chance and Blaze and one gigantic paw for doggies everywhere!!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Blog the Change-Adpoting An Abused Animal

Blog the Change
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There is a stigma about adopting abused animals and that they are too damaged to be saved.  They will come with many behavioral problems and issues that will take too much time and money to be helped.  It would just be easier to get a puppy or kitten and raise them the way we would like. 

While these statements may be true, I believe there is often a misconception about all of them.  It is difficult to bear the weight of damage that has been done to an abused animal.  It can be challenging trying to understand behaviors you may not be accustom to, but the rewards far outweigh the challenge.

It takes a special person with patience, understanding and a willingness to give.  It takes time, lots of time to regain trust with creatures who have survived such harsh conditions due to human cruelty, but there is nothing more rewarding than watching that trust open up.  Witnessing the little bits of love that will begin to sprout as they begin to accept their new life and the love that surrounds them.  It is like being part of a miracle.

And for those that think that getting a puppy or kitten will eliminate those behavior problems, think again.  All young pets come with their own set of tribulations from the first day you bring them home.  It doesn't matter that they came from the best breeders, animals are still animals living in a human world.  They have instinctual tendencies that they are going to act on.  Coupled that with genes, their care as newborns and their particular breed, you are going to have some problems.  No more different than you would with an abused animal, the level of intensity and depth is just different.

Living with six dogs and two cats I have experienced many different behavior problems.  Two dogs from our litter came back abused and we are still working out the finer details of their abuse issues and the way the previous owners raised them. What I find amazing about these two is that heir gratitude is unmatched making every step of our journey with them worth it.  I have a dog I got as a puppy that was taken from his mother and siblings during his socializing period.  We discovered these facts along with an aggressive gene towards dogs that we are still working with.  We are seeing progress every day.  These are three testimonials in world where they are many more like them.  Is it challenging? Yes.  Painful?  Yes.  Rewarding?  More than my heart can share.

If you have the time and love, think about adopting an abused animal.  You will not only be saving their life, but your own.

The Dynamic Duo

Chance and Blaze feverishly plotted world domination

I came up with the brainstorm in order to condense time as night started to fall with the last two dogs that needed to be walked.  "Let's walk Chance and Blaze together."  My husband hesitated and hawed around, but reluctantly agreed.  So like the idiots that we are, we leashed up the two Front Dogs and prepared for our walk. 

Now I don't know what brain cell I was working with but let me tell you it wasn't the smart one.  I never seem to really think through the actions and consequences with these spontaneous thoughts and for some reason I always go on the assumption that it won't be a big deal. 

So we leashed the two powerhouses, they sat at the gate and once we were over the threshold, BAM!, they were off!!  They shot out like a couple of rockets and we weren't out of the driveway!  All of the sudden I'm trying to get control of a locomotive who has suddenly forgot English or any sense that I even existed.  Chance morphed into this burly mass of muscle rippling with sudden superhero strength.  I wrenched with all my might grasping at some control for which I was no match. 

My brain started screaming at me,  "WARNING!  WARNING!  RED ALERT!" while I wrestle with this monster that had emerged.  My brain couldn't seem to compute the simple imagery I had of this idiotic idea and what was actually happening. 

Chance jerked left and right, back and forth, while I had both hands on the leash.  I yelled, "NO!"  "STOP!"  "CHANCE!"  I swear to God all he did was grin at me like the devil himself.  He was loving every minute of it, as I was getting angrier and angrier.  He took that control and ran with it, literally.  Finally when we reached a certain spot, I turned him around and separated him from Blaze.  That's when I was able to calm down and get him to pay attention to me.  He calmed down a little and started to gain a bit of focus.  Yes that was me back there that you were heaving around.  Couldn't shake me loose, could you?

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Once we reached a turning point in the road, both dogs began to calm.  We were heading home.  I really couldn't get mad at Chance, being that it was a contextual position I put him in, I couldn't expect him to actually listen to me when he was with Blaze.  Although I'd like to beat myself with a 2x4 a couple of times for actually thinking there would be no problems taking them together.  I really don't know what I was thinking.  My husband said it best when he said, "They have a lot of power together don't they?"  Which is true.  There is a lot of physical strength between them, but it is the conjoined mental power that dominates.  It is like it overrides every part of their ability or want, like two forces coming together and creating a tornado.  It is mind blowing and astonishing and a bit intimidating.  Harnessing that kind of strength is challenging to say the least.  Every part of their beings changes when they are out together.  They seem to combine as a unit to become something entirely new.  It is awesome if you can witness it as long as you are not crying out for dear life on the other end of the leash!

How I could have forgotten the supremacy of these two beings when given the opportunity to unite is way beyond me.  Or how I thought that my simple leash training with Chance was going to influence him when Blaze and him combined forces.  Silly, silly me.  You'd think I'd learn by now.  BOL!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What is Your Relationship to Your Dog?

Most of my post are fairly serious in nature, as you may have noticed.  BOL!  The reason:  childhood trauma survived by the love of a dog.  If it wasn't for my mom's dog and those that were to follow, I don't know how far I would have made it in life and I guess I take that kind of relationship pretty seriously.  Dogs have saved my life more than once. 

I believe everything with a dog and other animals is about relationship and the equality that exist between humans and animals.  Every day I find a deeper way to connect and bond, co-habituating with these beautiful creatures.  The unconditional love they give is unmatched and their forgiveness is astounding.  I never tire of it.  I could write books about the give and take that happens communicating with these being on a primal level as well as rising together on an emotional and intellectual level.  It can be mind-blowing and very humbling at the same time. 

I have been told I have a gift, being able to communicate with my dogs, but I don't believe it is any different from any other relationship I have.  I have just found that animals are more responsive to me than humans.  We seem to understand each other.  There are givens, like they don't judge or criticize, but it is deeper than that.  I found freedom and power when I gave up the notion that they are so different from us and are so difficult to understand and read.  I found that they think and feel more like us than not.  Do I understand everything?  No, nobody is meant to know it all, but I believe it is a growing and learning experience, just like any relationship.  Just as my ideas and beliefs have changed over the years, I believe dogs evolve along with us.

What a fascinating journey that we are able to experience and sharing in it together.

How has your dog changed the way you view him/her and your relationship together?  Have you found that your ideas or beliefs about dogs have changed as you have grown together?  Has your relationship with your dog ever made you question stereotypical beliefs that you or someone else may have had about your bond with your dog?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Brut Freedom

 When Brut was young, I would let him run off-leash.  At first he wouldn't take to it, he would rather be leashed.  He needed that connection with me.  He needed the reassurance.  There was a short period where he took that freedom.  Later as we learned of his aggression, he was always leashed.  Staying leashed together we found a new kind of freedom.  I wasn't just witnessing it, I was participating in it, together with him.  Our communication grew through this connection.  His body language gave way to the sounds and sights that were before us.  We responded to each other almost telepathically.  We answered each other in rhythm like synchronized hearts.  I have been spellbound by this phenomenon of feeling more free leashed together than when I used to let him run wild.  I believe it comes down to the fact that we were sharing the moment, every moment with every movement and each vibe that ran through the leash.  Almost like an umbilical chord.  It was more than just an understanding or deep thoughts, it was the connection of our beings experiencing the moment together.  Simultaneously we are united in our walks together as if one unit.  A bond that continues to set us free and is becoming deeper and stronger than any I have known.    

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Memories-Fiona's Gift

 Fiona at four months

Fiona has a gift.  I would have never known it if my husband hadn't coaxed me into letting the Zappa and Fiona sleep with me while he was away.  I always believed dogs shouldn't be allowed on the bed, especially at night, but seeing that I was going to be alone, I let him talk me into it.

Zappa and Fiona were about four months old when I let them start sleeping with me.  After being smashed between them to the point I couldn't move, I began to think twice about our sleeping arrangements. After several nights of this, I decided to keep them in their crates for one night.  I was in need of a good nights rest and I thought this was how I was the only way I was going to get it.

I am prone to nightmares and racing thoughts and this night was no different.  I struggled trying to calm my mind, but found myself in a sheer state of panic.  I jumped out of bed and let Fiona and  Zappa out of their crates and hurried back to bed.  Fiona jumped up on the bed and just stared at me with a look of, "I am your protector, please let me do my nighttime job.  That is why I am here."  I thanked her over and over in relief as she slammed up against my legs and soothed my soul into a restful sleep.  It was then that I understood the power of this little puppy that would continue until this day.

Now her crate is always left open and she sleeps with me every night.  Here's Fiona's gift:  It is the timing of when she gets on the bed.  It is always when my nightmares and scary thoughts are starting to let loose.  She is on the bed in minutes without a word between us.  Every time.  Every time she is right there as those demons start taking hold and she comes to my rescue driving them out.  It is her gift and her job and she takes it very seriously.  It is a gift of rare beauty and one I shall never take for granted.
       Fiona now