My Dog Rocks…

Oscar is awesome. I know I am biased but he truly just rocks. He is really starting to mature into a sweet and good natured loving companion. Although my back and I would like him to be awesome while sleeping on his dog bed instead of on my bed now… This is a work in progress… And I have mentioned before, I totally contribute to his separation anxiety… I feed it and nurture it. I know. This too, is a work in progress.

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I went to NYC last weekend. I left early Friday morning and dropped him off at Camp Canine first thing in the morning. This is I think, the 4th time he has been to camp, and the third time he has stayed overnight. The last time he was definitely freaked and whined when I dropped him off which tears my heart out, so I was hoping this time would be like the first when he ran inside and never looked back.

Nope.

This was the worst yet. He cried. He hid. Tail between his legs and low to the ground he ran for the door to outside and tried to get out. The guys that were taking him in the back to the playroom clearly freaked him out and he whined and had to be dragged back. How horrible! Talk about traumatic for me! UGH!

But I knew that as soon as he saw the other dogs he would be ok…which he was. The staff told me when I picked him up Monday that he was kind of timid and shy for the first day or so and then he started to mix it up a bit and play. And clearly he played a lot… he was WIPED when I got him on Monday. And smelled good too… they bathe him and whatever they use smells really good. He was a shiny happy and very tired boy when I got him home.

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And he is so damn adorable when he is pooped out. Wow… talk about lovey and cuddly. There is nothing like a tired dog. So after I unpacked and threw in a load of laundry I had to get serious cuddle time in and he just loved it. Or maybe he did not even know. Hard to say… haha! Does cuddling a sleeping dog count as time spent? Absolutely!!!! I will take what I can get.

But when he is worn out and that crazy nervous puppy energy is at bay, THAT Is when you really notice his personality and how good natured he is. And most of all how much he has learned. He knows sit, shake, high five, lay down, roll over, get up (couch, bed), get down (couch, bed, me), come, stay, no, get in the pool, get out of the pool…. he plays catch and tag and fetch… and when he is playing and mouths my arm if I say “no bite” he stops immediately. He knows. We are still working on the barking when he hears noise and the rushing the door when someone comes over. He has actually stopped jumping on me when I walk in house which was a big one for a while. We are also still working on the interest in the litter box so the baby gate stays up until we are sure he is over that. Cody got over it.

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He knows who the cats are individually… if I say something to Albert he goes to correct him for me. Same with Jimi. Cody used to do this too which I think is strangely funny. Albert is a total lunatic and destroys my things… drapes and carpets, throw rugs, scratches the furniture and knocks things off the counter. So if I yell at him Oscar (and Cody too) will full speed run over to him to stop him from doing whatever it is, like he is helping. Hilarious! For some reason Albert and the dogs in my life have always found a connection. Jimi… not so much. And it is not just Jimi’s age (he is 14 now) because he was only 6 when I got Cody and never really had that connection. They would hang out, I found them cuddling once or twice but they never played together. Albert has always played with both dogs… running around the house together and chasing each other. It is pretty adorable.

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So what is the lesson here? Time. Investing time and trying to keep the end result in mind every time you get frustrated with training and the ups and downs. It is a LOT of work and a LOT of consistency to train a dog. In my experience the potty training has always been the easiest of the many lessons I teach them. The most frustrating are the jumping and boredom destruction habits that take a ton of patience and time. We are getting there though and he is growing into a fantastic animal… handsome and happy and good natured.

I took him to the dog park last night to get him worn out before kids started trick or treating in my neighborhood and he had a blast. It was great to see him run around and play with other dogs, that happy wide mouth grin he gets with that tongue flapping in the wind.

That is a happy dog!

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~ by Michelle Sammartino-Zeto on November 1, 2013.

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