Posts Tagged ‘craziness’

First of all, I am very happy and thankful for many things, most particularly my family, immediate and extended. Willie is home till Monday and it is a great pleasure to have him here.

Rick loves taking Buster to the airport to pick people up. He (Buster) sits calmly, Mr. Mellow. They went yesterday to pick Willie up and got photographed for the Kansas City Star website. Check it out.

Rick didn’t want to get another dog, but I talked him into it. It seemed like a good idea to have a companion for the aging Sparky, and I thought having a transitional dog would be a good idea after Sparky died. I was right and wrong.

We got Buster last October, and he was totally crackerdog. He herded us, but worse, he herded Sparky, who could barely move. Buster nipped at his hocks and heels and generally made old Sparker’s life miserable. It took several months of the Nothing In Life Is Free (NILIF) method of dog training to get him to settle down. It did work, on the whole, and finally we were able to take the dogs on walks together without incident.

NILIF involves making the dog do something – sit, down, heel, etc. – whenever he wants something. Suppertime? Sit, down, sit, down, sit, down, stay, OK, you can have it now. Rick can put the bowl on the floor next to Buster and make him stay for 5 minutes before allowing him to dive in. When we open the door to go out, he has to sit and stay while the humans go out first. He got the big idea that we were in charge, and so he quit behaving badly with Sparky as well.

Sparky and Buster

Sparky died in July. He was a total dawg. Not too quick on the uptake, but loyal, happy, friendly, biddable, and in his day an excellent Frisbie dog. We all loved him, and he loved us, but Rick was as a god to him.

Rick is still grieving the loss of Sparky, but Buster really has been a great dog to help with that. He is so unlike Sparky that we don’t have crushed expectations. He is pretty well-behaved now, goes all over the place with Rick, loves me too, hangs out nicely, doesn’t beg (much).

But every day, for maybe 15 minutes, some days more, some less, he is Mr. Crazy Dog. It occurs when we take him out for a walk. He is so excited that he’s awful. He jumps in your face, pushes you in the chest with his front paws, barks like a maniac, dives and bites at your legs, and generally makes himself extremely unpleasant. Both of us entertain notions of extreme pet abuse when this happens – you just want to reach out and shake him. (Don’t worry, we’d never do it.) It helps to throw a tennis ball for him at this point. He won’t bring it back and drop it at your feet, but he seems to be calmer when he has it in his mouth. That’s him up in the header of this page. The first half of the daily walk usually involves him running around with the ball, and then he a) settles down and b) loses interest.

We’d sure like to figure out how to change this behavior. But we do love him anyway.

And now let me repeat: Willie’s home, yay!

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