Saturday, June 26, 2004

Two in One

I'm extra tired today ... but it was well-worth it!

photos taken by Fishboy : June 25, 2004

Fishboy joined me for a full day
of hiking, dogparking and errands yesterday.  I haven't spent quality time with him in a few months. When I see him I wonder how I survive the days I don't see him.

He was not willing to have his picture taken [without a scowl on his face] so he took over behind the camera.  Now I know what to get him for his birthday!

It's hard to believe he's almost eleven years old.  I met him when he was a wee seven year-old.  His wit and humor can keep me rolling so much, I lost track of time.  At around 2PM I said this is the first day I wasn't feeling as tired as I have been lately.  His response was,"How lucky am I?"  It meant we could spend more time together and go shopping for his 5th grade graduation gift.  They grow fast, people!  Don't let time slip away.

He was a great help - in so many ways.  He hiked Hunny while I hiked the other two [my sometimes-morning-hike-clients].  Without Fishboy, Hunny has to stay home during the hikes.  I was out of bottled water.  I told him I wanted two cases but didn't think there would be enough room in the car when it's filled with dogs.  He insisted we could make it work.  So he lifted the two cases for me.  And he strategically loaded them in the car - under the picnic table.

He was an absolute joy to be with.  I kept us well fed and active all day.  He's so good with the dogs.  He threw the ball for some of them.  He let them kiss his little face.  He stuck by the water fountain to make sure every last dog got their full share of fluids.  He even helped me keep Marley in line.

Marley was in rare form yesterday.  The moment we arrived at the dogpark, he took off.  He spent the first ten minutes running from me, jumping and trying to mount and dominate every dog in the park.  We had our first fight for dominance.  The one where I HAVE to win or he'd think he's top dog forever.

I swear, we had a full-on wrestling match.  In my mind, it was a ten-minute fight from hell.  But it might have been three or five.  He resisted so much that his head knocked my jaw and my front teeth slammed each other.  That just made me madder and gave me more strength to grab his front paws and flip him over.  I might not weigh much more than him - but I'm the boss!  Don't mess with the dogwalker!

The fight finally ended with him on his back and me sitting on top of him.  Every dog needs that at least once... otherwise, they run the pack.  Once I got him to submit, I made him stay for a minute [unrestrained] while I stood over him.  I was firm with my language and while handling him.  But I was sure to let him know he's loved and how good he was being in that submissive moment. 

Then I gave him a release command.  After that, he was like a completely different dog.  As if we'd just performed an exorcism.  Every time I called him, he came to me.  He stuck by us for the rest of the day.  And the mounting?  I just had to use my growly voice and he responded.  He's young.  And I knew it was a matter of time before we'd have that dance.  You know, every dog has his day.  But boy, what an energy-suck!

I was quickly reminded
of how resistant Hunny was to submitting to me oh-so-many years ago.  She was a terror when she first started to settle into our home.  She's little - but do not underestimate her strength. [she destroyed two couches, a couple of stuffed chairs, every pillow corner, baby pictures, keepsakes, cds, books, blankets, - do I really need to go on?]  It took me months to get her to submit.  She's so precious now and such a well-behaved dog, that I'd forgotten all those times when she taught me more about my anger than I ever wanted to know.

This is where her dominant/stubborn personality shows. [so much like her mama]  As you can see from these pictures - and Robbie could tell you - Hunny's a tough one to photograph sometimes.  If she's in the mood, she can be a big ham!  We've all seen it.  If she's not ready for her close-up, she stops smiling and literally looks away from the lens.  It's as if she knows the camera is focused on her.

Fishboy was determined to get a 'good' Hunny shot.  I like them all.


ryanagi said...

I'll have to remember this if we get a dog. We had one nightmare dog when I was growing up and I'll never forget that. -B

sistercdr said...

Your dog training moments reminded me so much of our first lab.  She was the sweetest thing, but just wild.  She ate half of a wingback chair when she was three months old and had to be left alone for a couple of hours.  Another time, she ate about a third of a coffee table.  When I got her into obedience training, I had to be so growly strong with her that the whole class sat when I said sit.  She was such a sweet dog after she learned who was boss.

metski715 said...

Hey there!
Just thought Id drop in and say hello. Glad to see that your journal is still up and running.

montaukny said...

{{{Free}}}  OMG....I had the funniest picture pop into my head while reading your entry (great as usual!)...1 of Linda Blair taking over the dog's body!  Not the devil, but Linda Blair....ROFL!  I'm glad to see you're up & about, but :::please::: don't overdo it!  I don't want to see you bedridden again!!!  You rock!  ~Aunt Nub~

diannevan said...

Woo hoo!  Get that adrenalin rush!  I'm so glad to hear the way you handled Marley.  Sometimes I have this image of you always being this sweet girl with the pooches, but THIS is what is needed sometimes.  You know the hell I've been through with my girls at various times and sometimes I actually wonder what people think of me when I discipline them.  But you did it perfectly.  You're my idol!

krobbie67 said...

Hunny's got 'tude. I can't help but laugh when I see her. She has one strong personality! And yes, I can definitely attest to the stinker of a model. That's okay, I got her sleeping. Heehee.

Picnic Table??? Huh? :-) ---Robbie

sonensmilinmon said...

Hunny is beautiful as always. :)  What kind of dog is in the upper left corner? What a HANDSOME dog!  He/she looks like some kind of collie maybe?  I'm not sure. I just like dogs and all of them look like they have a lot of personality and are fun to hike with.


gatorspictures said...

lol, sounds like you had a fun (busy) day! those dogs are precious.
hunny looks like she has the woggitude (that's what I call my cockapoo's attitude...some days she is poodle, some days all cocker spaniel....she is my wog.) Also glad to see you are getting an energy comeback...take care of you! c

luckyaugustgirl said...

Such beautiful dogs.......Ive always read about dogwalkers  in books but have never actually found a real one!!! :) Thats awesome...... :) Sorry to hear about your mono-- How long have you been suffering with that? Hope you are up to par soon! - Sarah

miarenee24 said...

I'm sorry you're feeling extra tired. It'll take some time to get back to feeling like yourself. Glad to hear that you had help and also got to spend time with such a sweet lil guy! I like all the pics! Each of them, extra special!
Lots a love!

babyshark28 said...

hello :)  what great shots, fishboy did gooood! :D
great shoes by the way.

Rosebud is leaning over my shoulder and wants to know if there are any good pics of fishboy.  there the same age. :P

great day at the park and hunny looks fabulous. :)

musenla said...

It's always amazing and informative to read about your adventures with your charges.  I've never been good with animals, I'm such a wuss.  My brother is better at handling them.

Adorable pics, as always.  Fishboy did a great job.  And Hunny, even you're being a primadonna, you're still a cutie!

txsguinan said...

Oh, I want a 'Hunny!'  
Who's the cutie in the lower right?  :)