Saturday, April 15, 2006

Duck, Duck, Gray Dog

Two days ago I took Savage to visit his lab friend, Gabby. She has unbelievable energy for a 2-year-old so he just wears himself out following her. Her owner and I and the pups were down by the lake and Gabby started barking for Sav to play with her. Each bark was echoing from across the lake, and Sav got scared. It was the first time he'd ever heard an echo, and it really confused him. He tried to crawl all over me for protection, as he does when he's frightened. But I couldn't help laughing. Being a first-time dog owner, each time he experiences something new, that experience is brand new to me, too. It's fascinating to watch him grow up, knowing that he has only been alive for 21 weeks. Everything is so new to him!
Now that the ice on the lakes is melting away from the shoreline and the creeks are flowing, the mallards are coming back.We go walking down to the lake every morning to find "Savage's ducks" and he is very interested in them, though the water is too cold for him to actually chase them. And I'm having to watch him very carefully around the lake to make sure he won't find a way onto the weak ice. Dogs can, and do, fall through the ice during this time of year, and if there is not a rescue effort immediately the consequences can be tragic. That said, Sava is still such a puppy that he won't leave my sight when we're in a strange situation, especially involving things like ducks and geese and echoes, and pretty much everything else!
I'm forcing myself to walk him on a leash at least once a day so he might accept it more readily. Our problem has always been that he resents being held back and constantly tries to eat the leash. Now I'm trying to divert his attention to other things to play with and praising him a lot when he's behaving nicely. I don't know if he's making progress.Some times he's an angel, other times we turn around and go back inside right away, and later I let him fun free behind our house for exercise. Leash walking is the only thing I'm trying to teach him that he is not at all eager to do. He does all his other "tricks" and commands happily. The pictures in this post are Savage and Gabby at her owner's house.


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