Sunday, May 20, 2012

Beach baby

I was just out on the beach watching someone struggle to contain their young beagle. I laughed knowingly as I recall all too well trying to hold on to 12 month old 100lb Bugsy our first trip here. It was all so overwhelming back then and he was completely untrustworthy off leash or even dragging a line so I would be lying if I said it was relaxing.
He took one whiff of the sea and was horrified, the waves were freaky and not to be trusted. My only experiences had been with labs, so this giant puppy who was not happy with the sea was an oddity.
One thing he clearly did love was the sand, oh how the boy loves sand!
Back then when we were tasked with holding on to the leash the wild and frenzied zoomies were a chore, for us anyway.
We didn't come back for a couple of years, but we've been back regularly since.
Watching Bugsy evolve into a water dog has been a blast.
Today for the first time he was perfectly OK getting hit by waves that powered over his back.
He kept his eye focused on his toy and would pick it from the surf as it rolled by. I was so happy to see him at ease in the waves.
So from the giant pup that thought the sea was evil and smelled terrible to the dog that runs into the sea upon hitting the beach. Awesome.
Age, bad knees, and arthritis have slowed him and somewhere along the line he became a reliable off lead dog (well most of the time).
One thing never changes, the boy loves zoomies. Watching his berserk and looney runs, sand flying, legs going in different directions, ears flapping in the wind, I understand why every trip here we are asked how old he is and people remark "oh I thought he was a puppy"
Bugsy you keep running like your butt is on fire for as long as you can, you make us all feel young again as we watch!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

so much for keeping your eye on the geese

This will be brief.
I took Bugsy for a swim this morning.

I have to very carefully walk him from the car, past a small garden next to the boat house, and to the beach area.

My eyes are always fixed on the beach area - to do this I have to be ahead of Bugsy and try to see around the corner of the boathouse.

There I was walking along, he is already in stalk mode and been 'tapped' as a reminder to stop hunting, when suddenly my left arm goes flying ( I wish it could detach as it would be less damaged at this point) and my body is jerked back away from the beach. My eyes dart over to Beastie in time to see him nab a squirrel which was in mid-leap from a shrub to the fence or a tree.

After a short (zzzzzap) struggle Bugsy lets go of the squirrel (who was injured but able to get up a tree) but he is completely focused on the task.

No not swimming. That dang squirrel.

It took about 5 minutes to get his attention well enough to start doing some water retrieves but at no point did he stop having wayward glances to 'the tree'.

I guess we'll add that little garden to the list of temptations to avoid, sigh.

We did have a successful swimming session though and he performed superbly doing double and triple marks (retrieves).

Its a good thing I love this boy AND think he's so darn cute!

Monday, May 14, 2012

dogs are amazing

It's been too long since my last post but at times I take things for granted. I've thought about posting multiple times but then the thought passes or other things in life take over.
For whatever reason tonight I didn't let the moment pass; I was out on our porch enjoying a cool, overcast, post-rain evening. I happened to catch Bugsy, nose to the air and if he had a forehead it would have been wrinkled. You could see him thinking.
I don't know what he was thinking but he was surely thinking. It didn't take long before he headed out the flap of the dog door, that has lost its battle to survive and will be replaced this week, to investigate whatever this particularly interesting scent was. I kept watching as he cocked his head to listen, and his body took on the rigid pose of a pointer as he scoured the hedges for, well I don't know what for. After several long moments, he moved on. Now intently tracking scent on the wet grass.
This continued for 30 or more minutes and is his normal 'doings'. It is rare for him to be awake and relaxed. He is either on the job or asleep. His senses working overtime and his desire to communicate fabulously intense. Unfortunately he has mastered English much better than I have mastered 'dog'. I do try buddy I just don't have your skills!!
And I know it isn't just Bugsy, it is dogs. I was watching a 13 wk old golden today and he is learning so many wonderful things. His little brain is working hard to become as fluent in human as Bugsy's.
Heck he's trying to learn to be fluent in dog hahahaha
Watching he and Bugsy play is a study all of its own. Yesterday for the first time Bugsy really played with him. He's been thrilled to see him and has been ultra-tolerant of his puppy antics but he wasn't really playing. That all changed yesterday. I would love to know why. But that seems to be information/communication for dogs only.
And my last remarks about a recent observation are about loss.
Last August the golden across the road passed away. The owners of the new pup were his owners.
When I brought Bugsy to the house today I was startled to see Bugsy inspecting the house and all of the deceased dog's favorite places. Bugsy looked at me with a face of confusion a few times - at least that is my best read. His tail did a half wag and he looked at me with those amber eyes as if saying, where is my friend? I felt so sad. I knew I couldn't explain it to him. The pup was trying to interact and Bugsy was in search of his first friend. Then Bugsy just wanted to leave. I indulged him after securing the pup with his new antler behind his gate.
I know that many of my dog owning friends appreciate their four-legged companions to the max.
For the rest of you, take a moment to really watch your dog and see how they communicate to you. Watch them take in the world around you I guarantee you will be impressed