July 9, 2008

A dog's life

I haven't forgotten my Napa photos promise. The problem is that it's SO much easier to upload pictures to Facebook and write commentary there; it's hard to motivate myself to post the same pictures here. If you know me in real life, you can find me in that crazy land of endless Scrabble games and voyeurism.

Our harnesses came today!

I ordered one that goes around my waist. Basically, it's a climbing harness without the leg loops. It has a water bottle holster and a small bag on the back. The bag fits my iPod and the *ahem* doggie bags. I can attach the leash at the side, front or back. After doing so much work to teach her that I'm the one in front, I was happy to find an option that let me put her to the side. (Sounds so authoritarian, huh? Well, you had to find out sooner or later what I was really like. Dad--no need for comments from the peanut gallery!.

The harness for Muttola is a Ruff wear hiking harness. It has a handle in the back that allows you to lift the dog over rocks or up ladders. Lots of people seem to use it when their dogs are old and have strokes or whatever. She seemed happy when I was putting it on her, but I think it was just the up close attention. When we left the house to walk down the steps, she paused on every third step and looked at me. I could hear her groaning inside, "The indiginity! How could you! What IS this thing?" It took three times as long as usual for her to believe she could actually pee in the thing.

For our run tomorrow, I think I'll see how it goes with her regular collar and train her toward the harness.

Since I've now officially crossed the line (having shopped for items for to wear together with a dog), I can bore you with one more dog story.

Our dog has begun to try to be the boss of the dog park, or at least the big sister. If a puppy is getting picked on, she breaks up the pack. She is adept at a loud, startling puppy take down, and only has to do it once per pup. When we got to the dog park yesterday, only one dog remained. Let's call the dog Duchess. Duchess didn't get up when we came in, didn't run toward the mutt, in fact, she just sat with her front legs crossed and stared Muttola down. With this dog...

*this photo was NOT taken at our dog park . . .

Muttola stopped twenty feet away and then slowly circled her. Eventually they did the sniffing bit and then Duchess sat back down and continued to rule her domain.

That dog left and it was just us for a couple minutes. We saw a guy coming toward the park with his dog lunging ahead in eager tugs. As they came to the gate, Muttola did something I'd never seen her do before. She lay down, crossed her front legs, and watched the gate. The new dog, Brainless, did the same nervous circle that Muttola had done. When Muttola stood up for the sniffy sniffs, she didn't even have to bother with a puppy take down. Done and done with the stare of the Duchess!


Mama Nabi said...

That smart girl. Hm, wonder if I can use that tactic at a meeting or something. Dang, should have used it during mediation!

So cute that you and Muttola are wearing something together... sigh, must be love. (love to hear JRex's take on this, though!)

Snickollet said...

I hope the harness works out well. No more injured shoulders!

mplscuz said...

You can't teach an old dog new tricks, but an old dog can teach an old dog new tricks - kind of cool I think :)

Anonymous said...

I look forward to that waist harness in walking (and running) Jada.

Way to go.

Is you shoulder feeling better?