Written by: Kimberly M. Wang, Eardog Productions
Mornings with the Theodore and his foster sister, Lila (the black and tan coonhound/plothound mix), start with a long walk, a hearty breakfast, and then a clamorous rumble—as in, “Let’s get ready to Rumble!“
What I’ve learned from observing this daily tussle between doggies is:
1.) The sweet dogs I know and love appear absolutely frightening when frozen in photographic still life.
2.) When locked in battle, they sound like the dogs of hell.
And 3.) Apparently, dog feet taste best when one’s opponent is wriggling on the floor, exhausted from combat.
What I love most about watching Theodore and Lila wrestle the ya ya’s out of each other, is that I notice that they’re quite good at trading the dominant position. Neither dog insists on maintaining the upper paw, as it were. So even in the midst of a skirmish, they’re harmonious.
But best of all, I’ve instituted Time Outs, which require both dogs to stop what they’re doing immediately (usually at the height of the frenzy). They must then sit, followed by a down, and then turn all eyes on me.
When they oblige, they’re treated to a dried-meat nugget or two, and then they chill out for a moment or so before I release them to resume the madness.
I must say I’m grateful that the dogs get along so well, as Lila’s training and walking schedule has left me pooped. So, when Theodore takes over the puppy-entertaining duties and tires out his foster sister, I’m grateful, indeed. Apparently there are no bounds to Theo’s Service Dog duties!
Of course, my favorite part of the morning is when rambunctious antics segue into languorous lounging. Notice the sleeping-while-standing-up posture of Miss Lila, on the right in the photo below. All tuckered out and ready for a nap!
When Lila is truly ready to move on and I finally find the ideal forever-home for her, I will be so sad to see this sweet pup go, as will Theodore. She’s come such a long way since we sprung her from the shelter. Her progress reminds me that, so often, even dogs who have been returned multiple times to the shelter simply need adequate exercise, training and structure, as well as a safe and loving home in order to blossom and become the dogs they are meant to be.
So when I get think about how much joy Miss Lila will bring to a loving family someday, that thrills me to no end and the blues quietly fade away.
Oh how I love dogs. They really are the most wonderful creatures, no?
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