Saturday, September 24, 2011

This One's For You Maggie!

 I still feel bad about how badly Addie treated little Maggie, the Boston Terrier we visited for ten days.  Addie wouldn't let her near her food bowl, water bowl or any toys without growling, snapping and living up to her gender.  It had me very worried about her being able to get along with other dogs.  Unfortunately, I just didn't know how to handle it at the time.  Too late I learned about a very effective way to discourage her from doing anything I don't like with a simple water bottle with a squirt top.  Sure wish I'd known!  I bet Maggie does too.

So it was with great trepidation and worry (before I learned about the squirt bottle) that I took her to the local dogpark. Even though she gets along great with our dogs,  I just wasn't sure she would get along with other dogs she didn't know. The first time we went there were probably about 8 dogs and they were all very excited to see the newcomer.  At first Addie was pretty scared. She squeezed up next to the fence and tried to get away.  But gradually she got braver and started sniffing around.  Braver and braver she got until she was playing with them and having a great time.

At home, she badgers Gus, herds him and hangs on his tail.  He's very good about all this.  I just wish he'd let her have it, but he just puts up with it.  It's not unusual to see Addie with Gus hair hanging out of her mouth.  At the dogpark, as soon as she was comfortable, sure enough she picked a dog to herd.  A tiny dog.  The owner thought it was funny, but I don't like her to do it so I was going to interfere when here comes another small dog herding Addie!  She didn't quite know what to make of that, but she didn't like it.  There was some confusion in her expression and she backed off tiny dog and the small dog backed off of her.  This went on for several times, and Addie found something else to do.  Great!

I bought a kiddie pool for Addie when it was hot several weeks ago, and although she loves playing in the hose, the pool didnt' interest her.  I showed her how to get in, she didn't get it.  But at the dogpark, a black German Shepherd ran down to the kiddie pool at the far end that's exactly like ours and jumped in and lay in it.  Addie watched.  Addie got in.  Addie laid down.  Addie loved it!!!  Now every time we go and she gets tired or hot, she goes for the pool.  Excitedly I filled our pool at home again, but Addie isn't the least bit interested and the pool just sits there unused. 

So going to the dogpark has been a very fun thing and we try to go every day now.  She gets along with other dogs, plays with other dogs, drinks with other dogs, gets treats with other dogs, plays fetch with other dogs, hangs out in the pool, and every once in awhile she herds another dog.  I have never even had to use the water bottle fortunately, but I promise Maggie, if we come visit again, I will be ready and armed.  We'll have zero tolerance for bullying!!!

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