TWooie had a big day! I don’t know if you all are tired of my constant, raving Up-TWoo-Date posts about my little basketcase, but I am just so proud of the little feller and his ongoing improvements.
TWooday we had TWo TWooie Achievements.
1) We braved deep* water
(*okay, it wasn’t that deep, but when you are just 16″ tall, it’s seems deep)
TWoo is not a swimming kind of dog. In fact, until recently it was all I could do convince him to get his tenderfeet wet and anything that reached his ankles was a good a reason as any to hotfoot it back to the van and pout under the bumper. No amount of coaxing could get TWooie to venture into anything more that a puddle. But this morning we went to the beach, I rolled up my pant legs, and the dogs and I hiked out into the waves.
But didn’t want to be left behind.
So he was a big brave boy and he came a-bounding through the water!
He gotta lotta cookies for that!
2) TWooie played with another dog in a public space
TWooie is just learning how to play with my other dogs, but it has not been really successful so far … mostly because it looks and sounds pretty much exactly the same as when he wants to kill one of my other dogs and they are skeptical about his motives, so they just ignore him. And he usually only attempts to play on the safety of his own turf, after he has patrolled the perimeter for strangers and feels confident that nobody is watching (and also that there are no rats under the garden shed to dig out, which is still much better than playing).
But today he instigated play with Tweed, at the beach.
It started like this, when Tweed was rolling around in the sand.
But I guess he figured if Tweed could look like an idiot in public, so could he. So he invited Tweed to play.
Which Tweed accepted.
And the game was on. I apologize for the poor quality of these photos – I was facing right into the sun to get them. But when TWooie and Tweed spontaneously start playing, you don’t interrupt them to reposition them in a more camera-friendly direction!
TWooie has been such a JOYFUL journey for me!! He has come so far, in such a short space of time. Every step forward is hugely gratifying for me, and I am sure it is for him as well. I love him more and more with every passing day, he is such a treasure to me. I mean sure, I had to lock him in the house this afternoon when The Boy stopped by for a short play visit with Hayden and foster dog Ace , and he nearly took out my brand new screen door trying to kill Ace through it, but that’s just because TWoo and I are not all the way there yet. TWooie is still learning how to be a normal dog, and the journey is a priceless one. It just breaks my heart that people give up on dogs like TWoo because they want the end result (“perfect” dog) and can’t or won’t understand how the path to getting there is just as rewarding as the goal. We see so many dogs in rescue who just need some guidance, and some patience, and their whole lives would turn around. And if people would just give half as much to that effort as the dogs try to give, they’d both better creatures for it. I do not understand how anyone could not hold TWooie in their arms and not think I will do anything – ANYTHING – I have to do to teach you how to feel safe. Even worse, someone MADE TWooie the way he is, and it’s criminal. And then when they’d finished f*cking him up, they dumped him in a shelter! If ever I met his old owners, I would spit on their sneakers, and wish bad luck upon them. So there.
I have found the flaw in the otherwise perfect Miss Waggins, and that flaw is that no matter what’s going on, no matter where it’s going on, Maggie has to be smack dab in the middle of it.
Maggie is all over the place – if there are 3 balls and a Wootie Toy™ in play, Maggie wants to chase them all. My dogs don’t ‘compete’ for toys, so say if I am tossing one ball, whoever is closest to it when it lands is going to get it, and won’t end up at the bottom of a dogpile, because my other dogs know they have to hang back. This is how we avoid collisions that could cause injury. I’ve also taught all my dogs to play with their own ball only if I bring out multiples, but Maggie has no respect for this rule. So when I throw a ball for Tweed, Maggie is already on her way to get it – Tweed stops running and lets her grab it, but by then I am throwing a ball for Piper, so Maggins drops Tweed’s ball and goes after Piper’s ball. Now Tweed doesn’t know where his ball is, and Piper won’t go get hers because Mags already has a head start. And so on. It gets pretty frustrating for all of us, especially for Wootie because he will only play with the Wootie Toy™ and he gets despondent when he can never get it first (have I mentioned how *fast* Maggie is??)
So today we worked on having Maggie sit and wait while someone else went and got their tossed toy. For this she received a cookie, and then a toy-toss of her very own. I hope she learns the ropes pretty soon.
Now we are off to agility class, where we will keep a very close eye on Piper … for today when The Boy was visiting, Piper started weaving and wobbling and just about went down. She hasn’t done that in a long time, nearly a year. Remember folks – it’s hot out there, and dogs like Piper who suffer from exercise induced collapse may be more susceptible to it in the heat.