Well it’s been two years (!) since I posted and a lot has happened. We lost both Molly and Boots in 2016, as well as my beloved grandpa, and I think I was just too sad to keep posting. Molly succumbed to kidney failure and Boots died of old age at 21 years old. We really miss both our girls! We still have Sammy,
Sunshine and Little Miss, who all provide plenty of laughs and challenges.
For starters, Sunshine’s dominant personality developed as she got older. She liked to hassle Molly a lot, I think because she sensed Molly was ill and wanted to take over as Alpha Dog. She did that in spades! Several times I had to stop her from bothering Molly. Sammy likes to be the second banana dog, so it was no problem for him. After Molly died, things calmed down with Sunshine. We continued to train her the Cesar way, but her very strong personality came to the front and I had a challenge keeping her in line. For one thing, she is extremely strong and could pull me off my feet, while on leash, when she was just 6 months old. The other challenge is that she wants to play. All the time. With me.
I’ve pointed out to her that Papa knows where the toys and leash are and knows how to use them, but guess who she pokes with her nose when she wants something done? Uh-huh… The most important thing I learned in her first year with us is that anger doesn’t work with this dog. Anger makes her aggressive, so I REALLY had to practice my calm-assertive leadership. This was really tough for me as I had a dental procedure that left me in pain for about a month, and the training couldn’t stop for that month. So once I felt better I started to mend my ways with her. I had a real challenge because as with any youngster, she remembered the times I lost my cool. The walk on leash was the biggest challenge for me as she pulled and pulled, no matter what I did and no matter what leash I used, how I held it or what commands I gave. It was really frustrating.
It gradually got better as we figured out different ways to run off her energy. I bought a dog cart, which they look really cute pulling but they are both kind of afraid of. Then my husband found a wonderful tool for running her on the bike. It’s a stiff leash that attaches to the back axle of the bike, and attaches to your dog’s collar or harness. That way, they are positioned slightly behind your seat at a low angle and can’t pull you off the bike. Sunshine will pull me uphill at full speed, she is so strong. Downhill is a real thrill!
We’ve had to go back to the tennis ball flinger and frisbees to keep the dogs happy. In our climate a daily walk is not always possible. I think if Cesar lived here instead of L.A. he’d agree. We also bought a trailer and went camping a lot last year, which is another story I’ll tell soon.
As always, the death of a furry friend is difficult and sad, and I keep wondering why we put ourselves through this. But as my husband reminds me, the years of joy they bring us outweighs the pain, and the memories are wonderful.