Dogs at Play

When my former foster, Buddy went home, it was with an older sister and then one-year-old Zeke who you may remember was being fostered for his military mom while she was deployed.

Zeke was reunited with his mom in October, which meant Buddy had lots of excess energy to burn. We call them zoomies. What better place for him to do that than in Saturday morning dog class at Homeward Bound?!

Here, the gnashing of teeth and games of chase always end in friendship.

Buddy is a lover, not a fighter—even when his advances are spurned.

Still, you might not think so from his reunion with Roo.

The last time Buddy and Roo met in the ring, so to speak, Buddy was only a puppy. While technically still a puppy, a lot has changed in height and weight.

These two are as evenly matched as the big dogs—and each gives as good as he gets…even with a referee.

But it is all in good fun.

We humans could learn a lot from dogs at play.

Rough and tumble as they may be, they respect each other’s boundaries and when one says enough, the other almost always complies.

“How others treat me is their path; how I react is mine.” ~ Wayne Dyer

Follow-up Friday: Rudy

No, that’s not a football play…or a six-legged dog!
It’s Rudy. Being Rudy.

Rudy came to us in December at the age of 10 months. His mom had to move back in with her mom, and Rudy – who had been a loved, inside dog – had to become an outside dog. In the winter cold. It was breaking his mom’s heart. She knew he deserved better and she asked us to find it for him.

He was quickly adopted – and then returned. It seems that Rudy – still being a big puppy – needed people around to monitor his puppiness. The other thing that Rudy needed was socialization. He had apparently led a sheltered life with few, if any, dog friends. As a result, he wasn’t sure how to properly greet or play.

Rudy was adopted again – a successful placement with people that are around to make him feel comfortable and keep him out of trouble. Best of all, they decided to bring him to Kathryn’s Golden Rule Training at Homeward Bound.

The truth about training, is that it is really for the people. If they can be taught consistency of effort and approach, the dog is sure to follow. Rudy is a fast learner. It’s not the sit, or wait, or down. It’s the lessons he needs to learn from other dogs. Dogs are – paws down – the best teachers of other dogs.

So when Rudy decided to try to have his way with Tahoe – who, by the way, is no slouch –

Hutch was quietly observing from a distance.

Until he decided: enough!

Rudy is constantly trying to see where he ranks in the social hierarchy. And Hutch and Tahoe are pretty clear: you’re at the bottom, pup!

Together, they are teaching Rudy lessons in boundaries and appropriate play.

And Rudy is taking it in stride.

It’s great to see Rudy getting the time, training, and socialization that his surrendering mom wanted for him. I think she’d be proud.