Saturday, January 26, 2008

Things That Keep Me Occupied

The Puppy???!!!
Well ----- this is a long story — You know how it is.... I looked up and saw these beautiful brown eyes looking at me.... The tail was wagging, he licked my hand ---- well you can guess the rest - he joined us on January second and has not yet been with us a month but he has become a integral part of our lives and has changed our home as much as the arrival of any new baby.

"When the Man waked up he said,
'What is Wild Dog doing here?'
And the Woman said,
'His name is not Wild Dog any more,
but the First Friend,
because he will be our friend
for always and always and always.'"
- Rudyard Kipling

I began to think the poor little doggie would be called Puppy for the rest of its life - we simply couldn’t choose a name that we thought really fit. Our family, grand children and friends all made suggestions from Blackie to POTUS from Bandit to Mr. Darcy. We made a long list, looked up origins and meanings and after a week of searching we found a name for the puppy. His name is Kody. \k(o)-dy\ is pronounced KOH-dee. The origin of the name a bit more difficult because there are two possible sources In the Gaelic it means helper or guide and in English it means helper or assistant.

One of the first essentials, after getting him to a vet for a health exam and shots, we recognized that we needed HELP. We tried to educate ourselves - bought "Pomeranians for Dummies", which is actually very helpful. We tried to learn about clicker training; read some material by Ian Dunbar, the founder of "Puppy Kindergarten" What distress - he told us we should have been planning for this puppy long before he arrived in our home - we should have taken classes so we were prepared to be good parents and trainers. Somewhat like our experience when we had our own children - we had no idea of the nearly insurmountable mountain of ignorance we had to overcome. Never-the-less here we are with a puppy. Now!!!!

It seemed urgent to find a skilled, patient and knowledgeable puppy trainer.
I called a couple of places listed in the phone book - After going through the list, I recognized that I am the problem - if I were not so ignorant I would not have bought a puppy where we did - (Well, we bought him at a Pet Feed Store... Quite frankly, I probably would never have gone looking for a puppy if I hadn’t kept seeing such beautiful and cute puppies every time I went into the Feed Store. ) I should have selected him weeks and weeks earlier, I would never .... I should.... I shouldn’t ... Why didn’t?...Well, we didn’t. we are.

By this time - I am ready to let the puppy have the run of the house and lock myself in my closet.

A kind acquaintance suggested the name of a wonderful trainer - but we discovered she is about an hour and a half away. She kindly gave us a lead to the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT)

We finally found a wonderful trainer. Barry McDonald, a retired English teacher is rescuing us from a life of poop and pee.... He is competent and gentle with Kody and the rest of us also. I think he may have more difficulty training us than Kody :)

Barry has only been coming for three weeks. Kody knows his name, he will sit on command, down on command and stand on command. He loves to play a version of fetch with three balls (which keeps us busier than it does Kody) and actually usually pees and poops in the proper place Hurrah!!!

My dog
"He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog." - Gene Hill