Stop Means Stop – Barks and Bytes

Most of the time I enjoy walking with my dogs. It is a time for quiet reflection for me, a time where blog posts come together in my mind and Sirius, philosophical thoughts take place.

It’s also a time for working with and training my dogs. We are constantly working on SOMETHING.

There are certain areas of our woods where Sampson practices his heeling. These areas are typically the entrances to the park, or to Sampson, the place where he meets people and other dogs.

When the dogs are off-leash in the woods we practice our recalls. Delilah is a work in progress. I’ve worked very hard on developing our bond so I am more valuable and rewarding to her than anything else she could possibly find. Still I’m cautious about letting her have her freedom and keep recalling her back to me in the hopes it will be so habitual that should the opportunity ever present itself, she won’t give in to temptation.

Sampson also needs to work on his recall because he has selective hearing lately. Sometimes he completely ignores me and just continues sniffing whatever it is that caught his nose.  Since I don’t worry about him running off like Delilah would, those are the times when I will give Delilah something exciting, like we will run a bit and get lots of treats. Of course, once the straggler comes back to us, he goes on leash or he must heel.

Not coming back to me is unacceptable.

There’s also another command we’ve been working on. It’s called Stop. I typically use this command when the dogs are both off-leash in the woods. Suddenly I will say, “Stop!” and reward them when they do. My thought process is this – to have a command so solid, the dogs will do it without even thinking. So now when that wayward deer shows up and my dog takes off, (and I panic forgetting my recall word) I yell, “Stop!” and my dog will cease what he/she’s doing and actually stop. Once I’ve gotten their attention, (and gathered my wits again)  I can easily recall them back to me.

At least this is how it works in my head.

Stop means stop, but stop what?

Yet, I forget that I use Stop for so many things. Isn’t that the problem with commands?

  • I say Stop when I’m trying to put a harness or collar on and someone will not stand still.
  • I say Stop when someone is licking the counters or the rug, or the cabinets, or… well you get the point.
  • I say Stop when Delilah tries to put her cold, wet Kong on my lap.
  • I say Stop when Delilah is waking me up in the morning by burying her head in my chest and pushing me backward.

As humans we can differentiate the context in which a word is being used, but our dogs are literal, they are only understanding the command as we are teaching it to them.

I forget these things sometimes.

Last Saturday we took our early morning walk. Delilah is the dog who ALWAYS attempts to cover her business by kicking dirt/grass/leaves etc over it. I want to tell her she’s a big ass dog and grass isn’t going to cover her business, but I keep quiet because she wouldn’t understand me anyway.

There, that ought to cover it.

So this particular morning Delilah does her business on someone’s lawn and started kicking grass over it.  Naturally I want to pick it up, so I say “Stop.”

In my mind I am telling her to stop kicking grass, but Delilah’s mind and my mind do not work the same way and my “Stop” command has taught her to cease moving forward.  Still, somehow, miraculously she does stop and she stands there looking at the road. So I bend down to pick up the doody and BAM, a clod of dirt and grass hit me right in the side of my head.

I wondered how hard someone who observed us would have laughed. I know I would have laughed, if I wasn’t the one grass on my glasses and dirt in my ear.

She did stop walking though. :-)

Chocolate Lab

You might want to clean that dirt out of your ear, you’ll be able to hear me better.

Do you have any commands that mean more than one thing? Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this.


Heart Like a Dog

This is the Thursday Barks and Bytes Blog Hop hosted by 2 Brown Dawgs and Heart Like a Dog. Grab the badge and the linky code and join us!

Please only link up blog posts and as a courtesy to the other hoppers, please add the linky to your post and/or link back to the hosts’ blogs.

Don’t Count Us Out

In last Sunday’s (August 16, 2015) You Make Me Smile post,  Jan said, “I liked the posts of yesteryear when she led you on some hilarious misadventures. Funny for us, not for you.”

I responded with “Oh trust there are still adventures, don’t count us out yet. “

These aren’t epic. Like her running off and getting her leash lodged under the concrete of a central air conditioning unit (Part 1, Part 2 )or walking into someone’s garage to check for food, or even knocking me into the street while she chased a leaf.

Still I hope these might be enough so you don’t count us out just yet.

Petals in the wind – Some of you may recall I was helping my sister care for my aunt who passed away in June.  My sister (having cared for her for many years) and I sent a lovely bouquet of flowers to place in the casket.

After the service I brought the flowers home and placed them on my fireplace mantle, where I let them sit, and sit, and sit. Eventually as the flower petals dropped to the floor, I determined it was time to toss them.

I kept one flower. It was a yellow rose and I was drying it so I could press it. I set the flower on the dining room table, where it stayed. For about a month.

Last week I came home to find the stem and the ovary (I looked it up. Holy shit, who knew flowers had ovaries?) on the floor. The petals were gone, eaten by a hungry chocolate lab.

Two petals, the ovary and the stem, that's all that's left.

Two petals, the ovary and the stem, that’s all that’s left.

Thanks for eating Aunt Edie’s flower Delilah!

Here’s the big surprise. I didn’t even call the vet.

Sunday Funday – Sunday Hubby made breakfast. (It’s been a long time since he made breakfast and I was quite excited about it.) Of course, he was rushing to leave the house and so the pans and utensils sat on the stove where he left them.

I was running out myself and had seen Delilah eyeing the stove, so I moved what I thought was everything into the back of the sink, where I was certain she wouldn’t be able to reach them.

I ran to throw a quick load of laundry in, so it would be ready for the dryer when I got home. I stepped out of the laundry to discover this on the floor.

That's my small, very sharp Santoku knife.

That’s my small, very sharp Santoku knife.

I siriusly checked her mouth for blood.

Breakfast of Champions – Yesterday she jumped backwards so high, she was able to get a lick of her food from her food bowl being held at about the five foot level.

Tempting Fate – Yesterday during our afternoon walk, I took her off-leash in the field. I held my hand out to her in the “wait” command and started walking away. I got about 15 feet away and she ran right up to me. Considering all the times she’s run in the opposite direction, I couldn’t be mad. Instead I treated her.

Three minutes later when we entered the woods, she took off down a trail the kids made. She stood on the rock, staring out at the great unknown, with all of it’s delicious and intriguing smells and noms.

“Don’t do it” I said.

She squatted and peed as if to say, I only had to pee, geez what’s your angst about?

Still with us Jan? We good? If not, check back with me on Thursday when I fill you in about our STOP command.

Finally, I’d like to send some love to my friend Sue at My Golden Life, her girl Callie went to the bridge yesterday, our hearts are with you my friend. 

Run fast, run free Callie.

Faithfully Yours…The Trailer

When one of my blogging friends publishes a book, I’m super excited for them.

Naturally I want to help them in any way I can. I mean, as an aspiring author myself, I understand the value of promoting yourself and your work.

Faithfully Yours

Faithfully Yours

When my friend, Peggy Frezon asked me if I was interested in sharing the video trailer for her new book, “Faithfully Yours,” I said of course!

“Faithfully Yours: The Amazing Love Between Us and Our Animals with inspiring stories of devotion, protection, healing, compassion, and faith, Faithfully Yours explores why we love animals so much.”

“For anyone who’s ever loved, and known the love of, a special animal.”

Want to hear something REALLY exciting? You can pre-order the book on Amazon…TODAY.

Knowing the bond I have with my dogs, I’m super excited to read this book and hear about other people’s experiences.

Want a sneak peak? Here’s the book trailer and keep your eyes sharp peeps, you just might see a special Golden Boy and his owner. :-)

Do you have or have you had a special bond with one of your pets? I’d love to hear about it.

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