Saturday, March 29, 2014

Fun at the Dog Park

Visiting a dog park can be the high point of your dog's week, and I don't want any negative statements from my last post, Dog Park Play, to scare anyone off going to one.  My friends and I went to the dog park at Callahan State Park today, and everyone had an absolutely wonderful time.  Little Lexi is without a doubt the social butterfly of the group.  Here she is with one of the many new friends she played with today, and you can easily tell her new pal is having a blast, as well!

These two handsome guys made a big hit with everyone, but Lexi was the playmate of choice. (By the way, the German Shepard isn't sticking his tongue out at anybody. Dogs lick their noses all the time, and if you watch for it you'll see it frequently. They do when they are excited and happy, and they do it when theyre nervous or startled.)

She greets the Shepard politely, but he seems more intrigued by her resemblance to a sheep than he is interested in playing with her.

The German Shepard's companion, on the other hand, is a whole different story!  This good looking dog (who could almost be a mixture of Greyhound, Shepard, and Pointer), took a liking to Lexi right away - and the feeling was mutual!

They started playing right away, completely oblivious to the presence of other dogs like Carolyn's Murphy, who is in the foreground.

Like her brother, Socrates, and like most terriers, Lexi has no clue that she is a small dog. She, too, likes to play with the big boys. And it was quite obvious that these two were just PLAYING at fighting. Neither dog was at all frightened or anxious. They were both having tons of fun!  (Look closely and you'll see some more tongue action here!)

These two are having a great time hanging out together, no question about it. This kind of fun is what going to the dog park is all about!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dog Park Play

The dog park can be a carnival of fun for a Frisky Fido.  Most dogs love nothing more than romping and chasing and wrestling with other dogs.  Socrates and Lexi certainly love visiting the dog park area of Callahan State Park.   Like most terriers, Sox has no idea that he isn't a huge and mighty dog.

Socrates lives to run. He loves to be chased, and will entice other dogs to chase him by grabbing a stick or a ball. As long as he is running, he's loving it.

Socrates like hanging with the big boys.

A thousand generations of selective breeding have resulted in Socrates's love of the chase. The Wheaten terrier in him has made him a herder as well as a hunter. Wheaten terriers were the poor man's "jack-of-all-trades" kind of dog. They earned their keep by herding sheep, hunting vermin, and guarding against intruders. 

Today, these traits can can cause problems when other breeds don't want to be hunted or herded. For the most part, the dogs work it out between themselves. Occasionally, however, a timid or less socialized dog will find all the play overwhelming. He or she could end up running for their lives instead of running for fun.  When that happens, it's time for the humans to step in and call off the hounds, so to speak.  If even one dog is stressed or frightened, the dog park is no longer a haven for dogs.  For the frightened dog, its more like hell on earth.  It is always our responsibility as owners (or dog walkers!) to intervene in these situations.  Not to do so is just rude, crude, and socially unacceptable.  

The moral of this story?  You can't blame a dog for being a dog, but you can blame a humane for being inhumane.  

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Meet the Gang!

Meet Buddy and his mom, Maureen.  Maureen is my good friend and partner in the dog business.  Bouncing Buddy is a constant participant in all of Maureen's Trail Walks and he often participates in our Playgroups, as well.  He's adorable, isn't he?

Last week we had a couple of Playgroups with majestic Milo . . .

Beautiful Bella . . .

And sweet baby Betty.

Of course, Buddy was there, too.

Lexi, like all the dogs there, truly loved being with Bella.  Bella is an older dog who was everyone's surrogate mom that day.

And my boy Socrates was present, as usual.  Here Sox is playing with the toy of the day, a sort of stuffed weasel or something with a ball in it's head.  Poor Mr. Weasel didn't survive the day.  He was very popular even in pieces, however!

After massive Milo shredded the toy, he chomped on the ball until I took it from him so he wouldn't choke on it.  He is really a sweetheart, and he gave it up with no problem at all.  But he promptly gave me a raspberry for ruining his fun.

When Milo barked in protest, his mighty roar sent all the other dogs running for cover.  All except Buddy, that is. Somehow Buddy got hold of the ball that used to be a weasel's head, and once he had it, he snarled with enough menace to keep even Milo away!  Way to go, Buddy!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pure Joy!

Here is Lexi experiencing the pure joy of playing with a ball.  She absolutely loves it!

Sox is pretty thrilled when he manages to get the ball from Lexi - not an easy task, I assure you!

Lexi is fast, fast, fast!  And she's the boss when it comes to toys.  Just look at the grin on her face!  She's in doggie heaven!

Socrates races to the top of our very steep backyard mountain, but Lexi is not far behind.  They are definitely getting a good workout!

The two of them bounded up and down and around and around for more than an hour.  They are truly having a ball!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Introducing Lexi!

I've posted dozens of photos of Socrates, but we now have TWO Frisky little Fidos at our house.  This is Lexi, my feisty, fast, and definitely frisky little girl dog.  Lexi is a rescue from Houston, Texas.  You can probably see the Jack Russell Terrier in her, and she live up to the breed's reputation of being one of the most active dogs there is.  She's a mixed breed, but she acts like a Jack Russell.  She is friendly, fast, fearless, and funny as hell. I wake up every morning in hysterics as she licks my face frantically; desperately trying to lick inside my mouth! Lexi, like Socrates is a very active dog.  She needs at least two hours of VIGOROUS exercise every day, which is about right for terriers in general.  

Lucky for us, Lexi and Socrates get along extremely well, and they both live to run, jump, chase, and play.  Since their lives are so full and active, we have two very calm and composed dogs at home every evening.  They are both exhausted at the end of the day, but an exhausted dog is quiet, content, and trouble-free.  Can you put a price on a peaceful household and a calm dog?

There she goes - smooching me on the lips again!  That's Lexi all over! But I am not complaining; I love these two dogs to death, and I'm lucky that their active lifestyle prevents most of the behavior problems people encounter with hyperactive, terrier-type dogs.  I truly wish that more people were aware that most dogs are not getting enough exercise despite having daily walks around the block. I truly wish that more people understood that most unwanted and destructive dog behavior is easily cured with an hour or so of intense aerobic exercise every day.

These four are running like the wind for the pure joy of it.  And look who is chasing who!  Anyway, that is how I like my dogs; fearless, feisty, and tons of fun.  I can't speak for everyone, but my rescue dogs ROCK!