The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

April 22, 2009

A Year Older, A Year Wiser

Filed under: Dogs — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 12:54 pm

Roughly a year ago, I spent a week and a half dogsitting Imola and Minardi, which is the first time that I had ever been directly in charge of taking care of (or, for that matter, any living being larger than a gerbil) them for more than a couple of days at a time.  Although Imola and Minardi know me well and don’t seem to have any issue with me pretending to be a pack leader every once in a while, at that time they definitely provided a few challenges to deal with.  For one thing, even though they were a couple of years old at the time, they still hadn’t entirely figured out the whole housebreaking bit, and at the time they were generally kept in the crate during the day in order to keep them from maknig too big a mess of the house while the humans were gone.  If they didn’t get their two trips to the dog park every day they’d be up half the night running around, barking at the neighbors late at night, and generally just being rambunctious.  In other words, pretty much acting like Beagles. 

Just about a year later, I find myself dogsitting once again as my parents drive down to Arizona to visit my Dad’s mother, and then up to Utah for Brooks’ graduation from BYU and the blessing of Baby Brooks.  Although Imola and Minardi still require a fair bit of attention (the two trips to the dog park per day in particular takes a fair bit of time and planning to deal with) I have definitely noticed that overall, they seem to be a lot calmer and more mature this time around.  I can leave them out of the crate in the house during the day, and be reasonably certain that nothing will be destroyed when I get back (more so than usual anyway) and I can even eat a meal every once in a while without Imola constantly trying to grab food off the table (she’ll still be lurking about and sniffing, but she seems to be a lot less inclined to try to snatch things.)  The dog park has never really been a problem for these two, although I have noticed that they seem to have some issues with digging lately.  There seem to be a few particular spots in the dog park where if you let them, they’ll happily dig to China.  Digging is, of course, against the rules of the dog park, but apparently Imola and Minardi didn’t get the rules on that one, and there are certain holes in the place where these two will dash over from some distance away to go dig before I can get there to chase them off.  I suppose this is an improvement over, say, dashing out of the off-leash area, through the parking lot and into the woods, but it’s still a bit of an issue.

Nonetheless, these two are definitely becoming a lot more mellow and a lot better behaved in general as time goes on.  I suppose if we’re talking in dog years this time period would represent roughly the transition from ages 17-24 (give or take a year or two) so some maturing and calming down would definitely be expected.  All I know is that it certainly makes them a lot easier to deal with.  Now if only I could figure out how to improve that much in a year…

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