Sunday, July 3, 2011

Velcro Dog

So, this last week, we were on vacation.  We did not bring Elka, but had people she knew and loved stay at the house with her.

So, guess who was exceedingly happy to see her people come back?

And I was very happy to see her.  It was hard to leave Elka here when we left for the vacation, and hard to spend the week without her.  I saw a lot of dogs, and people with dogs, and imagined how we would have spent our time.  By all reports, Elka missed us, but was okay without us.  And well-behaved, which is a good thing.

Elka really wants to be with you all the time.  As an example, if you happen to go into the bathroom and close the door (As one does), she'll stay outside and whine. Or stay in the kitchen, just adjacent, and whine.  When you emerge, she is just as excited as if you had left the house and come back.  

When I walk around the house, Elka is with me.  She follows me in the house at heel of her own volition, because she wants to be with me and know what I'm doing.  I wish she heeled so well out on walks, on leash.  Of course, having a 77 pound dog just at your heel in the house has its difficulties as well.  If you're carrying something and can't see well, for an example.  Or if you're going up the stairs. "Wait" works well in these instances.  So does "move".

"Move" has several uses.  If you want to roll over in bed, as an example.  Or, if you got up for a drink (or to go to the bathroom) and returned to find your spot on the couch taken by a Doberman.  "Move" does not mean "get off the couch" or "leave the room"; it means, effectively, "give me enough room to go where I'm going".  Elka does it well; surrendering your seat, ceding room in bed, or stepping backwards or to the side enough for you to walk past. 

In my way of thinking, one's dog is a member of one's family.  I want to spend time with Elka and have contact with her.  I want her to be in the house with me, I allow her on the furniture, I share my food with her (providing it's something she can have).  In return, she wants similar things; to be with me, to eat food, to play with me and spend time with me.  It's a pretty good deal, overall.  Next vacation, we're going to see about bringing her.

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