JD Allinder

Wild Thing

In Posts on January 17, 2011 at 8:34 pm

It’s been a terrific winter so far. We’ve had enough snow to keep the ground continuously covered but not so much that hiking is impossible. (I still haven’t taken the plunge and invested in a pair of snow shoes.) The daytime temperatures have been mostly in the mid-20s – my preferred range – and the nights bitter cold, which adds a sort of rustic romanticism to nesting. Jane and I are subsisting on strong tea, thick woolens, and an endless supply of good books. (Well, at least I am.) It’s all frightfully cozy, and how anyone cannot completely luxuriate in the rhapsody of winter is an idea I refuse to entertain. Bah!

Sweet short-haired Jane does get cold, though. While she never lacks vim on the trail (or the sidewalk), she does require a fleece hot from the dryer after two hours or so of running, walking, sniffing, hunting, etc. I’ve tried hunting dog sweaters and vests, but she refuses to even breathe if I put clothing on her. I don’t let her win many arguments, but that was one I (thankfully) had the wisdom not to pursue. Just like parents, human companions of dogs must learn to pick their battles. Jane reinforces that maxim on a pretty regular basis. In fact, there’s a part of her that, in spite of her maturity, I think will never be fully domesticated. Her breeding courses deep in the core of her being. She’s always torn between listening to my voice and following the call of the wild. When I give her a command, for example, there’s a beat (or two, or three, or four) before she responds. She weighs her options – every single time. There’s nothing reflexive or Pavlovian about her acquiescence. She mulls it over. I’d say about 90 percent of the time she’s cool with my requests, her wants are mine, and she understands we work together toward meeting our shared objectives on our outings. But that other 10 percent, she may as well be a wolf. Her instinct is louder than I am. Fortunately, she’s learned to let me take over physically in such situations, which is especially interesting to me. I cannot call her off a treed animal, for example, but she allows me to remove her physically with my hands. She trusts me enough to make decisions for her that she can’t make for herself.

That said, she’s infinitely better behaved and more fun when we’re on our own. We walk/hike with Duke and Annika at least once a week, which we all enjoy tremendously. Jane takes advantage of my split focus, though. I talk to Annika, interact with Duke, etc., and Jane sneaks off to eat poop and pretends she can’t hear me when I call. She does the same thing if I stop to chat with a stranger in the park. The minute my focus is off of her, it’s mutiny on the Huron. Last week while walking with Duke and Annika, Jane got into so much poop that when we returned home she promptly vomited it all over my living room rug.

The things we do for love.

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  1. Wow, love this post! The pictures of Jane are GREAT! Wish I were with you guys! Say hello to Jane for me! ~ she probably doesn’t even remember….(sigh)

    I would NEVER eat poop. good lord Jane! I feel for you John. But wow, are you two the berries together. Love those shots of Jane in the woods…. and oh, the STICK! ~ ah! I could barely control myself ~ just wanted to jump thru the screen and grab the end in my teeth and wrassle her for it! Love those sticks, yeah!

    Well I have some news to report. I moved. Oh no, Monica’s still in the same place, but she felt very bad and guilty that I was such a water dog, and would always head straight for the river…. and then be sick forever. And then, there was that boy who tried to feed me pebbles…. and the people I yelled “pet me!” at when they walked along our fence that seemed to think I was being mean…don’t these folks here know “dog?”

    Well, so anyhow… I’m now in bliss doggie heaven in Hastings, Michigan. I live in a very cool country house with 2 people who dote on me…. I can see the crystal shining clear lake from the window where I get to run and swim all I want. And there’s trails and lots of room to roam without cars or roads….. just grass, trees, sparkling lakes. I LOVE IT!!!! WOWWY ZOWWEEEE ~ and, not only that but my people have adult kids who come and visit and bring their dogs who are like part of the family and we run and romp together. Man, I’ve got it good! ~ but….. I won’t even stand a chance of running into yous guys at the park again…. not a chance. bummer on THAT. but hey, life is full of trade offs, you know? I can see the two of you won’t be wracked with regret… you’re having too much fun. and, well ~ me too!

    I guess Monica’s the only one with a problem, LOL ~ she’s stuck with that CAT!!. not me. am free at last.

    well, hugs to you both ~ and if you see Monica, be nice to her
    eh? Its kindof not so much fun when you only have a cat to walk… tell her I said hi, and thanks for finding me such a nice lake!

    The Sash.

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