Tuesday afternoon Ike and I went to hang out with Leah (human) and Ellie (3 yo Basenji). At Ryan's puppy party Ike took a real liking to Ellie and Katrin suggested I contact Leah and see if I could set up a play date. The reason, if Ike likes a dog who has great social skills, and gets to hang out with them on a regular basis, *perhaps* he will start modeling behavior after said dog.
Ike and I arrived at Leah's a little bit before 4:30. Leah has a large yard which has a fenced in field at the back. In order to get to this field you must follow a path by her large bird pen (geese and ducks). Leah took pity on Ike and took us down a trail that didn't go RIGHT by the geese/duck pen. It didn't matter though, because Ike could smell and hear the geese and ducks...he came to a complete stop. I was successfully patient! Yippee for me. I didn't pull on him or cajole him too much, I let him just think. Then Leah told Ellie to go get Ike. Ellie ran over and sniffed Ike all over. Ike still wasn't moving. Leah told Ellie to go get him once more and all of a sudden Ike started walking like nothing was wrong. Yes!
We opened the gate to Leah's fenced in area which is currently full of agility equipment and unleashed our dogs. Ellie started loping about and Ike started sniffing. 2 bowel movements later, Ike was still sniffing and Ellie was still running about. She would periodically go over to Ike and desperately try to get him to play while he looked at her like she wasn't a dog.
After about 30 or 40 minutes of this Ike decided that, Yeah, he'd like to play with Ellie. He started running about and doing the schnauzer grapple to Ellie. YAY! In fact it appears that Ellie and Ike, or their respective breeds, have pretty similar foot-y/grappling styles of play. It was a RIOT to see Ike galumphing about with a grin on his face while Ellie sped here and there. I told Leah I was going to cry, and I wasn't joking. Of course, they would be tears of happiness! The only dog Ike ever plays with is Carmen, so this is a giant-giant step forward. Not too long after this Ike stood up on my leg which has become his way of letting me know that he is all done and would like to go home.
On the walk up from the field to Leah's driveway we walked alongside the geese and ducks. I told Leah I would lend her this great book I bought for John called Enslaved by Ducks by a journalist named Bob Tartt. We joke that John is Enslaved by Cockatiels; although now it could just as easily be g-pigs. Anyway, it is a memoir detailing the various animals that came into his and his wife's lives, including quite a few ducks and geese! I think after talking to Leah that she would really enjoy it.
Ike was really intrigued by the birds, as was I. I can't wait until John and I have some land!! Leah and I agreed to meet again next week so that Ellie and Ike can continue to get acclimated to each other. On the way home I stopped at Katrin's to do a few runs with Ike. I knew Sandy & Sadie and Nancy & Remy would be there; and since the Act-Up trial is only a week away we need all the practice we can get!
Ike surprised me to no end by being much faster than usual. Hooray! Is it the food change, the hanging out with Ellie, or every little thing combined? Who knows. I feel like the ball of change has started rolling and it just keeps picking up speed. It is SO cool.
I was telling Katrin about all of this, and she suggested I might have to consider changing the name of my blog if Ike continues to be such a quick little Schnauzer. Well, jeez...that might be true....
If Ike and I perform well at Act-Up and this is a true trend I will change the name, but to what? Something that has Slow As Molasses in it. So here is the challenge, whoever can figure out/create the best new name for my blog that incorporates Slow As Molasses will win a bunch of homemade treats. Put your thinking caps on, dear friends.
3 days ago