on Outdoor Activities
Thank you all for your patience while I have been away from my duties here. With a son getting married and the Barkworld Expo trip immediately following, I've been incredibly pressed for time. Now that I'm home, I'm about to give up my daughter to the road. She's been doing a bit of her own bonding this week with her pups, and that's what inspired this post:
While watching Tanner today I realized that he definitely has his own Bucket List. His girl had just returned from a hike with him. When she walked away from our property to visit with a friend, she left him behind, sitting at the corner of our lot with an incredibly imploring look. You would have thought his BFF just left him for good.
I offered him a few of his favorite forms of affection and he responded happily, but with one eye steadily watching his girl drift out of sight. He began to crane his neck in hopes of catching a glimpse of her. Oh my. In just a few days she'll be leaving us for a long trip. Tanner will need a good bit of distraction to get past that. I'm thinking more walks, more dog park outings and more social engagement with other dogs and people. I've definitely got my work cut out for me, but all of this time spent with him will be bonding time. I need to savor it.
We started last night, before she even left. We took an outing to Grandma's house to visit her and Jacque, this time without Oliver along. Tanner perked up and immediately found joy in the new toys, new smells and new fun at Grandma's house. It was such fun to watch the difference in how he plays when he doesn't have his sidekick, Oliver, that I had a flashback of his puppy days.
Before Oliver joined our family, Tanner had been the focus of my training attention. Xena was already a 10 year old with good manners to spare. Now it was time to help Tanner absorb her behavioral experience. With 2 rescues doing well, our next one, Oliver, arrived when Tanner was about 18 months old. Thankfully, he was doing quite well, having completed his CGC training classes and begun agility. Although I was able to take on Oliver without shorting Tanner's training time, I never really realized until today that I may have shorted him in the bonding time that every kid needs with mom before another kid comes along. I believe this same strategy should apply to our dogs if we want them to fully bond to us.
Today I've vowed to assure Tanner does not ever feel he was shorted. I have been blessed with such wonderful rescues in recent years. I need to make sure they know how special they are to me. I'll just bet that feeling, the ultimate bonding between a dog and his or her owner, is the epitome of their Bucket List.
What do you think? What would your dog's number one item be on his bucket list if he could put it into words? I would love to hear your thoughts. Can you give me more ideas for my special time with each dog? Let 'em rip; the comment link is open: