Thursday, July 2, 2009
Bad Dog! (Person!)
I've got two dogs that got themselves into some real big trouble today and I'd like to say that it is all them............but it isn't. Dogs are dogs. Usually when they do something we see as "wrong" it is really their person's fault. Dogs like to eat, sleep and be dogs. Everything they do as dogs they are "supposed" to do unless we step in and train them otherwise; unless we intervene to make it impossible for them to do something a dog would normally do because it is an inconvenience for us if they do it; unless we see the real risks involved with whatever the activity we allow our dogs to take part in and make the appropriate changes.
I guess I'd like to say that it is Oken and Zala that are in big trouble today but nope, it's me. Since our arrival on Oake Lake nine years ago, we have never had a dog get out of a play area. We have a 4" fence in our play areas. Risky, I know. Any dog, at any time, could have gotten out if they chose but no one ever has. Never say never. For years, dogs have spent hour after hour in this area while I run inside and do some computer work or something else requiring that I let them out of sight. These dogs are very attentive. A sharp "aagh" and they stop whatever they are doing. Had I been in the yard when Oken and Zala were most likely tempted by a critter to jump the fence, I could have intervened and made the appropriate correction letting them know that this is not allowed. But I wasn't.
When I stepped outside and called everyone, two didn't show up, which is unusual. Walking to the side of the house I noticed Zala, wet and on the outside of the fence. She must have taken a dip in the lake. She ran right to me when I called and in through the gate to the back yard she went. Oken was nowhere to be found. After several more calls I spotted him on the opposite side of the play area and way up the hill. He was also wet, no doubt getting that way by following a rabbit through the reeds and being surprised by the lake on the other side. He would have to run all the way around to get to me. That he did and then went directly into the backyard. Of course, you can't do anything but praise them like crazy for coming to you when called. They don't know what they did was "wrong" and it was so long ago that even if they did at the time, they certainly don't now.
I've now got a couple of dogs that have shown the others a new trick. Unfortunately, this changes our kennel routine greatly and until we get a much higher fence, no one can be left in the play area unsupervised. I am just very happy that neither one got hurt doing something that their person could have prevented.