3.23.2008

pupdate part 1: doggie play date (now with photos!)

Last Friday was a statutory holiday in Canada, and a weekday day off is one way we see friends who work more normal schedules than ours. James and Lori came over with Cobalt and Cobalt's new sister, Denim. James photographed the proceedings.

We were all curious to see how all four dogs would get along. The first time Tala met Cobalt, Tala was really obnoxious - she picked on Cobalt all day. Not much fun for the little one. The next time they met, Cobalt figured out how to stand up to Tala - and Tala loved it! (Unfortunately, Tala is a bit of a bully.)

By the third time Tala and Cobalt saw each other, they were great friends. I knew that that friendship is now cemented, but I didn't know how Tala would do with a very small puppy. And I forgot what Cody what do!

Tala was happy and excited to see Cobalt. She was mildly intrigued by Denim, but she never focused on the puppy and didn't harass her the way she did with Cobalt on their early meetings. She was too distracted by wanting to play with Cobalt.

Cody adored Denim. She was smitten by her. Cody followed the puppy around all day. You've got to picture this: Cody is a 60-pound (27 kg) dog, and the puppy is around 14 weeks old, and will be about 25 pounds (11 kg) full grown. So imagine this big dog trailing after this tiny puppy, as if she's being led on a leash. Once in a while, if Denim wasn't paying enough attention to her, Cody would bat Denim with a paw. Denim would yelp, but it was so obvious that all Cody wanted was to be noticed.

I had completely forgotten that Cody loves small dogs. In our old neighbourhood in New York City, there was a dachshund she used to see on walks. Cody would lie down on the sidewalk to nuzzle the dachshund's face, and I swear, she would try to wriggle under the dachshund.

So here's the scene in our backyard last Friday. Cobalt is chasing after a tennis ball or running around the yard. Tala is following Cobalt, because she wants to play with her. Denim, the puppy, is following her big sister, and also wants to see what all the fuss is about. And Cody is magnetically attracted to Denim and is following her. It's a doggie parade!

Two sides of our yard is fenced in with a good chain-link fence. But on one side, there's an old wooden slat fence, mostly camouflaged with big cedars. When the neighbours are in their yard, Cody and Tala sometimes stick their heads through the slats to say hi. But being used to big dogs, I never thought that those slats might actually be too wide...

We were sitting around chatting, when Lori looked up and said, "Denim is next door!" Denim had simply wandered off, through the slats. After some persuasion, she came back (the value of early training, right there!) - and then Cobalt decided to inspect the neighbour's yard. I was wondering if I'd have to ring their doorbell, but Cobalt came back. And Denim left again. At this point, the dogs had been running around for hours, so it was a good time to go in, and remove temptation.

One thing about always adopting rescue dogs, Allan and I have never had a puppy, and we probably never will. I very rarely have an opportunity to be around and play with puppies, so spending time with Denim was a real treat. Seeing Cody with Denim was just hilarious.

32 comments:

James said...

I'll try to have the photos up soon!

Small correction: I was the one who first noticed Denim next door, not Lori. Lori noticed most of the subsequent explorations.

L-girl said...

I could have sworn it was Lori. But either way, it was very amusing.

Amy said...

Great doggie story! We also have never had a puppy--have always rescued grown dogs, even when I was a child. Puppies are very, very cute, but I have to say that I have not regretted never going through the housetraining stage of puppyhood. Toilet training two kids was plenty of that for us, and cats come self-trained. (Why do cats know to use kitty litter, but not dogs? Another of life's mysteries.)

L-girl said...

We had a puppy when I was a child. They're incredibly cute, but they grow *so* fast.

Puppies are a lot of work, but we've also had A LOT of work with our rescues - retraining various crazy behaviour, and tremendous health concerns from life as a stray.

For us it's more the commitment to rescue than the work factor. But that's real, too.

Amy said...

For me, it was also the commitment to rescue a dog. Dogs are only puppies for a short time, and too many people love puppies, then get bored when they become dogs. There is nothing that breaks my heart more than seeing dogs and cats abandoned to a shelter.

I actually prefer dogs to puppies in many ways, though I find puppies adorable. Maybe because I never lived with a puppy, I have always bonded more easily with grown dogs.

James said...

Puppies are very, very cute, but I have to say that I have not regretted never going through the housetraining stage of puppyhood.

It hasn't been that big a deal with Denim. She's had a few accidents in the house, but as long as we get her to the door reasonably regularly, we're good.

Dogs are only puppies for a short time, and too many people love puppies, then get bored when they become dogs.

No fear of that with Aussies! They don't settle down at all. ;)

James said...

Photos are up in this Flickr set! I'll have a post of my own tomorrow, I hope.

L-girl said...

Thanks, James! I will post an update.

L-girl said...

OMG, these are great. I love this one!

L-girl said...

Here's another of my faves.

James said...

I think this one is pretty cute. She's still a little uncertain!

BTW, today was Denim's first day in a dog park without a leash. She did great! Her recall is very good.

L-girl said...

I think this one is pretty cute. She's still a little uncertain!

The expression on Denim's face is great there. Here Cody looks like a mad stalker.

BTW, today was Denim's first day in a dog park without a leash. She did great! Her recall is very good.

Cool! She came back from the neighbour's yard pretty easily. :)

James said...

It helps that she's completely food fixated. :)

Amy said...

Great photos! That puppy is so adorable that I might have to rethink my preference for adult dogs!!

L-girl said...

How funny, one of those blog-searching-bots picked up this post because of the word "denim"!

impudent strumpet said...

That is so adorable, and those dogs have such interesting colouring! I think I made exactly the same face as Cody when I first saw the little puppy.

Did you guys get any video? You could be famous on YouTube!

L-girl said...

I think I made exactly the same face as Cody when I first saw the little puppy.

LOL :)

Did you guys get any video? You could be famous on YouTube!

None of us are video-takers. David Cho wants to see video of Tala going nuts in the car. That seems like a natural for YouTube. But nah, we're just not into it.

I would have liked to have a video of a crazy game that Cody and Buster used to play.

redsock said...

Great shots!!

Love the ones with all four of them running.

James said...

By the way, I also posted three new pictures of Cody alone, but they went into this set.

James said...

My write-up (shorter, but with more inline photos) is now up at '77 Track 7.

David Cho said...

Awesome pics! I keep thinking. I wish Noah and I were there. He has never seen snow in his life, so that alone would be a treat.

James said...

This wasn't great snow, though -- it was a little old and icy. You want it after a nice thick fall. :)

L-girl said...

You want it after a nice thick fall. :)

Like we did on New Year's Day! That was great. Except no Denim yet.

L-girl said...

I wish Noah could come over to play!! What are you doing the weekend of June 7? :)

Amy said...

I meant to ask before---has Cody ever had or lived with puppies? It is just so sweet how she fixated on baby Denim.

L-girl said...

I meant to ask before---has Cody ever had or lived with puppies? It is just so sweet how she fixated on baby Denim.

Wasn't it?! Not that we know of, no.

She has always adored the dog she lived with, but other than that, she is not too interested in other dogs. Once in a while, she has fallen in love with a small dog that she didn't see too often, like that daschund in NYC.

Denim was something else. Cody was smitten.

Amy said...

I finished reading The Hidden Lives of Dogs. Very interesting and insightful. Although I have some real reservations about letting dogs run freely through city streets (I had two dogs hit by cars when I was a child---my parents believed dogs should wander freely), I found her observations quite fascinating. Thanks for the recommendation!

L-girl said...

Amy, you're welcome, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Of course her methods are debatable and controversial. In the preface to her follow-up book, Marshall Thomas says she was horrified as she started receiving mail from readers who - after her reading her book - let their dogs roam free, and the dogs were, predicatably, hit by cars.

She couldn't believe people were so stupid as to think that a dog with no street experience could just adapt and be safe. (Never underestimate people's stupidity.)

That dog - Sasha, was it? something like that - was a street dog. He knew how to do it. I've seen many dogs like that. But most house dogs wouldn't be able to, and shouldn't be given the opportunity.

So was the book, for you, more insightful than it was sad and/or guilt-producing?

Amy said...

Misha was the dog's name. And yes, the book produced no guilt, though I think I was sadder about her dogs dying than she seemed to be. Could she really be so matter of fact?

Even streetwise dogs are too easily hit by cars. Our two dogs always roamed freely. One was hit by a car when she was fairly old and was losing her hearing. The other was a notorious car chaser who was hit right before my eyes when I was only ten years old. I was really scarred for life and thus cannot imagine letting a dog roam like that. My parents always had this philosophy that dogs and cats are really only happy if they can roam freely. After losing those two dogs and numerous cats to cars or coyotes or whatever, they finally now keep their cat inside. (They never got another dog after the second one was hit by a car.)

L-girl said...

Misha! Thanks.

I'm sure you're 100% right about this. Our dogs and cats are our responsibility. They should no more roam free than little children should.

* * * *

How incredibly horrible that you saw that. Oh my lord.

I saw a puppy get hit and killed - hit-and-run. I was walking our dogs (this was in NYC). They startled a little puppy, probably a stray. It ran out into the street just as a car was speeding around the corner. It wasn't killed instantly - it suffered briefly, and very noisily.

The sound of its cries are seared in my brain.

I also felt partially responsible, as my dogs scared it into the street, although the whole thing happened so quickly, I didn't see it before it ran.

It was so horrible. I came home sobbing. And I was an adult, and I didn't know the dog. What a terrible thing for a little girl! Boo.

Amy said...

Oh, that is an awful story. Harvey once hit a dog that ran into the street, and luckily it was not hurt by some miracle. (Maybe he actually missed hitting it---I wasn't with him at the time.) He was haunted by it forever. And the man who hit my dog was horrified--he actually took the dog to the vet, where sadly they could not save her. I felt guilty for a long time because she was with me at the time. (She was mostly attached to me and followed me everywhere. Once when I walked to a friend's house with her, but got a ride home and didn't realize that she was still waiting on the front step of the friend's house, my father had to take me back and get her because she would not leave without me, even though she knew perfectly well how to get home.) It still makes me so sad to think about her. She was an amazingly loyal and smart dog---one my parents rescued from a shelter, of course.

L-girl said...

Oh geez. So sad.

I will always miss our dogs who are gone. Each was so special and wonderful in her/his own way.

Uh-oh, gotta stop this right now. sniff sniff, blink, sniffle