When Dahlia decided to act like a real dog... - The Book of Ramblings
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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 02:16 pm
When Dahlia decided to act like a real dog...

Dahlia's not a real dog. You guys know this. She looks like a dog but doesn't act like one. She doesn't show much interest in balls, doesn't bark (like ever -- even when someone knocks at the door), and when we first got her she didn't even play with toys, didn't understand a dog play bowing at her. It was like she was the confused wallflower who didn't quite know how to act around others of her own kind. She was dog friendly, but didn't GET IT for the most part.

She's getting it more and more, but she's still growing.

We took her on a walk together on Sunday. I love when we do this. We play a "run back and forth between Mommy and Daddy" game where we keep getting further and further apart and calling her to us. She runs from one to the other and back and forth. It tires her out and she seems to love it.

This time we found a stray tennis ball laying around and David threw it for her without trying to hype her up first.

SHE CHASED IT.

OMG really. She ran after it and grabbed it and brought it back near us. She tried chewing on it for a moment and then set it down in the snow and nosed it away from her. She still tried to grab it when we went for it (she likes this game; I'm happy to play it; she doesn't have to play fetch or tug or anything by anyone else's rules but her own and it's fun faking her out to get it away from her). We threw it multiple times. And each time she went after it.

We were interrupted at one point by the arrival of a German Shepherd named Max. Nice dog. He took off running and Dahlia was all too happy to give chase (chase is her favouritest game EVER). They played for a bit and then we parted ways. We found the tennis ball again and tossed it and once more she ran after it. She did several times but eventually stopped picking it up. She would try but then immediately drop it. I think it was too cold all covered in snow. She tried to pick it up by the fuzz but that didn't work, so eventually she'd run to it, pick it up, drop it, and then stand over it as we came to get it to throw it again.

But still. She played fetch. Real fetch. Not a half-hearted racing after a toy once or twice and then settling down to squeak it.

Maybe there's a real dog in there somewhere after all.

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yesididit
yesididit
yesididit
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC)

hahaha, way to go dahlia!


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC)

It was really quite exciting. I can't say she'll do it agian, but it's nice to see. I think she's STILL growing and changing and opening up and learning new things.


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joansies
joansies
OrbWeaver
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 07:49 pm (UTC)

Did Dahlia have a rough start in life?


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)

I know nothing about the first couple years of her life (she was picked up as a stray in Ohio). I don't THINK she had a rough start to life. She's super friendly, loves everyone, loves other dogs, loves cats. She has no fear issues at all (except loud noises, or even sudden noises, but border collies are notorious for sound sensitivity) and seems to have been well-socialized. I don't think she was abused or anything.

But I do wonder if she was ever allowed to play. Like maybe they never played fetch with her or allowed her to play with people or other dogs or anything. She had no clue about ANYTHING when we got her: no tug, no fetch, no playing with other dogs or chasing them or anything. She's learned a lot from the other dogs we've met along the way.


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joansies
joansies
OrbWeaver
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 08:16 pm (UTC)

How mysterious!

Well, she's happy now, and learning! :)


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC)

I know. I wish I knew what sort of life she came from! But I guess it'll always remain a mystery to us.

I ALMOST keep wishing someone would see her picture and be like "wait I knew that dog" and then tell me all about her first couple years!


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joansies
joansies
OrbWeaver
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)

There are so many dogs that look a lot like Dahlia, though. Dahlia reminds me of a dog I had as a kid, Lady. Except that Lady was Lab/Irish Setter. And had a white strip down her chest. :)

But at least it seems like her first few years weren't too traumatic. Or if they were, she shook off the trauma. Animals can be really good at that. :)


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)

I really hope they weren't too traumatic. The vets thought she had never been pregnant (though she was not spayed when she came into the shelter) so it seems like she must have been taken pretty good care of. She had worms but those could have developed quickly. The thought of the shelter was that she was a foreclosure pet...just dumped out on the street when they had to move someplace. I actually scoured CL and the like, but was a bit too late to see if there had been any postings for her. LOL

Seriously. I was and still am somewhat obsessed with finding out her history.

And you're right. A lot of dogs look a lot like Dahlia. She's black. Though she has the addition of the weird spots on her tongue which makes her less like some of them. I know a fair amount of dogs have spots on their tongue, but it's not HUGELY common so that might tip off who she is to someone.


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 08:04 pm (UTC)

That's true, though we think the other half of her is retriever! LOL Her usual game goes like this:

1. Toy is thrown.
2. Dahlia races after it and grabs it.
3. She runs back NEAR us and settles down with it between her paws.
4. Toy gets squeaked over and over and over again.
5. We grab it, play tug of war, and FINALLY get it away from her.
6. Toy is thrown again. Rinse and repeat.

So we never play the usual fetch game. Which I'm ok with. If she wants to play fetch/chase/tug, who am I to argue? lol

I like the collecting game! For Dahlia, it's the thrill of the squeaking I think. I've never met a dog before who loved to settle down and just make her toys squeak. And she'll methodically go over the whole toy with her mouth to see if there are any other squeakers there. It's hilariously adorable!


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shunhuggedme
shunhuggedme
Vicky
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)

I had a similar moment when Cozmo first learned to fetch. He does NOT play with toys, or other dogs, or chase things, or .. do anything other than look cute. The first time he went for a ball.. ZOMG.


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC)

It's amazing isn't it? Dahlia is learning little by little. She does love to chase. Chase/herd is her favourite game (she does tend to run out and around in a circle around whatever it is she's "chasing"). She LOVES that. And she loves her squeaky toys. But fetch has been slow going. I'm envious of the people who take their dog down to the park and throw balls forever for them. It looks like so much fun!


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shunhuggedme
shunhuggedme
Vicky
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 08:09 pm (UTC)



here is when we were first getting him to do it, lol

He still won't do it ALL the time, just occasionally, when no other dogs are looking. Sometimes he'll go after a frisbee, too.


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)

That's awesome. I shouldn't laugh at how he ran smack into the wall there should I? LOL He didn't seem too fazed about it though and he got better the second time!


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shunhuggedme
shunhuggedme
Vicky
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 08:21 pm (UTC)

It's ok, I laughed my ass off too. That dog is special. He runs into things ALL THE TIME, hahaha.


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC)

This, btw, was one of our first videos of when Dahlia sort of got fetch. She tends to lose interest in it quickly.


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shunhuggedme
shunhuggedme
Vicky
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)

Aw, that's cute!



This is the best fetch he does. He LOVES to swim.


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)

Aww that's great! I so wish I could teach Dahlia how to swim. I need to find SOME place to do it. So far the only places I can let her in are either too shallow, too disgusting, or full of zebra mussels, which could hurt her pretty bad.


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shunhuggedme
shunhuggedme
Vicky
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC)

That beach is my favorite place in the world. It's right off St. Pete and it's an actual 'dog beach'. The water is pretty shallow for quite a ways out and it's VERY popular among dog owners :)

It's an hour drive for me, but SO worth it.


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 08:52 pm (UTC)

There's a dog beach at a lake a few hours from us. We've talked about going camping there so maybe we will this summer.


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abserdman
abserdman
abserdman
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC)

Go Dahlia! She'll learn eventually. I think it's definitely the cold, Sparky wasn't bringing his ball back today either and he's obsessed with bringing that ball back so that you can throw it away again.

Kota's never really got the hang of fetch either. He loves chasing things but then likes to chew on them rather than bring them back. I finally got him playing the other day with his squeaky ball and he hounded me for hours with the thing. I could not get him to stop. Not that I minded, it was far too cute. He hasn't done it since though.


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC)

Dahlia sounds like Kota! She likes to chase and then chew (squeak!). She usually will bring it back near us and then settle down to chew on it and make it squeak. lol


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abserdman
abserdman
abserdman
Tue, Dec. 22nd, 2009 12:03 am (UTC)

Kota takes his as far away as possible. He always has. Even at 9 weeks old all he wanted to do was hoard all his toys in a corner and chew on them.



I had to teach him to even vaguely bring them back to me (yay for clickers!) and we've just refined it since!


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crysania4
crysania4
Crysania
Tue, Dec. 22nd, 2009 02:28 am (UTC)

SO CUTE.

I think Dahlia is a velcro dog and so has to bring them NEAR us but just a bit out of reach. Or she's teasing us. Not sure which! She does tend to pile her toys up like that and will squeak one, then grab another, squeak that one, etc.


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dogologist
dogologist
Ann
Mon, Dec. 21st, 2009 10:49 pm (UTC)

Yay Dahlia! :)


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