Friday, April 07, 2006

The Dog Whisperer

My sisters, Marsha and Carolyn are visiting. Marsha recently moved from Houston back to Michigan, and this is the first time i've seen her since she arrived a few weeks ago. She came here and promptly absorbed all the Michigan germs she had been without for a lot of years, and she had to experience a some virus'es or something-er-other. But she's better now, and she feels comfortable visiting me and not worrying so much about bringing some germ to me (in my compromised immune state of being in chemo and having a lowered white count and having shingles)

She and her daughter Christina, as well as Carolyn, entertained Pogo (and he them) this afternoon. Pogo jumped and licked and kissed and sat on laps...etc.

Carolyn was kind enough to take Pogo out for his walk, and used the Amigo to do so. Pogo surprised her by knowing the pathways around the building and grounds, and she just followed along and made the turns as he lead her to. I think he pulled a fast one on her, though, because from her description it sounds like he took her farther and different ways than we usually go in one walk. He was thinking "I've got a sucker on the end of this leash"...."lets go this way, and this way, and this way, and kind of put all his walks into one big walk. Stinker. Isn't that hilarious?

He's good, though, jumps up on your lap to ride the Amigo out of the building, then hops down and runs his run and sniffs his sniffs and does his thing. He even seems to know when you stop to pick up the poo, and have it in that little bag, he knows he has to go past the trash can and he slows down and lets you deposit the bag into the proper receptical. He probably thinks he's really got US trained. Wow, I poop, they pick up. Good girl. Good girl.

He's been nervous since we moved here, and since I became disabled. His confidence, in direct proportion to my confidence has fallen. I am probably not as strong a leader in his eyes as I once was. First I began to walk slowly, and then started using crutches, or a cane, and walked slowly, haltingly, and I noticed that Pogo was now much more wary of people, has become frightened, and even aggressive-seeming when someone with a wheelchair, cane, crutches, etc...comes by HIM. He may feel that now he has to protect ME more, since I'm less capable, and has likely been confused by my lack of ability to lead him in a strong way. So I've been talking to him as we go out and telling him that I'm in charge, that I'll take care of things and that he doesn't need to bark at or worry about bikes, fast walkers, loud trucks, and other scary things. I just hope I can live up to what I'm telling him.

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