Gabe kissing Dessa’s back
This morning was one of those sweet, endearing moments that you have with children and dogs. My 21 month old son was playing and my two whippets were hanging out near him. Completely unprompted he walked over to the youngest whippet Dessa, grabbed her muzzle and gently kissed her on the nose. My husband and I melted, it was the sweetest most adorable thing – completely unprompted. We said “Aw, did you kiss the puppy?” and he grinned with delight, clapped his hands and walked towards the other dog. My older whippet Lemmy is good, but not comfortable around my son at all. As I held Lemmy’s muzzle lightly so my son could ever so gently kiss his nose the alarm bells started ringing in my head. “What the heck am I doing? What if he tries to kiss a dog he doesn’t know? What if it’s the neighbor’s dog, or a friend’s dog – or a strange dog?” Without making a fuss I gently directed his next kiss to Lemmy’s back, midway down his body. I quickly relayed to my husband – “Don’t let him kiss Dessa’s face. Make sure you show him where to kiss her on the back.” He ran back and forth between the dogs with a huge smile “kissing” both dogs on the back.
Why did a ruin a lovely Kodak moment? I could have grabbed my camera and got absolutely adorable pictures of him kissing them on the nose. Thankfully I realized right away that it was a bad move – just like dogs, kids will repeat any behavior that elicits a positive reaction from you. Us cooing over him “kissing the puppies” would definitely make him repeat the behavior. In the same vein if I would have freaked out and said “WE DON’T KISS PUPPIES EVER!!” I could guarantee that he’d spend the next few days trying to kiss those dogs faces every chance he got. I hope that by redirecting him to a slightly safer behavior that if we don’t call attention to it he’ll forget about it. I figured kissing their back in the middle of their body vs. directly approaching and grabbing their faces was a safer alternative. The last thing in the world I want him to do is approach a dog directly from the front, grab it’s muzzle and put his face in contact with their nose.
I might have to be careful about kissing the puppies too, which I do all the time. Monkey see monkey do!
When I take the dogs for a walk I’m also taking a gigantic jogging stroller and 30+ lbs of kid so I need to dogs to walk politely. No pulling, no stopping to sniff, no meandering around and tangling the leashes in the wheels. No lunging at other dogs or squirrels (although we do make exceptions for the occasional stupid Southern squirrels who sit 2 ft away). You can see the cup holder on the left is full of Charley Bear treats. These are my Magic Dog Treats. They are used as good dog treats, stupid squirrel treats, interesting jogger treats, scary trash truck treats – getting the picture? Any time we see something super interesting or scary they get treats popped in their mouth constantly. Whenever they make a good decision, like not pulling my arm out of the socket, they also get a treat. What this does is train them when they see something new they should look at me. It only took a few days of repetition for this to work. The first time we saw a huge flock of geese at the pond Dessa looked at them with her eyes bugging out, then looked up at me and sat. I gave her a ton of treats and praise. One morning the trash truck rolled by and stopped right in front of us. We backed up a few feet until the dogs would take treats, and I stuffed them full of treats until the truck drove on. Now they don’t mind the truck. There are so many applications for magic treats – they work for obnoxious barking dogs, bicyclists, golf carts, dead squirrels in the road, etc. I try to never leave the house without a full supply of my Magic treats!
Recently I witnessed a nasty exchange on Facebook in regards to a member’s picture of her baby and dog. The baby was sitting on the dog’s chest and holding his muzzle. The comments degenerated into accusations of abuse, which was way over the top and didn’t accomplish anything. The photo did make me uncomfortable, but not because I had any … Click here to read more.
Welcome to Dessa, formerly Maple Syrup of the Pancakes litter. She is settling in well. Gabe adores her and Lemmy is coming around.
Our beautiful girl from WildAbout Whippets will be here soon. She will get started on the oval track down here and be a buddy for Lemmy. I am so … Click here to read more.
Gabe and Lemmy are ready for Christmas
Happy holidays from us to you!
Well unfortunately Mo didn’t work out, not through any fault of his own. We have a very non-dog savvy cat who does things like running 90mph to try and get the dogs to chase him. Poor Mo wasn’t sure what to think of it, but in order to keep the cat from getting squished or eaten we decided not to … Click here to read more.
We had a great time at the SOMOS Derby here in Jacksonville. Lemmy participated in the Match, taking second in Open.