Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summertime Is Calling!!

Ah, Summer has officially arrived!! Dreary rains have ceased to make way for warm, lovely sunshine!! A season when we sport shorts, tank tops, flip-flops. Drive to parks, enjoy hikes, indulge in backyard barbecues. A season when we attend weddings, graduations, birthday parties. In 70-plus degree temperatures.... With a light breeze.... That is my idea of the perfect afternoon!! And Summer is a lengthy, dull season sans canines to share it with!! Why? The possibilities for bonding are boundless!! You can take Buddy camping. Or sit in the privacy of your own garden with Sabrina. Seriously.... The options are endless!! I have been reading through this fantastic pet resource book entitled: "Beyond Fetch: Fun, Interactive Activities for You and Your Dog" by D. Caroline Coile. It is literally jam-packed from cover to cover with game ideas!! Red Light/Green Light. (Simon) Says. Red Rover. Some are physical activities, others mental. "Beyond Fetch" features party games, options for indoor/outside play, even homemade toy ideas!! Plus more!! Even games which encourage obedience!! Within the pages of this reference book are wonderful bonding opportunities between master and canine!! Not every game listed is suitable for every breed. If you have an "opinionated" Border Collie, then "Bark-o-Rama" wouldn't at all be appropriate!! As the owner, you should know your dog. Be his judge as to what's best for him!! On a sunny Saturday afternoon, Uncle Michael and I tried one of the activities featured in "Beyond Fetch". From Chapter 1. It was Hide And Seek. We enjoyed teaching it to Rose.... She had fun participating!! Of course, it was a trial run!! And our rules altered themselves three times. Firstly, in our backyard, I held Rose's collar, while Uncle Michael hid, or vice versa. Uncle Michael/I called out: "Rose Come!!" We allowed my mongrel to watch us run away. She seemingly had little sense of direction with that rule!! Really? Where is that incredible "hound" nose? Rose would bound toward me/Uncle Michael with gusto, take a spin around where I/Uncle Michael was hiding, then look pleased with herself!! But this felt like cheating!! Secondly, Uncle Michael/I held Rose's collar on our patio.... Where she could no longer watch us run away. My bright girl caught on swiftly!! She soon figured out that the object of this game is to run across our backyard as I/Uncle Michael called her!! Plus, we lavished Rose with verbal and physical praise whenever Uncle Michael/I were found!! Fun, fun, fun!! There was merely two "off-limit" hiding locations: No flower garden and no fruit/vegetable garden!! Around here, everybody has what we call: "House Rules", where original instructions are always bent. When we played Hide And Seek, on the third round, Rose decided that she was done!! Seriously? Done? By then, Uncle Michael was repeatedly calling out: "Rose come!!" with zero response!! She just stood there, motionless, like a statue, on our patio!! So I walked toward my now disobedient mutt. Firmly took hold of her collar. Gently lead Rose to my hiding spot. Rose's shoulders slumped, her head hung low. As if she was wondering: "Did I do something wrong?" Oh, that broke my heart!! By trying to teach Rose to obey, it seemed, we robbed all the fun!! So our "House Rules" will be that Uncle Michael/I only call Rose's name!! This way, when she is done, there's no disobedience involved!!

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