Friday, September 12, 2008

Jake the Dog

Sunning on the deck. What's he thinking, cottage?

Well, we're going somewhere, I just haven't figured it out yet. I hope I'm getting a Big Mac out of this ...

Fossil hunting again, maybe?

Okay, now I know, cottage! Last leg, boat trip across the lake (keep those ears down!)

Play time. He can't find the tennis ball, but he can follow someone who can:


Race! (As in, I'm going where you're going!)

Dry land, but I'm wet!

Whoops. Where'd everybody go?

I knew you'd be back. And how to finish the day: go watch the sunset.

And finally, home again, deck, best bud, sun, what more could you want?

He's almost totally blind now. A game we developed back on the home front: go to a local park, it's a big open field, baseball diamond, play area, little creek running through it, typical park. He's been a thousand times, easily. he likes it there. I let him loose, he heads for the trees to sniff or something, I stay around the spot where I let him loose. He suddenly remembers he's blind and needs me and comes back to the spot I left him and sniffs me out and then rubs his nose against my leg 'cause that's what he does.

The other day I changed things up, he goes off sniffing, I move somewhere else, he comes back to find me, can't. Now what. He gets a bit nervous. He looks back towards the house, he looks forward towards where we usually leave the park. Ears up, head up. There's purpose to his gait, as he moves out about 20 yards back towards the house. Nothing. So back to where I left him. Still nothing. Then the other way, nothing. Now he's prancing a bit, nervous. Now what i'd almost call a grid search, back and forth, hurriedly, purposefully. Thirty seconds go by, maybe, now he looks like he wants to head home. He'd make it, i'm sure, the only thing that could stop him would be a car. Time to give him a clue, a quick shout, and he covers the hundred yards or so easily, happily. He doesn't need a second shout to find me, his trajectory almost dead on.

Now, next day, he knows it's a game, or at least that i won't leave him. And he likes the chase. it's been over a year since he's been able to see the tennis ball, and a couple since he's gone after a squirrel. Sometimes he finds me, sometimes he needs help. Always he's ready for more.

He's a confident, happy dog (GSD), good-looking too. (And i'm not really a dog person, he was kind of an accident.)


Dawn Coyote said...

Jake is magnificent. The pictures are gorgeous. Thanks for posting them. I've never had a dog - not one that I was able to keep, anyway. My mom's penchant for adopting strays didn't work out so well with dogs, better with cats. I'd like to have a German Shepherd some day. Jake has convinced me.

sydbristow said...

Thanks, Dawn.

They are fairly high maintenance, just an fyi. As I said, Jake was an "accident" (found runaway sort of thing, and timing was right, much beloved terrier had passed away a year or so earluer), so you adapt. We've put a lot of miles on each other, so I guess I thank him for that. Oops, not destructive at all I should add (thinking high maintenance comment; also so, so trainable), just sort of needy and a bit paranoid.

Cindy said...

That's a really great moment - your park experience with Jake. On so many levels.

Thanks for posting the link.


Dawn Coyote said...

Maybe when I can keep a dog with me all the time, then. And these cats still have a lot of years on 'em, I hope. They do okay with dogs, though. They figure they can take them, I think.

sydbristow said...

Thanks cindy, that's kind.

Dawn, Jake had two early experiences with skunks, they got him good. (My fault, probably, I used to take him for a lot of late night walks because that way I could let him loose in the parks and that without worrying about people getting in the way and all that.) I mention this because I think he thinks cats are skunks, he really wants no part of them. And now of course he can't see them, so it's all kind of moot. It's funny walking him though, you see these beady eyes peering at him from under a car, or behind a bush, or something. He's always the last to know.

ThyGoddess said...

I love Jake!

sydbristow said...

Merci! I added a pic or two. He's a great guy.

hipparchia said...

what a handsome devil!

not a dog person -- yeah, riiiiight.