Saturday, October 16, 2010

Adventures in Canine Joy

It has been a long, long time since I had a moment to add anything here.  My thoughts have been on the back burner while career and our big move have taken the front position in all things.

Three weeks before our big move we adopted a dog from the SPCA.  This dog, this canine ambassador for the SPCA is a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a condundrum.

We have the joy of being the adoptive family for a white German Shepherd that we have named Gunner.  He is approximately 4 years old.  He is a devout follower of the Red Ball religion. He has very clearly been loved at some point in his past because he came to us resplendent with "sit", "up" and "lie down" skills as well as a strong desire to retrieve and bring us the toy.  He's "too big", "too long" and the wrong colour to be a "good" German Shepherd if you read anything online.  I say phooey.

He's whip smart, I'll tell you that!  He escaped his crate on Thursday.  I came home, unlocked the door, opened it and was greeted with doggy nose and a full tail salute.  I have no idea how long he'd been free in the house but not a thing was out of place.  Nothing was chewed.  All was well...

Gunner isn't great with other dogs unless he's off-leash.  His hackles come up and he starts to hyperventilate.  I don't understand it, but that's how he is.  We have lots of dog politeness and socialization to work on but honestly, he's a joy.

I don't know if its us who are giving Gunner joy or the other way around...frankly I think it goes both ways.

We are eternally grateful to Charlotte at the Vancouver SPCA for choosing us as Gunner's adoptive family.

We love you Charlotte!!!


  1. Well hello there. Nice to see you back and with such a nice post too. Gunner is a stunner. Oh I am so clever. Groan.
    I recall the dog whisperer saying that the dog can feel you tense up through the leash and then he does too thinking that is what is required. Try to keep the focus on you when walking with the leash maybe with a small treat to get his attention and completely ignore the other dog.

  2. Hi Lori! It's nice to be back :) I'm a Dog Whisperer junkie! I know what we're supposed to do in theory, but in practice it's harder. We are finding with our daily walks that he is incrementally better every day and it helps to make no movement, no comment and certainly make no touch when he misbehaves. Treats mean absolutely NOTHING to him! He ignores them. The red ball though? That's his religion ;)