Puppy walking

An adventure in looking after a puppy until it is old enough to be properly trained as a guide dog for the blind.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

This morning, Rockwell was sitting looking out the back door as is his wont, when I heard him growl softly. Then he woofed just a little but I didn’t bother because he often does that when he sees a squirrel or bird encroaching on his territory. When he suddenly barked full out, I got up to see what it was all about. He was staring up into the sky and when I squatted down behind him to get his vantage point, I saw that he was barking at a hot air balloon! Another first! I reassured him it was no danger and he promptly went back to looking for squirrel interlopers. This got me to thinking about a theory I have started to develop about him.

I have been wondering about his intelligence because he seems to be far behind where Uma was at the same age. On the other hand, he is so very observant and sees things she never would have (like the balloon), including his own reflection. He even makes eye contact with you in the mirror which is almost unsettling! When he sees something new, he sits right down to observe it and think about it. And I have watched him while he is obviously thinking about something - I just don’t know what. So my theory is that he is a sensitive dog and he may in fact be overwhelmed by too much data input. Saying something to him over and over in an escalating loud voice may be too much and that may be why he appears to ignore me.

Well, I did say it was a theory! In any event, I am going to try to be quieter and calmer with him and mindful. I am a bit like that myself - easily overwhelmed by too much noise anyway - so it should make empathizing with him easier. If I’m right. I’ll let you know how it goes.


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