Honey bear style
Social distancing is not something our honey bear understands. Golden doodles are bred for their friendliness and their adaptability with others. So when this whole covid 19 thing showed up, our sticky mutt decided if people were not coming to see her, then she would go see them.
My theory is actually much more complicated about why I am chose to run. Most dogs do run. But only a few will chose to run away from the immediate in search of what ever the nose might find.
Everyone knows the dog’s nose is number one in the scheme of reasons, I vote for that one. Some smells are intoxicating. Like a thirst for water after a good frisbee session, my nose gets a scent and it seems like a strong rope to the rest of me. No one can leave bacon alone, right? Well, that’s what some aromas do. They draw me. It’s hard to explain.
However, shortly before the stay at home order, I found out that one of our substitue mail carriers feeds us treats from her car. That mail carrier fed me right there on the road! Of course, I am thinking, how dangerous. But oh well, everyone slows down for me and the mail. Who would encourage a dog to jump up on the car for a treat? It’s so confusing. Some people use angry voice when I try to jump and she gives me a treat. I don’t know which is the right way.
Besides, the package guy always gives me a treat. But he comes into the driveway so that is probably safe. I love to circle his truck and smell all of the other places he stops at. Sometimes another canine leaves me a message on the tires. His truck is full of nose treats and cookie treats.
(Remember that sign we use to see at the zoo, or in the national park out at Yellowstone: DO NOT FEED THE BEARS ?). Well, I am about to post that sign on my lawn near our 911 address. Do not feed my HONEY BEAR! She’s rather sticky, and it will get messy and difficult in the future. It just encourages the friendly dogs, to chase cars and play on the road.)
This morning after a leash walk with my mom, to the corner and back, I found a juicy one. Smell, that is. It took me north a long ways. Suddenly, another scent interrupted me. I tried to find the first one, but I lost it. My one mile walk with mom was nothing compared to the five miles my nose took me. That plum bush that mom thought was worth stopping for and letting me go was nothing compared to my trail. After the hour and a half of tracking, I was a little thirsty. Maybe a drink would help me pick up the scent again. So I turned to go home. Up to the road I went.
Then, the nice lady slowed down and picked me up. She read my collar. She called me Honey and everything. I heard her use the box to call mom. Then she dropped me off at the end of the driveway, and said “Honey go home.” I was glad. All that tracking had me ready for a drink. I jumped right up on the deck with a thud so mom could hear me.
I was happy to be home. I don’t think mom sounded very happy.
(Of course it does not help that I am blind. Nor that she did not have her guide harness on at the moment. I do not harness her every time that we go out. She is still in training to help me and some days we take a break. So after five minutes of calling for the “nose to ground” hound dog, I gave up. It was useless to waste my breath on the four legged creature that can run nearly 35 mph in a short spurt and 15-20 mph for longer distances. She was no where to be seen in just a matter of seconds.)
Two hours later a friendly lady gave her a lift home. There is a reason we put her name and home phone number on her collar. Though I had hoped it would only get used during a grooming session, or at dog camp. Or perhaps emergencies unforeseen. Honey thinks it is so that she can go distant social zing!
Distant Social Zing!
Yeah, I said that exactly the way that that she would. Zing is her favorite thing. Just toss a frisbee sometime and you will witness how fast her zing really is. Zing is what a golden doodle does bed.
Zing is the thing that drives our Honey bear to fly through the air after the disc. Zing is the thing that makes our Honey seem so sweet to everyone outside of the family. Zing is the thing that this sticky girl does when she meets someone new. Zing is the thing that happens when I turn my head for two seconds.
Distant social zing is what she has taken up now that no one ever comes over for coffee.
And that is nothing like zoom!!
Epilogue”My mom is the best ever. This morning she got me a date with a runner. A real runner, not just for twenty paces. My runner can run a mile or longer in one breath. I think. And she’s a girl. Like me. Girls rock! My runner listens to music. And she tastes great too. She had lotion, hot dogs, and sweat all at once. My runner is my best friend. I hope she comes again. Mom just handed her the leash and we left. My runner is the best. I tried to tell her so. I licked her and jumped like crazy. I hope she comes back.”
Yep, we hired a runner. And we are trying to throw the frisbee at consecutive moments to keep Honey on the go for at least twenty minutes. She’s still not tired. Just very exuberant and very fit.
Post Script to the epilogue
We decided to build Honey a fort. Here begins the agility challenges. Quaratine has made us think of all sorts of things to improve our staying at home. Hopefully this will help improve Honey’s staying home also. She actually began the weekend by running off on Gain while he was outside with her. So by Sunday we made the decision start building more”listen” into her. The agility and cofidence course for the canine is all about building relationship with your dog. I hope it works for my dog. The fort has two platforms, a tunnel, and a ladder or stepping bridge. We have the items for a hurdle, but will make that this later. She is learning to slow down and listen. Hopefully there will be no injuries (to me or her).
This morning after just one day with the fort, she gave up chasing the cats for a romp on the fort while I fed the feline’s. I would say success. And she learned about slowing down for the stepping bridge. She tends to just barrell through every thing as if exuberance were the answer to the whole of life. Her middle name is zealous!