Random Blog A Musing Farf

Thursday, January 31, 2008


There are some people whose opinions I respect as gospel and follow blindly. One of these people is JG. She is my doggie –guru and the person to whom I bring my dog-related issues. Plus, in addition to starting NYC Shiba Rescue and knowing pretty much everything there is to know about Shiba Inus, she is a good person and always willing to share knowledge and a laugh.

So, when I complained to her that Tiki and Cody (aka Double Trouble) were destroying my home when I was gone, she reminded me of an important theory in dog training: Better behavior through exhaustion. If the dogs were tired from playing, they would not have the energy to destroy my home. This was perfect. I did not want to crate them during the day because Cody cries all day if crated and annoys my neighbors when we do that, but I also was not entirely sure which dog was the culprit. I suspect Tiki ate my shoes and earmuffs, but I blame Cody for eating all the English muffins off the counter top.

Husband and I started getting up 30 minutes early on days when the dogs were not in day care and bringing them to the dog run so they can play off leash for a while and get good and tired before we leave for work. This in itself can be a tricky process because there are some dogs that Tiki just does not like, and if they are in the run when we get there, I do not feel comfortable going inside (actually, I am about as fond of the owner as Tiki is of the dog so I am happy to avoid contact). But 99% of the time, we get there first and then the mean dog/owner even come so it works out fine. Husband tosses a ball for Tiki while Cody attempts to climb trees to get at the squirrels playing overhead. Thirty minutes later, we head home and the dogs pretty much sleep the rest of the day. I think all four of us really enjoy the outing.

So today, in an attempt to make my 9am conference call, we got up even earlier than normal and headed to the run. As we rounded the corner, I noticed it was empty.

“Wow,” I commented to Husband, “We even beat the guy with the cigarette and loud dog.”

We agreed that we were thrilled to be the only ones since we could run and throw balls without worrying about the reactions of other dogs and jogged up to the gates. Locked. No wonder the run was empty. Tiki pawed at the gate and Cody looked at me sadly.

“We could lift them up and jump the fence,” Husband suggested.

I thought about it, but what if the gate was locked because there was a dangerous condition at the run, like rat poison or something. So we decided to do for a long walk instead. We started walking around the Museum of Natural History. Tiki, out of boredom or whatever, started to jump over the 12 inch iron borders that surround the trees and I developed an idea.

We ran full speed down 77th Street as close to the trees as possible.

“Jump!” I would yell just before each little fence. We pretended it was an agility class and were having a blast until Tiki ran on the wrong side of the tree and forced me to stop short, skidding in the leaves on my knees, a bag of dog poop in my hand. Husband helped me up, made sure I was okay (and clean!), and I continued along my way, running (slightly slower) and having Tiki jump.

When the trees stopped having the borders, Husband took both dogs and ran full speed down the rest of the block and then turned and came back to me. When the dogs reach me, they jumped on me and gave kisses to my face. Then, we walked home (and got there about 30 minutes later, or just about the time we would have had the run not been locked) and both doggies passed out on the couch while Husband and I got ready for work.

So, hopefully the doggies were tired enough to sleep today after our walk. I know I am…


new mom said...

Who's Justin?

jg said...

Gosh Sara. I'm blushing.

And laughing.