Muddy waters

Hurray, yesterday we had hunting training again! Our trainer, Ilse, has recovered from her horse riding accident (extremely dangerous animals, horses! Have you seen their teeth? Horrendous!). So we gathered in the morning in some nice spot with meadows and little woods.

We did all kind of fun stuff. We collected dummies, ran back and forth, walked heel through a meadow. There is only one part of the training I do not like. I do not understand it, either. But I appear to be the only one, the rest of our pack knows what to do. This is it:

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We wait on one side of this ditch. Ilse is on the other side, with a dummy – still not a real duck, alas. She throws the dummy, we are supposed to get into the water, get to the other side, climb out of it, fetch the dummy, get into the water again and swim back to our human.

I don’t object to water, I like the sea and little mountain streams. But this water is different. It is tricky. It is dark and black and I can’t see the bottom. It feels slippery between my toes. There are things growing in it, tall grassy things. It is not clear where there is room to get on the other side, because all these grassy things are growing on the shore. Most important of it, it is only a ditch. I can run around it in a split second, fetch the dummy and run back, without my feet getting wet. But that is not allowed, strangely enough.

So: I do not understand this part of our training. I have to get this right, though, because I really would like to get to the next level. The level where we are allowed to work with real ducks. So I pay a lot of attention how the other dogs do it:

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Maybe I will get it, one day.

Black box

Right. There is something I would like to ask you, my human readers. When we go out, we meet other people with their dogs. A lot of them, however, don’t pay any attention to their dog, but are looking at a strange black box. Sometimes they even talk to it. And no, they don’t appear crazy to me, at least, not all of them.

I do not understand. What can be more important than sniffing the day and enjoying the weather? Their dogs don’t always seem to mind, because without the attention they can do anything they like. Sniffing very long at a certain shrub or staring rudely at another dog, for instance.

But to be honest: this is not a satisfying way to go out with your human. We dogs like the companionship of other dogs, but we like to be with humans, too. Especially with the human we live with. And not only to be with him/her, but to go out together, to have Adventures together.  A dog can have a very strong bond with its human and it is the most wonderful thing in the world. Me, for instance, I will do anything for M: I will protect her and bring her back stupid balls because she likes to throw them and find her pizza if she is hungry (although she never asked me, so until now I ate them all myself). She will protect me, give me food and shelter and a soft bed. We are buddies. That is what this dog-human-relationship-thing is for.

Right?

 

Throw ball!

I am very relieved. Yesterday Cesar Millan’s show was in Amsterdam and we did not go. Mr. Millan must have told M the show was booked, as I asked him! Thank you, mr. Millan! I will be forever grateful. Because now we went to do fun things this weekend.

We went to a campsite in the woods, with our campervan, and stayed the night. It was very nice: quiet and sunny and with lots of interesting smells. Just outside the terrain the ground was all messed up, burrowed by something that smelled like wild boar. It was mouth watering!

We took some long walks and, the best part of it, P threw balls for me. He threw very far, so I had to run very fast. This is us, playing:

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Boy friend

All my friends are dogs, with one exception. I find it hard to call a human a friend, because humans are a very different category. We don’t understand each other all the time and I believe friends should (okay, maybe I am a romantic kind of dog).

Anyway, there is one human who is my true friend. His name is Mats and this is him:

Mats en Bubbles 1

Mats looks a lot like me: he is skinny and bouncy and very energetic too! He wants to play with me all the time, he throws balls and we run together, very fast. We even play my favorite shoe game: he shuffles his feet and I jump around and nibble on his shoes, loosening his laces. I like him very much.

New hobby!

M and I have a new hobby. I will tell you about it, because it is very exciting. It even has an official name: doga.

When I first saw M doing this, I thought she wanted to play with me. I bounced on her, but she told me not to do that. It turned out that what she was doing is a play, so I got that right, but one with certain special rules. It took me some time to understand, it is a demanding play for a young energetic dog like me. But now I get it. She does a certain pose and I copy her! This is my favorite pose and I love the name, it is just right. It is called down dog:

Doga 1

Sorry it is not a picture, we can’t practice doga and make pictures at the same time. But M likes to make cartoons now and then, so she made this.

There are other poses I like, but I am still practicing on those. So I will post about them later. In the meantime, I am studying this special website about our new hobby. It has free videos! I love it.

The mouse catcher

Did you know dogs catch mice, too? Actually, we are much better at it than cats are. Well, some of us are. My friend Juna, for instance. She even made an instruction video on this subject. Most important is you have to be very fast in locating the mouse, digging it out of it’s hole and eating it (that is not in the video, alas).

Juna is a podenco style dog, she was born on the Canary Islands and travelled to Holland. So like me, she is a foreign dog. Some dogs say we are refugees, but we rather think of ourselves as expats. Because we weren’t smuggled here in a scary boat, oh no! We were flown to Holland by airplane and caring people were there to assist us. In Holland our lodgings and food and everything was arranged, the way things are arranged for expats.

This is Juna, cooling off in the water of the canal (mouse catching can make you very hot):

Juna 2

Juna is very quick and she likes to hunt. Unfortunately her humans only let her run off leash at the canal, where there are just mice to catch. When she is walking in the dunes and the forest, she is always on leash. Because her humans say that when she sees a rabbit she is off chasing it and won’t listen to them anymore.

I hear this argument often from humans when their dogs don’t come when they are called. I think it is time to set this right. Because, you know: it is a misunderstanding. When a human is good to his dog, the dog will always return. Only sometimes it will take a little longer than the human wants! I’ve met dogs that return to their humans after half an hour, some  after three days. But they always return. It would be nice if humans had more faith in us….

Go and play?

Yesterday something happened and it got me thinking. Thinking about humans and dogs and that sometimes we really do not understand each other. Some humans, that is, not my human M, of course (hey, I still have to get my dinner and I know she is reading this)! Maybe this sounds familiar to you, I’ll explain what happened.

We were in the forest, M and I. I was sniffing around, there were two other dogs doing the same. A few minutes before we had met each other, sniffed each other and then got along with investigating the surroundings. Then this human came walking towards us, with her dog. Her dog was not happy to be there, we smelled that immediately. So we left her alone. That is what balanced dogs do, you know: if you want peace, we give you peace. Simple.

But the human of this dog did not like that. She kept on saying to her dog: ‘Oooh, here are some friends for you, go and play! Go on!” Her dog obviously did not feel like it. Her tail was between her legs, she was looking away from us, her tongue licking her mouth nervously. She wanted to get away, but she was on a leash so she couldn’t. Her human dragged her towards us, telling our humans that her dog was afraid and it would be good for the dog if she would play with friendly, well mannered dogs (I think she meant us). The humans started their usual chitchat about dogs and the weather. The poor nervous dog had to stand near us. The other dogs and I ignored her as much as we could, feeling a bit embarrassed for her.

In the end we did not play with her, of course not. You can not force dogs to play. And you know what? Not every dog wants to play with every other dog. Sometimes I don’t feel like playing at all. Sometimes a dog wants to play with me, but he is not my type. Or the other way around. That is absolutely fine. We dogs don’t care: we say hello and go our own way. It is the humans who make such an issue about this. That is what I was thinking about. Why do humans think we should play so much, even with dogs we do not know? Do humans play with every stranger they meet in the street? Of course not! Why do they think we want to?