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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Bold Blue Adventure Goes to the Dogs

Or… what I am learning from my puppy.

I read a great deal of books about Cavaliers, puppies in general, house breaking, and training, before we got our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Rusty.

Rusty loves those books too. He really loves eating them.

Other favorite hobbies include chasing that long furry thing on his butt and barking at that interloper in the mirror. New people mean new smells and new excitement.

Let’s pretend for a minute this is a post where I am reviewing a book, thus doing you, the reader, a service, and not simply gushing on about how my puppy is the cutest puppy in the world. Alright. I choose to review Cesar’s Way by Cesar Milan.

Cesar is the one who went from illegal immigrant to nationally famous Dog Whisperer based on his ability to rehabilitate dogs who have major (and minor) behavior problems.

I have not seen his show at all, but I was impressed by his stories of how he saved many dogs who were so mishandled by their owners as to be unfit to be around humans or other dogs. He (and his ghost writer) has an excellent ability to explain how dogs think, and I find myself going back to his advice frequently when I am interacting with Rusty. I’ve learned, for example, that making a big fuss when Rusty bumps his head or is scared of something new only leads to Rusty feeling more scared because I, his pack leader, have shown him that its okay to react fearfully.

However, much of his advice seems aimed at larger dogs. Cavaliers are small and have such an easy-going temperament naturally, that I honestly skipped over some of his chapters that didn’t seem to apply.

However, I did find this quote sums up quite nicely what joys dogs bring to our lives: “Every day… dogs remind me to live in the present. Maybe I had a fender bender yesterday or I’m worried about the bill I have to pay tomorrow, but being around animals, I am always reminded that the only real moment in life is now” (p 96 if you’re curious).

I am not the perfect pet-parent of course, but because Rusty is a dog and lives in the right now, he will forgive me as long as I provide food, a lap, and a face to be licked enthusiastically.


Eva said...

Awww-what an adorable puppy! I'm so jealous. :) I like what Cesar has to say about dogs (or really any animals)'s a nice thought to carry around.

Bold Blue Adventure said...

Eva-thanks, I think he's pretty cute myself.