Teddy Update

The dogs and their morning rawhide

I wasn’t expecting to adopt a puppy this summer. I really had other plans. Teddy’s appearance in my domicile was kind of a surprise. But when you see what you need, you take it even if it’s not on the top of your list for that particular moment in time. I know Dusty is old, and I had decided some time back to find a friend for Bear. I just didn’t know it would be now. It’s working out so well. This puppy is what Bear needed, and, to my surprise, what Dusty needed.

Last night I was thinking about all the things I’ve learned from dogs. One of the biggest lessons has been what love actually IS. I didn’t grow up in a family where love was dependable or clear. I sometimes wonder if my whole life hasn’t been a lesson in love, how to do it, what it is, what it involves and demands. It might be too big a subject to write about here, but a lot of what I’ve learned, I’ve learned from the twenty-something dogs I’ve lived with.

I got a very vivid picture of that yesterday morning when I got up, Teddy jumped and jumped and jumped up on me and I snapped at him, “Just fucking stop it!” and I raised my hand. I didn’t hit him, but it was close. I was trying to get to the kitchen to feed them and make coffee. I wasn’t in a great mood. I’ve had some stuff weighing on my mind which, somehow, yesterday, I resolved. It was actually a “luv” problem.

Teddy jumped up on Bear, and she growl/snapped at him. I realized she was supporting me. She didn’t mind him jumping on her. It’s part of their play. I have been continually amazed by the independent wisdom of that big white dog.

When I fed them, Bear didn’t want to eat. I wondered why then I understood She was feeling the little burst of annoyance I’d come out with earlier. I learned early in our life together that if I yelled anywhere around Bear, she would be upset way beyond the context. Every description of her breed says Akbash dogs are very sensitive to their human’s reactions.

This morning was the same scene. I emerged from my room to three happy dogs in a bottle-neck space. I had resolved not to yell at Teddy if he jumped on me. Somewhere in the 24 hours, Teddy had resolved not to jump on me.

Bear, Dusty and I did a lot of dog training yesterday. I began teaching Teddy “Down” and every time I started a little session, Bear and Dusty would join in, partly for cookies, partly to please me, and partly to show Teddy. Training him has been a cooperative effort. Life in a house with a puppy is all dog-training all the time until the moment comes when you’re all just living together, sharing cookies and going for walks. An aspect of love is just that.

11 thoughts on “Teddy Update

  1. Will please for cookies. I think that works for humans, too. 😉 I love how the dogs are finding their way–such different personalities coming together.

  2. If I ever have dog (which is most unlikely now at my age and having cats) I would definitely know where to ask for advice.

  3. Animals can teach us so much, and they’re also very therapeutic. I’ve learned a lot from our cats (not least that I should never leave food out on the worksurface!), and I’m sure pets enrich our lives immeasurably. Sounds like Teddy is going from strength to strength. 🙂

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