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*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Luxury’s Lap

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I have to admit that genuine moments do actually occur when Delilah settles down on her day-bed for a nap under her own initiative. I find it a bit startling to come down the hallway and find her so elegantly settled in. I was so impressed last night, I took a picture.IMG_4183e

She is livin’ in the lap of luxury around here, I tell ya.

Dog ownership is not something I have done as an adult, until we got Delilah almost a year and a half ago. My knowledge and experience are still rather limited. I’m learning on the fly, or walk, as the case may be.

Back at our old house, where we subscribed to cable tv, I used to watch Cesar Millan’s Dog Whisperer program where he trains people to handle dogs, and his methods all seemed like common sense to me. Common sense is what I have primarily relied upon for my interactions with Delilah.

I do regret throwing out Cesar’s basic rule about not letting the dog lead a walk, pulling me along behind, but that is how we operate. Ever since we changed to keeping her leashed (since she began to regularly run off to visit the neighboring properties around us), we have needed to take her for walks.

Let me just back up a moment here and point out that this is something I said I would not do —keep a dog on a leash. I guess that was before I was being paid to take care of her. When we created the position of Ranch Manager, the responsibility of caring for all our animals shifted to me. Right now, she doesn’t get free-run privileges, so I walk her on a leash, chewing on my words all the while.

I used to also diligently avoid ever tending to the cat’s litter box. Funny how things change over time. I picked up more cat litter at the grocery store yesterday (grocery shopping being another thing I once shunned with gusto).

Who am I? I don’t have any idea any more. Don’t bother asking.

But I digress. Back to walking Delilah and learning about her by simply living with her. I decided to let her walk in front because it feels like a simulation of how she would behave without being leashed. I have been letting her choose the route (unless I have a more pressing agenda), and allow her to stop and investigate enticing scents. I let her practice hunting rodents and wait patiently as she pounces on some grass and then listens to see if anything moves. She works feverishly to pursue the source of some scent that must be fresh, based on her reaction.

I call it “practice” because she almost never catches anything. I’ve watched plenty a critter scramble away while she remains oblivious to its departure.

I have been pretty vocal about her passion for eating other animal’s poo. It drives me nuts. She works way too hard to break loose frozen poop she finds on the trail during our walks. I have recently gained new insight on this behavior, but I don’t know what it means.

There appears to be an animal, or something an animal has eaten, to which she has quite a different reaction. Several times I have watched her sniff a pile of scat and then leap sideways and make a conscious effort to give it a wide berth.

Apparently, it turns out our dog has discerning taste in animal poo.

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Written by johnwhays

December 9, 2014 at 7:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

Tagged with , ,

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