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Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Beautiful Saturday

It was a warm and sunny Saturday. We were out at sunrise, seeking solitude in the forest.
We had the world to ourselves for a brief time as the sun crested the eastern hills. We relaxed and enjoyed the sunshine. We played fetch with Shyla's favorite toy, a rope toy that I found in the forest during the first week that she was living with us.
Then other people and dogs started to emerge onto the trails in the gorgeous weather. Shyla has come a very long way with her myriad fears but she still is terrified of meeting large groups of off-leash dogs, even if they're with their humans. I knew from the look in her eyes that at least one of those groups was headed our way.

Some days, I feel like I have the patience and calm attitude to help Shyla through one of our encounters with our neighbor's barking and howling 10-pack of dogs. Other days, like today, I don't. So, we hid in the forest to let them go by, and then we made a dash for home.
I always feel a little bad when I take this strategy. Shyla might become comfortable with the 10-pack if she sees them often enough (because we get out early, we see them only about once per month). However, I have to assess my own state-of-mind before letting an encounter occur. Today, I didn't have the zen attitude that I need in order to convey calmness to Shyla.

So, we headed home, and I did a training session with each dog. Shyla is learning a number of new tricks - spin clockwise, spin counterclockwise, balance a treat on your nose, balance an object on your head, roll over, and wave with either your left or right (depending on which I ask for). We spend about 10 minutes per day on it, and we both love it.
I've recently restarted trick-training with R, to help him with his excess energy during his elbow surgery recovery. We are focusing on waving with his left or right paw and resting his chin on his paws. The waving with his left paw is actually a rehab exercise that encourages him to move his left elbow through its range of motion - so it serves two purposes!

His recovery seems great so far. He doesn't limp while walking but has a noticeable limp when he trots. I think that's par for the course only 2.5 weeks post-surgery.
And his soft eyes melt my heart.


  1. oh, those sweet and smart babies... :)

  2. Those eyes, I have new and immense respect and admiration for those who post wonderful doggie photos, after yesterday realise it is not as easy as I had always thought. R must be getting lots of TLC, he looks great. Cheers to all, Jean.

  3. We love hearing about your day- being in the forest and on the trails. And its okay to hide sometimes too! Everything has its time.
    R is looking very soulful,and happy. We can see he is feeling good. And Shyla- she for sure feels good. It shows when she dances!

  4. Great photographs. Yes, sometimes hiding is the best route. What could be worse for Shyla than for her to sense your unease? Glad R is doing so well.

  5. I've been trying to do the balance a treat thing with Nola. It's not going too well. :p Nola's extremely sensitive about things touching her face (but oddly enough, I touch her face everywhere and she loves it), and she gets a bit over stimulated with it.
    Nola's Mom

  6. I can see the two of you hiding in the woods as people and dogs go by and I giggle a bit because I do that too. Sometimes I am just not in the mood to deal with people, emotions, and life. No better place to hide than in the forest with your buddy by your side.

  7. I see you in R's eyes. He and Shyla look so beautiful! I can't even imagine controlling 10 leashless dogs! You and Shyla made a smart move by hiding!


  8. I think hiding is appropriate at times. MOM and I have done this. Of course it is my MOM who wants to, not necessarily me. Sometimes she just wants to be left alone. And that's OK with me ax long as I am included.

  9. Such beautiful eyes they both have. Looks like Shyla is well on her way to becoming a pro treat balancer :)

  10. Aw, that beautiful face would melt my heart, too.

  11. Oh goodness...that last picture kills me! I love that boy! Btw-I think you are a saint for not hiding every time you see that pack ;)

  12. I know what you mean. There have been many times I've found an escape route rather than run into a person or a dog. lol. And I like to think of it as a game, but you can also thinking about it as a way to teach your dogs to be safe, if they were ever out on their own and ran into such a situation.

    Flight or fight response is there for a reason. And when your both ready you can handle it and if not then hide in the forest. :)

    Love that last pic of R. You could melt in those eyes!

  13. We love that early morning...just before sunrise time best.

    XXXOOO Daisy, bella & Roxy

  14. Both of you have such beautiful eyes! We see nothing wrong with hiding when you need to.

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  15. Going through my physical therapy exercises right now to get my knee moving again, I know how important the rehab is. I hope R's recovery continues smoothly.

    Those eyes!

  16. Ten dogs, especially rowdy barking running dogs, is a lot of dog! Some days I'd be inclined to tuck myself into the forest as well.
    You just reminded me of something that made me smile. A friend's daughter had a rather "challenging" dog named Obie. My friend always called him "Oh Be Ten Dogs!" but I don't think he ever divided his energies in such a convenient way ;)

  17. Sometimes you have to hide out rather than endure. Nothing wrong with that. I'm glad R is doing so good. Those eyes would melt my heart too.

  18. Wow that last photo is gorgeous!
    Toby is learning some of the same tricks and already knew some of them. I'd love to get 10 min. in but he is treat motivated. He's still got several pounds to lose.

  19. Oh, I loves the photos!! I likes the last one best, you can see YOU in R's eyes!!
    So glad R's recovery is goin' so well!!
    Ruby ♥

  20. Shyla has the most gorgeous eyes!

  21. Those eyes! They would melt everybody's heart!
    A pack of 10 dogs. That's quite a lot... We have a dog walker here who sometimes walks 17 dogs - and they're all super well behaved. It's a joy watching all of them when they "parade" down the streets.

  22. Both sets of those eyes would melt my heart every day. I noticed the same thing that Ruby can see you in R's eyes! That is a great picture! Only you know what is best for both you and Shyla. Your mindset may also be protecting you or her from a not so good meeting with the 10 pack.

  23. Catching up and so sorry to hear about R's surgery but glad he's doing so well in recovery. He's so very sweet.

    Sorry also to hear about your health issues. You continue to amaze with your positive attitude. Everyone's gonna have down days - getting up again is the only thing that matters. We're thinking of you and hoping for healing.


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