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Sunday, November 24, 2019

Black Dog Sunday - Adapting

Our Black Dog ran like the wind in the desert but only while playing with Shyla. It was an absolute joy to see.

Since we've been home, he's been perplexingly variable in whether he wants to run or even walk. He seems to be improving now but the odd part is that his ups and downs are not correlated with whether he's taking an NSAID or not. We are puzzled.

In the meantime, I've restarted nosework with him to brighten up the days when he doesn't want to run around outside. It's been amazingly fun. Although he hasn't done nosework with me in years, R remembers it! We are starting with basic nosework games to help him to sharpen his skills with easy stuff. Also, he needs to learn how to play the game with little or no vision (he could see back when we did nosework in the past).

I'm going to show a video of R doing nosework. We are doing a game where I have several boxes. Only one of them contains the target scent (birch). R needs to "alert" on that one by keeping his nose on it for long enough to tell me that it's the target box.

As you watch, the box with a piece of masking tape on top is the target box. Excuse my silly clothing - I'd just come inside from a snowy and cold bike ride! Here's the video.

You can see R's enthusiasm. He loves this game. I am so happy that I've found something that he loves to do even on days when his body hurts too much for running.

We are adapting and finding ways to keep R happy. Happy Black Dog Sunday.


  1. Excellent job, R! We loved watching you work! One thing that mom has learned is that we dogs NEVER forget anything.

  2. Team Human,
    I Am So Thankful That You Folks Own Dogs. What Creative And Stimulating Game For BLK Dog And He Clearly Loves The Attention While Playing. BLK Dog Must Be A Real Joy To Cuddle Up With After His Walk And Favorite Meal. Stay Strong BLK Dog As Momma's Going To Buy You A Dimond Dog Collar.


  3. I teared up watching this, he is so beautiful and SMART.. what a great way to excecise and play and have fun at the same time... hugs to R on Black dog sunday

  4. That's wonderful to see handsome R so tail waggin' happy!

  5. Smart dog! I'm sure exercising his brain is as important for him as it is for we humans.

  6. We can tell how much R is loving that game. He knows which container has the scent before you even ask him.

  7. Great job, R! He definitely remembers quite well how to play that game. We're so happy you've found something to help keep him entertained when he is feeling slower (not that he looked slow there!!). ♥
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  8. He is amazing, and fun for him and you too. Winter gear looks fine, I would be well garbed out too if I had been in the snow.

  9. R does that nosework SO very well. The wagging tail tells the whole story!!!

  10. I really loved the video! In watching it, I'm remembering how much fun doing the nose work is. I'll always be grateful to you for inspiring me to do it with our beloved Beau. And watching R be so engaged and having fun, reminds me that I'd thought of trying it with our boy Chip to help build his confidence.

    PS: On a totally different note, I don't know if you're still following Bob 'n Sophie in France - But Bob ate what they think were moldy walnuts while Angus and "the Font" were away. Sadly on so many levels, Bob is not expected to survive. So heartbreaking.

  11. R is aging like the rest of us, good days and bad days. We know how painful it is to watch you baby grow older.

  12. Nothing wrong with R's nose! Wise woman, to play to his strengths as you figure out what's going on with his variable activity level. We love Black Dog Sundays!

    Chris from Boise


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