Monday, September 19, 2011

Deliriously ...

... deliriously happy that is!

When back in February the Vet told us, that Denny had to loose some weight, I knew it would not be easy, because this is the laziest dog ever. Sure, he likes to chase birds (fat chance of succeeding), he likes to be chased by the others, but they don't indulge him in this too often. While the others fetch whatever I throw them, until their tongues hit the ground, he'd rather ly in the shade, chewing on the thing I threw for him, watching the planes fly by.

Sure, he likes to swim, but only to cool off, no full length swim for him, just a little loop around the shallow part of the pool. So I don't think he's lost a single gram so far (he likes to eat, and is good in finagling extra treats).

So, what I'm so happy about then?

Three days ago, somebody, somehow, somewhere threw a switch. The thing is, when we are not all outside together, I take them outside one by one, to play with them individually. I do a little bit of training in the process. It's easy to do this with Happy and Maggie, since they die for a thrown Frisbee, or tennis ball. They do just about anything for it.
With Denny however, I could throw whatever, and he might have run after it once, but never brought it back. How to get him motivated, or moving? So I walked all over the backyard, and he followed me around, chewing on a ball , or whatever he could find.

So, three days ago, he watched me playing with the others, through the glass door (as many times before). When it was his turn, he came charging outside, sitting in front of me, barking his little head off. I had a couple of balls in my hands, since I knew he would just take of with the first one I threw. But to my amazement he came back with it, and in a straight line, no detours, just a straight forward fetch and retrieve. Wow!

But would he give the ball up? He sat in front of me, tennis ball in his mouth, chewing. I showed him the other ball, and he spit his one out so fast, that it bounced past me. I asked him in a very excited voice, "Do you want it?", and he barked shrilly, so I threw it, picked the other one up, and as soon as he was back, we did it all over again.

Now, I thought he might do it maybe five time, after ten times, it was incredulous, and when he still had not enough, I could just not believe it!

I told him finished (that's how we stop our games, with an accompanying hand signal), while he was still hot for our game, and we went inside. A fluke, I thought.

Of course I wanted to know if he would do it again, and to my surprise each time the last few days, he played fetch with me, like never before.

So, what changed? Any ideas?

Here's my little dumpling. Proud to have conquered the chair once again, since the dog bed was occupied (not that he would not get Happy to leave, if he felt like it).

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But then, I'm not always so proud of him. He's still "Denny the Destroyer" around here. He likes to steal things from my desk, mostly the pattern pages I'm working with at the moment. Here's another test knit in the works.

test knit

17 comments:

monica said...

Way to go Denny!! I don't know what triggered it but it's great that he is getting more exercise. :)

Toby said...

Way to go Denny! I couldn't tell you what changed, but I have seen similar things happen with my horses where they watch and then want to do the same thing the other horse did.

It does make you wonder though, what clicked that being separated from the others made him interested in playing fetch.

Mo said...

My best guess is that the cooler weather made him feel more energetic and less lethargic. Maybe his fur coat is a bit thicker/or more dense than Happy & Maggie's breed.

It's great to know Denny is enjoying the Fall weather!

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

That's so odd! Maybe he was jealous of how much fun it looked like when the others did it! BTW Simcha doesn't give up the ball easily either. Using two balls as you did is a great way technique - I'll just grab the ball from his mouth and Steve will "correct" him with the collar if he doesn't "leave it" when told.

Wanderingcatstudio said...

Oh Denny! He's just trying to keep you on your toes!

momsue84 said...

Darling Dumpling, indeed!!! Three cheers for Denny! Next up? Laps around the pool!

Virginia said...

That's awesome! Go Denny!

(and he is such a handsome boy!)

adriene said...

I don't know happened, but it would be great if you could send some of that my way for my doggie. His response to fetching objects is usually, "If you wanted it that badly, then why did you throw it?" Luckily, he's a good walker!

CelticCastOn said...

awww well done little puddin boy!
Every time I look at him I just see a mini Boss, its uncanny!

Sharon V said...

Ah, Denny! See how easy it is to go along to get along? I always knew you had it in you. Now, if we could just find the 'chew' switch ...

Susan said...

No idea what changed but enjoy it! Keep us posted about whether it lasts.

2paw said...

Well done Denny, he looks like a cute dumpling sitting on the chair like that. I love Happy's ears' expression too!! Denny was just biding his time until he had the game totally sorted out. What a clever boy he is to play Fetch!! (Gilly won't give me the ball either, they are rascals!!!)
Oh dear, he's a knitter's friend too!!!

cauchy09 said...

heh, Denny is quite the character! that's great news about him finally wanting to play fetch. hooray!

TracyKM said...

Some dogs (like kids) take their time, and/or learn visually :)
I'm wondering what hand signal you use for "Finish". My mother in law says that all the time when she doesn't want to pet our dog anymore, and he doesn't understand, but I never thought to actually train him to a command like that!

Bea said...

Der Hund meiner Freundin hatte Schilddrüsenunterfunktion und war deshalb so faul. Ist das schon gecheckt worden?

Andererseits rennt er jetzt ja... was wieder dagegen spricht....

Grüßle, die Bea

preita.com said...

YAY! That's so awesome. With Tank we had to find the thing he would bring back. He's a mastiff so he doesn't get why retrievers do what they do. Our key to sucess was the horse ball but I have to trick him to get it away.

Congrats!

Carrie#K said...

He's such a darling terror. Maybe he lost enough weight? Got bored with the status quo? Whatever clicked, yay!