New Experiences for Traveling DogsTuesday, March 24, 2009
My dog are country folk. While at home, life is pretty quiet. We walk on our own 28 acres so do not meet up with new dogs. There are few children that come to visit and those that do, are very well behaved. Almost all dogs that we come across are either at an agility trial or coming to camp so they are met while controlled on a leash. Cars come down our driveway only for camps and they drive very slowly. All of that has changed for Encore and Feature this week since we came to British Columbia. We are staying at a hotel on a very busy 6 lane street, much like a highway in the city. We have to cross this street each day to walk to the nearby park where I let the girls run. Each day we have been met by a troop of young boys that hoot and holler and race the dogs because they are sure they can beat them in a foot race (it is obvious the male’s illusions of grander starts very young:)). Yesterday I spent my my day off with my friend up in Whistler. Bill and his wife Wanda have an amazing new house very close to where the Olympic downhill event will be held next year. When we arrive Wanda had an AMAZING vegan dinner waiting for us. She is one awesome cook and not even vegetarian herself! In the morning Feature, Encore and I joined Bill and his dog “Brigg” on their morning meet ‘n greet with the local dog folk. They get together every morning at 8 AM for a mountain hike. There was about 15 dogs and 7 people. It was fascinating to see my dogs interact. All of the other dogs in the group were males. Some intact, some not, but most very happy to have new butts to sniff. Encore took everything in stride, ignored the boys while leading the pack on romps up the mountain, through the woods. You would have wondered who was the local and who was the guest! We climbed through the mountains for about an hour. Feature would not leave my side for the first 20 minutes or so. Encore would run but always kept an eye on us never straying too far. Eventually she came back to collect Feature. It took a bit of convincing but it was fascinating to watch her coax her less confident house-sister out to play with the rest of the dogs.
All of my dogs do get “puppy socializing” but honestly not much off leash interaction with dogs they do not know after they have “grown up”. If I had been asked to bet previous to this week, I would have said Encore would be the more timid one in a group of strange dogs and Feature the confident know-it-all. I guess her 22 months really showed as Feature relied on her big sister to teach her how ignoring the boys is always the best thing to do in life!
We went out for a shorter jaunt along another mountain trail before we headed back to Vancouver (for more workshops starting today). This walk was just Feature and Encore so they really ripped it up. Here is a short vignette of the adventure.youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mESVBeQS9Dg
Today I am grateful for the great friends like Bill and Wanda.