Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Commitment

My wife has been down with a pretty hefty cold these past few days and now it is my turn again.... I was still struggling with the aftermath of a cold from late january/early february, which had lodged itself in my upper airways, causing shortness of breath, fatigue and other unpleasant symptoms, but I could function normally.... sort of. I even went to the doctor and got my blood tested. All came out normal, but still. And now I am having a go at it again... I wonder if my immune systems have become weak or if those pesky coldviruses have become more powerful and evil almost. And the speed with which they make themselves felt.... One day you're fine, the next....

I realised that the piece about the dogs was a result of my frustration and irritation. I also realised that that's not so much the dog's fault as much as it is mine. They just are who they are; high energy dogs with their own characters and shortcomings and I am the one who is not all that high energy with my own character and shortcomings. As much as I would like the dogs to adapt to me, they can only comply up to a certain point, so it is up to me to adapt to them too. And here's where the problem lies; I do not know if I can. The physical fitness thing; sure, with a lot of exercising I would get into shape, but I also like to take it slow. And then there's the patience thing.... plus the finances of course. Doing dogtraining, getting equipment. At this point I am really not sure if I can or want to commit myself that much.
On the other hand I also realised where Lester comes from today. As we walked along the shore of the lake, there was a galy wind and it blew the water in waves onto the rocks, making them splash quite loud. Lester was running and jumping up and down the shore, not sure what to make of it. And I realised that this was likely the first time he had ever seen this! Almost 2 years old!! No wonder he's been acting like a deranged rabbit, stuck with his nose to the ground. The disappearing snow revealed all sorts of things he has never seen or smelled before!! He came to us from the centre of a larger city out into the countryside, when winter was upon us.
Rex on the other hand is developing a kind of behaviour I am not at all happy about. We met one of the neighbours and his male dog, about the same age as Rex, and Rex charged at him. I could barely hold him back! He was very aggressive and he really went at him. If I had not had had him on a strong leash and would have backed up a few meters, he would have had attacked the other dog. He has also become increasingly disobedient. It feels like we have to raise him all over again.
I seriously underestimated the consequences of having these dogs. I really did. And I must admit that I am pondering over the issue of relocating them. Not because they fail me, but because I am failing them.
Having them makes me doubt if I would ever be the kind of person that would or could handle animals properly. Animals you work with and that require high maintenance, training or constant care. Animals like horses for instance. And dogs.
I probably really am a plantperson above anything else, I guess. Good thing the right season is upon us. On the other hand if I could overcome this obstacle, these issues I might find myself in a much better situation. How to do this, is the big question. I know the main issue lies with me. The solution too.... somewhere.... Maybe they are here to show me something in the mirror?

I gave it a bit of a try this afternoon, despite physical limitations, and tried running a bit with the dogs. That went fairly well and once the dogs got the hang of it, they took off! I had to yell to get them to stop almost immediately! I just couldn't keep up! So the  will to run and work most certainly is there, but there were complications too. As long as Rex ran next to Lester, he would snap at him and get into a brawl. When I held back Lester, Rex would stop, turn and do the same until I told him off real good. As long as Lester is behind Rex and out of sight then they run in unison.... and fast!! Tried it a little while later again and with the same results. So there is at least one lesson learned. Two actually... their endurance is as bad as mine at this moment.

5 comments:

  1. Our Zoey is learning new things all the time. She is 2 1/2 but has been in our cold climate for less than four months. The pond was frozen when we adopted her. She was baffled by the pond when the ice was gone. She had barking and running fits (she looks like a frog on speed when she does her crazy hoppy-run thing)because Ava was in the water. I splashed her a little show her what it is and she acted like I'd thrown acid on her. She'll go up to her belly now and she doesn't bark as much about Ava going for a swim. They'll learn. Time and patience are things we can't rush.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your sled dogs! I thought you were going to train them to harness. Wouldn't pulling as a job help them? And the discipline of having to listen to your commands? It's so time consuming to train them. We have a border collie that is high energy but super anxious to please. East to train. We also have a chow mix that is so smart that we call him Mr Good-as-he-wants-to-be. You know he hears you but he just ignores you. I already had to chase him down the road when he figured out how to pull the gate open. We fixed that so I'm glad we have a real good fence around the whole place. Otherwise he'd been gone working on his own private agenda through put the neighborhood. Dogs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And we still plan on training them and using them as sleddogs..... if I can muster the patience.
      Honestly I feel ´really tied down by them right now. Almost imprisoned. Can't go and do as I please, because I can't leave them at home alone. Well, can't leave Rex alone, since he will be up to mischief in no time. He is so easily bored and hyper. And he needs to be reraised all over again, since Lester came.
      There are a good number of factors at play here though, not just the dogs...

      Delete
    2. Right. It's really true. And since we are committed hearts we search for a solution. I decided not to get chickens, goats or pigs right now. We already have so much to handle with moving in and the 3 horses, 2 dogs and 2 cats. We have a big dog pen for the dogs and big paddocks (like mini-pastures) for the horses. The cats live in the house. The way it is now we can't go anywhere for more than overnight. We don't know any neighbors to help out much less trustworthy ones... yet. So we are almost as penned in as the animals. So we look for a solution. Marty wants to build some kind of feeder for the horses that let's them eat slowly from a large stash of hay. We have slow feeders/waterers for the cats and dogs.

      Delete