It actually started over a year ago when Bram first came to visit. Being an inside dog his already trained humans would not allow us to keep him outside. He loves the snow and cool weather of winter and eats ice cubes like candy! He is a rescue dog found in the frozen north of Ontario tied to a box and 15 pounds under his healthy weight and assumed to be a former sled dog that couldn’t keep up. Yet his former life is behind him and the good life keeps getting better.
Bram has worked very diligently over the past few years designing a human behavioral program suitable to his needs. He has come to enjoy the finer points of self-employed executive living. Rising around 6 am and having a quick bite of breakfast before heading off for his morning run and returning to spend the morning in the office. Snack around ten then back to the office until noon when he takes lunch with other office personnel to discuss the morning activities and make adjustments to the afternoon itinerary. Around 4 pm is time for a peanut butter break then it is back to the office for another gruelling two or three hours depending on the work load. It such an exhausting schedule that many days he can be found sleeping under the desk or resting his eyes in the corner. Finally around 6 pm he is out of the office and off for a run to clear his head and see if he can find a white fluffy tailed bunny to chase or perhaps a long legged deer. Set your goals and just keep trying and trying again!
Shortly after Bram arrived for a visit our Labrador Chewy, who was an outside dog her entire eleven years watched with interest as this youngster moved in not only on her turf but into places where she was not allowed to go. She soon made it clear that if he could be inside so could she. Well she was almost twelve and the winter rains and cool temperatures would be hard on her so in she came. For the first six months of her new life the only way she would go outside was to be bribed with biscuits. (I think she was afraid we would leave her out!).
We always had dogs that lived outside on long lines and with heated houses for winter. They were well cared for, trained and good friends to us, but coming in the house was as foreign to them as having a dog or dogs move into the house was to us.
So……..I have been in training of sorts for the last few months. I have unknowingly been a willing participant in the care and feeding program designed by Bram and Chewy. Both have taken to sleeping in our office and/or bedroom at night, which is a part of the new training.
Chewy prefers the office for most of the evening moving into her bed in our room around 2 am. She wanders into the bedroom, shakes her head which smacks her ears against her head then plods over to her bed (which has a crunchy plastic liner) circles on top of it three times gives a couple of scratches to the mat then lies down with a thud and a grunt. She quickly goes to sleep snoring loudly and groaning through out the night.
Bram likes his bed tucked in the corner where he spends most of his night. Once in a while he will pick up the scent of a deer outside and he will start shaking his head, snorting and pacing. If I don’t acknowledge the moment I am likely to feel a cold wet nose on my foot, my arm or even my face until I get up. I used to let him out for what I thought were urgent bathroom duties. but now I know they are the call of the wild, so I send him back to bed. He snorts and sulks back to bed. H is not your typical teenager as he is up with the morning light shaking his head and poking his nose on my exposed flesh. If I ignore him the bed starts to move as he bumps up against the side. This guy does what he can each morning to get me moving!
Now our daily feeding routine is as follows: we expect a Dentastik before the walk, light breakfast upon their return, snacks at ten, light lunch at noon, snacks at two and again at four, with dinner served at six after the evening constitution. Oh yes and did I mention that we would like to have a couple of biscuits tossed over the hill each evening so we can play find the biscuit, usually at 8 and again at 10 pm before we settle in for the night? We also very much enjoy the visits from Dan and Janet as that always means extra snacks!
Have you disturbed me for food or can I go back to sleep?
Prince Bram surveying the water for signs of movement.
Can you put the stuffing back in so I can pull it out again please!
Chewy hunts the shorline looking for Starfish, crabs and shells between playing fetch with a stick.
I doubt my training is complete but I have taken off the training wheels and consider myself to be a graduate of the Bram and Chewy obedience training school for unsuspecting novices. I am fairly sure they have many more classes lined up for future training!