I’ve got to wonder sometimes: do dogs at play simply forget about their surroundings while at play with one another becoming so single-minded at the time that they completely miss obstacles in their path?

The players:

  • Lilo – German Shepherd: 1 yr old 55 pounds and clearly the ring-leader
  • Maximus – German Shepherd: 4 1/2 months old, 64 pounds and all feet. Mischievous to a fault and always up for a romp!
  • Kodiak – Boston Terrier: 18 pounds soaking wet, very nimble and certainly much larger in his own mind. As tenacious as the day is long.

Yesterday, as with most mornings we rose early between 5:30 and 6:00 am. It’s time for everyone to go outside and take care of business. Then, a short stop at the water pot; yes, I said pot because nothing smaller will do. (Max has a drinking problem: he drinks a LOT of water, thus the cooking pot so that there’s enough left for the other dogs and I don’t have to fill the water dish ever few minutes.) And of course breakfast.

When the wife is finished with her morning cereal each dog in turn gets a sip of milk in the bowl – they are SO spoiled. They line up in front of the stove sitting excitedly with their tails wagging behind them waiting for the wife to poor the milk from the container into the bowl and the first one to be invited to have their milk. It’s all they can do to contain themselves. Lilo and Kodiak truly enjoy their morning milk, but I’m not sure Max even tastes his. It’s gone from the bowl that quickly.

Now that they’ve been out, had some breakfast and their milk it’s time for the morning shenanigans. It starts out with one of them grabbing a toy from the toy-box, making sure the others see that they’ve got something in their mouth, and once they’re certain they’ve got the other dogs’ attention the chase is on. Of course, if Abby, the inside-outside cat happens to be present then all bets are off and she’s got their undivided attention. Otherwise, eventually toys are forgotten and the object of the game is to get as much of the dog’s tail who happens to be in the lead grasped firmly in the mouth of the one chasing.

They go around and around the dining room table, make a few circuits through the living room banking off the couch and love-seat and if it gets too energetic the sliding glass door to the deck is opened and they’re told to take it outside.

Yesterday morning, as usual, Lilo got things started and then sat back and watched the other two almost as though she wanted to see who would crash first! Remember, Kodiak the Boston Terrier weighs in at 18 pounds while Max is a hefty and yet clumsy 64 pounds and still growing! These two were making a circuit through the living room and dinning room rounding the table and back off to the living room. On the way back to the dinning room to round the table the space narrows just past the TV to where only one dog can possibly fit through safely. Max and Kodiak forgot this. Unfortunately for Kodiak, who was running beside and not behind Max failed to noticed the heavy surround -sound speaker in his path and plowed into it at full-throttle! The resulting BANG and subsequent yelping let me know that there had been a wreck on the field so I needed to investigate.

(For anyone who doesn’t know about this or has never practiced it with their dog, submission training comes in very handy when a dog gets injured and greatly reduces the amount of time needed to calm them down so that you can inspect for serious damage.)

After hearing the loud bang and yelp my greatest fear was that he hit something head on and had knocked himself silly! Fortunately it was not his head he hit, but painfully for Kodiak it was his shoulder/leg on the left side. When I got him calm I felt for lose or broken bone and finding none allowed him to get up. I checked again while he stood on it and though it’s sore he didn’t protest when I probed and felt for damage. He’s a tough little dog, but definitely has something going on there because he’s still limping a little so it’s off to the vet this afternoon.

This morning Max and Lilo were making very fast trips around the dining room table. It reminded me of that storing I heard a very long time ago as a small child about the little boy who tricked the tiger into chasing him around a tree. Round and round they went until I slid the glass door to the deck open and told’em to take it outside. So, out onto the deck they went in a back blur of fur and white teeth. (they’re both back and tan German Shepherds with silver in their faces and on their necks.)

As I’m standing their watching them tossing each other around Lilo has Max back-peddling towards the door when he suddenly and unexpectedly spins around to race into the house. Max mis-calculated where the opening of the door was and went smack right into the sliding glass door like the guy in the Windex commercial. (puppies are great fun and lots of good entertainment and large puppies are hilarious!) Max was three feet away from the sliding door when he spun to his left to get away from a quickly advancing Lilo who is much more slender in build and so much more agile and faster. As he spun round to make good his escape his head made contact with the center of the sliding glass door which caused a thunderous boom as the tempered glass in the door shuddered and rumbled as a result of the impact. I’m positive he saw small sparkly things for a few moments, but didn’t appear to have hurt himself and to his credit this time actually looked for the opening and rushed in.

Lilo was distracted for a just a few seconds by the loud noise but soon followed Max into the house where they were both given some time out to cool down. Time out consists of one couch one dog and zero movement from said couch until they’re released by me. Accomplishing this with the Max and Lilo isn’t hard at all, but with willful and stubborn Boston Terriers you’d better be patient and willing to practice this or you’re in for some very interesting tests in who has the most will-power.

It’s quiet now… all three dogs are either quietly chewing on a piece of rawhide or lounging in their kennel. The morning shenanigans have ended for another day and shall resume promptly at 6:30 am tomorrow morning.

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