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Love Comes Running

Wow, last time I blogged it was March 23, about three months ago, and here I was hoping to blog every day and develop a huge following and be popular and loved.  Well, three readers, obviously I haven’t blogged every day and have not developed a huge following, but I do have the most important friend perhaps I’ve ever had, the most perfect companion and faithful hound who would follow me into hell, even though he’s destined for heaven, if such places there be.

I remember before I found Amicus, but I knew I wanted to get a dog, I would be walking alone in the forest and sometimes I would yell out “Amicus!  Amicus!” as though I had a dog who would come trotting through the bushes when I called.  I called it out to see how it would sound and to imagine outcomes, I called it out to tell the universe that I needed a dog right quick, and I called it out so that whoever Amicus would be would hear it and hurry up finding me.

I figured if anyone else in the forest heard me they’d just figure I was someone with a dog, that no one would hear some woman calling “Amicus” out loud and guess that she was yelling to the universe and yelling to an unknown entity who she wanted desperately to meet.

I think back to those days when I was all alone, not lonely, really, or at least I didn’t know I was, I suppose.  You don’t know you’re lonely sometimes, I think, until you’re not anymore, until your big empties are filled with dog love.  Hard to explain, but anyone with a dog knows what I mean, I think.

Anyhow, now when I’m in the forest and call out Amicus, I hear paws a-thunderin’, sometimes hear a-barkin’, I see brown and tan fur come a-chargin’, I see a wonderful bushy tail a-waggin’, a happy dog tongue a-lollin’, and when I call out Amicus now, Amicus himself comes a-runnin’.

And that’s what I’ve been doing for three months since I last wrote, three intense beautiful months, exploring mountains, forests, lakes, beaches, and the whole of this little town I live in, exploring it with Amicus, a better friend you couldn’t find, fun, brave, stalwart, generous, and smart.  When I call out Amicus now, I know I’m not alone and if anyone does hear me calling out, they better look out ’cause Amicus is out there running back to me, and he’s in a hurry.  Now, when I call out Amicus, loves comes running to me, love comes crashing through the trees right to me.

So maybe I’ll blog tomorrow or maybe it’ll be another three months, but right now me and Ami, we got important stuff to do.  Amicus!  Amicus!  Come on, boy, let’s go!

When the forest gets inside us

When the forest gets inside us, it stays there; parched ribs refreshed drip green moss; weary hearts newly beat plush strong rhythms, a mysterious geomancy of the mind; not just a walk with my dog, but a significant journey of two brave explorers amidst ancient cedar, fir, arbutus, raven, dark earth, and lichen; paw prints through mud under eager wagging tail, my awed plume of breath on the cool silent air, and his playful breath, too, with lolling happy dog tongue; there is a sacred hush amidst the towering trees where old delighted gods beckon us with cracked branch fingers, grey bark smiles, and on and on we walk and smile back because when the forest gets inside us, it stays there.

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Should Mention Dogs Deserve Better Charity! (will update Ami’s Adventures soon, too busy having them)

The Pooky Looky Trick!

So this morning, it finally dawned on me, clearly what the trainers have been trying to tell me, which is that if you want a dog to come to you, you don’t say in a stern commanding voice, “Come,” instead what you do is you put on your high squishy gishy voice, put your hand in your jacket pocket, and say, “Does Pooky Looky want a treat,” and big butch Shepherd/Collie boy immediately comes trotting over, whereupon I give him a treat.  Also I’ve realized it doesn’t matter how big the treat is, a molecule of flavour seems to satisfy him, and then I can easily and calmly grab his collar and, if need be, put his leash on.

In the forest today, every single time I did this it worked and during high-stake situations, as well, where joggers and other dogs were involved and, in the case of one set of dogs, it was a good thing because, with hand on Ami’s collar, I asked the owner, “Are you dogs friendly,” and she answered, “Not really.”  So I leashed Ami and we walked past them and, interestingly enough, Ami didn’t want to go near those two dogs, he wanted to go away from them, but had I not done my pookylookysquishygishy thing, he probably would have run up to them eagerly and then been pulverized.  It also worked with joggers and almost every situation we encountered this morning.

I am also teaching him a command which I made up which is “Hind,” which means he has to be behind me, not heeling, but behind me.  This is very useful on narrow forest paths where if he’s leading and runs into dogless people, he will make the wrong choice figuring he’s running defence and start barking at them, whereas if I’m in the lead, I can reach back and grab his collar and then calmly decide what course of action is best.

Also we have ongoing leash lessons and I must say he is becoming very obedient and sensitive to what I want when he’s on the leash.

Also, on another note, what led me to finally figure all this out and crack down is the other day at Valentine Mountain we were heading up a path back to the car and suddenly out of the blue a fellow appeared right in our path and Ami was ahead of me.  This was before implementing my pookylooky thing and so I said sternly, “Come” and went forward to grab Ami, but both my tone and my forward movement propelled Ami forward, as well, and then the young fellow smiled and started towards me, and Ami started barking and barking and went right up to the guy, and I finally did grab Ami and I apologized three times to the fellow who was wearing big headphones which he never did remove and he never did say a single word and I don’t even know if he heard my apologies, but I do feel bad about it and it has led to me exercising even greater vigilance, discipline, consistency, and rigour in our outings, but I would like to say I’m sorry to the fellow if I ever see him again as he was happily strolling along listening to tunes and then tries to be nice to a lady and her dog and gets vehemently barked at for his well-intentioned efforts.

So, kind fellow on the path at whom my dog barked, I apologize and want to assure you that it has led to me instigating greater control over my dog, so, seriously and sincerely, sorry and thank you.

Of course, if it turns out you were actually a serial killer and were smiling because the knife in your pocket felt so lovely, well, then thank you, Amicus.  I’m just saying.

Encounter

So Ami and I were on an isolated logging road this morning and this guy in a pickup truck pulls up slowly beside us, and looking like John Malkovich in, well, really any movie he’s been in, asks, “Did you find a black glove on your walk,” which, seriously, why didn’t he just ask, “Did you find a metaphor of evil on your walk,” but anyway he goes, “Did you find a black glove,” and I’m like, “No, but I think there’s a Canada-wide warrant for your arrest,” and he goes, “So you didn’t find a glove,” and I’m like, “Uh, no.”  Ami didn’t say anything because he was eating otter shit, and then Being Sort of Like John Malkovich drives off, Ami licks his lips, and I’m like, hmm, double-double at Timmy’s?

Still Life with Dog/our walk today

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Right Now is What Matters

Even though I definitely should be working right now, I felt a sudden pressing need to update the world a.k.a. my three readers on Amicus’ progress because I typed in my name to google and some of the blog entries came up saying, “Amicus is definitely a fearful dog,” and while that was true at the time I wrote it, I want to strongly vehemently vigorously (you get the idea, right) stress that Amicus is definitely NOT a fearful dog any more, nor is he an aggressive dog.  He has been doing brave, wonderful, and sweet things and that is the current truth of Amicus. We just visited my best friends, and Farther, their nine-year-old pit bull/lab cross, and Amicus are now sensai and student, respectively, and fast fearless friends.  Amicus and I climbed Valentine Mountain using only deer trails and sheer will power.  Amicus has charmed both trainers in town because they’re smart observant experts who know a good thing when they see it.   Amicus does stick up for himself if he has to, but if you love him, he loves you.  He gives what he gets and he’s a work in progress.  Amicus is not a destination, he’s a journey.  Amicus loves dogs, except for two or three out of 100, and frankly my guess is they’re assholes, anyway, or maybe they just like mixing it up a bit.  He frolics, romps, and gambols – yes, gambols – when he meets other dogs and his big goofy mouth stretches back in a mammoth dog grin and his fluffy tail with its tiny tip of white goes awiggy-waggy.  He only occasionally barks at people when they come up behind us in the forest and that’s his job, right, and he shuts up pretty darn quick if I speak clearly to him in Dog.  So the current “in the now” truth of the matter is that Amicus is just a normal, happy, slightly reactive, and delightful houndie hound and, as for me, I am doing swell learning how normal, happy, slightly reactive, and delightful I am, too.

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