Friday, December 2, 2011


These are the things that Cherry Blossom does. Her birthday was Nov.23rd and she turned one year old. So I don't know if they are puppy things that will diminish in time or if we must simply adapt. I hope for the best but suspect that the only way to rule the rascal, is to be vigilant and prevent disaster before it happens.

1.Takes tea bags out of tea cups.

So far she has not yet knocked over a mug with liquid in it. I leave the tea bag in so that it can seep and the flavor is at is strongest. The tag attached to a string attached to the bag and hangs over the side of the mug. And with precision skill, she removes the tea bag by its paper tag. The goal is to chew the tea bag. Why does a dog love herbal tea? Haven't a clue. Perhaps its the texture of the wet bag.

2. Takes knives, forks, spoons, and plastic containers out of the dirty pile of dishes on one side of the sink. Moves them to the library where, in the center of the floor, she does her best to tear them apart. The sharpest knives have plastic handles. These she particularly gnaws hardest on, completely deforming the handle.

Of course this is an incentive to do the dirty dishes on time. The clean things on the other side of the sink are not touched.

3. If my sewing box is open, she removes spools of thread.

Last spool of thread had a needle stuck through it. I got to it, and took it out of her mouth, before she could get hurt.

4.Drags pajamas and socks through the apartment. If there is a button on them she usually succeeds in removing the button. Any piece of clothing, if left on a dresser or the dryer, clean or dirty (but especially dirty) she will drag from room to room and then, most likely, will lie on it.

This is an incentive to fold clothing and put it away in drawers. Dirty clothing goes in the dirty hamper in the bathroom, and if this hamper is used, particular care must be taken that a corner of cloth or an arm isn't left outside the closed top, because Cherry will pull, if given a corner to hold onto, anything out of the hamper.

5.Takes any piece of mail left on the counter and tears it to shreds.

Yes, front paws reach up to the top of the counter and we must keep the kitchen counter clean of things like scissors, mail, books, and DvD's - all of which have been taken at one time or another off of the counter and destroyed. As in suffering extensive damage from tooth marks.

6. While on a walk she will lunge, both front paws off the ground and bucking like a wild horse while faintly grunting whenever; a dog passes. A skateboarder, a jogger, a motorcycle, a bicycle, or a huge truck that makes just the right kind of rumble. Impossible to know what kind of rumble will set her off.

I have developed a firm hand and a planted two foot stance so that I remain calm and stationary while my pet looks like a scary wild beast that wishes only to kill with her big white teeth. To be fair, we don't know if she should happen to reach the goal of her desire, what she would do. Perhaps she would merely sniff it. Perhaps her herding instinct would cause her to nip it and correct its course. When we take her to a nearby mountain where people let their dogs run free off leash she plays happily with other dogs off the leash. So she isn't really angry or aggressive, she just wants, for a moment, desperately to run to a moving object. I am afraid that the muscles in my left arm are going to grow bigger than the muscles in my right arm because that is the arm that holds the leash, always, in a tight grasp. Because you never know when someone or something will zip by from behind. Walks thus are done with a great deal of awareness - I do not daydream much while I am walking Cherry.

7. Some people (and it is impossible to know which ones) Cherry wishes to poke with her nose.

I assume that some people merely smell a great deal more interesting than others. This is not drunks and smokers, Cherry doesn't particularly like drunks and smokers as we have found out. Cherry does not wish to bite, merely poke, but people are rather upset whenever this happens, as it is unexpected and coming from a German Shepherd. I have to apologize profusely. Usually when we pass anyone on the sidewalk I draw Cherry nearer to me so I am in complete control. I have found that people don't like being poked by a wet nose.

8. On the rare occasion, Cherry wishes to leap upon a walker coming at her from the opposite direction.

If you think people are worried about a poke, think about their horror of a leap. If possible, I put as much distance as I can between myself and other walkers, either walking on a lawn or out into a street. Distance is the great disincentive. If a dog or jogger or bicyclist is on the opposite side of the street, often Cherry's fit to get to them is not triggered, although she watches them keenly and I know is at least thinking about it. I love it when a dog walker automatically sees us coming and crosses the street. Bless them for their sensitivity. I try, if traffic permits, to do the same thing.

9. Cherry greets us whenever we come home with ears flat back, tail wagging, and a happy wiggle in her body.

It is the nicest thing in the world to be appreciated. If we put our face low, guaranteed we will get licked. In fact, this morning I hovered between being awake and asleep for a long time, and finally, Cherry made up her mind what I would do. Front paws on my chest, she urgently liked my face. "Time to wake up" she told me. I ignored her and she had to do this several times before I finally got out of bed.

A woman I know is considering adopting a dog. She adopted in the past a German shepherd and was very happy with the results. So now she is going to human society web sites and looking to see if there is a dog there that speaks to her. But she is hesitant. "Its a big responsibility" she said to me, "its like having a child."

I couldn't agree more.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Karen,

    It's interesting hearing a dog owner's perspective as opposed to my cat owner perspective. Two of my cats, from the same litter, are obsessed with finding and chewing on plastic. I never realized just how much plastic I deal with each day. It's especially hard on shopping days when I don't use the reusable shopping bags, but use the ordinary thin plastic bags. They chew on the bags, then they chew on the bag that the bread is in and go hunting for whatever is plastic in the bag. I am usually tired from shopping with my brother, but I have to immediately put everything away. The left over bags I shove in the lower shelf of the freezer to keep them out of the way because I heard that birds sometimes get tangled up in the bags and I worry about that.

    No matter how frustrated I get sometimes, I never regret having these animals in my home. They are such a joy to me. They've been great children/friends. Cherry sounds very lovable, very endearing. I think you're doing a great job with her. That's funny that she goes for the teabags.

    I really hope that you had a good Thanksgiving. I might send you an email this week.

    Love, Kate : )


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