Whatcha Gonna Do With a Shiva?

One of these days I will quit forgetting that Shiva is a wackadoodle dog and actually jump in before she does something really stupid. I don’t know when, exactly. But it’s gonna happen. One would think after three and a half years I’d have very low expectations and just assume Shiva will choose the most insane path. She has no common sense, not even doggy common sense. She is predictable in her unpredictability. You’d think a gal would learn.

When walking with said wingnut canine, I like to find different ways to challenge her. There are only so many directions to go and after a while I think both of us get bored. Many things in the environment can be used like agility equipment. Rocks, trees, stone walls, and lamp posts are just some of the things I get Shiva to jump on or turn tightly around. It’s great practice. It also distracts her from scarfing whatever garbage she can find.

One of the items I’ve used a lot are park gates. Not the big fancy ones obviously but the lower ones set up to block cars from driving on the path. Kind of like this, only without the cattle grating in front of it:

Some of them are even lower than the one above and Shiva can jump without effort. Most of them are more like chains than actual metal gates. They are perfect for working on simple lead-outs or crosses. Since my jumps at home are too heavy to carry with me, they also serve as a way to get Shiva used to working in distracting environments. For all the good that does us.

ANYway, there is a gate at the end of a local nature trail that is much taller than the others. It must reach over five feet. When I stand next to it, the central bar comes up to about eye level. I am around 5’7″. There is also another bar underneath this one that is more typical Shiva jumping height.

The other day Shiva and I were walking down this nature trail and at the last minute, I decided to direct her to jump between the two bars and over the lower one. Nothing we haven’t done before. Unshockingly, she did it again this time without a problem. Easy peasy. I rewarded her and then turned to get her to jump it again in the opposite direction.

Well, she definitely jumped!

Over the top bar. The one that stands over five feet. She would have cleared it without issue too. That’s the crazy thing. But once she was up there she decided to try to land on the bar itself. Don’t ask me why. Shiva delights in defying logic and giving me weekly heart attacks.

Of course a bar is not a thing easily stood upon. Her feet slipped on contact and I watched my dog spill over the other side of the gate, legs splayed. It would have been hilarious. If she was someone else’s dog and I was watching the action on Youtube.

Shiva was fine. I type that a lot, don’t I? I mean, I am sure she has done irreparable damage that will give her chronic pain later in life but even after she awkwardly hung over the lower bar and scrambled for safety on the ground, she looked at me like she wanted to try it again.

What does one do with a dog like Shiva? Sometimes I am tempted to cover her in bubble wrap and plonk a helmet on her head before I ever let her out the door again. Then I realize she will probably just get the bubble wrap snagged on a tree branch as she decides to climb after a delicious-looking food wrapper that blew up on a gust of wind.

You have to laugh or you will cry.

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25 Comments on Whatcha Gonna Do With a Shiva?

  1. Blueberry's human
    September 27, 2012 at 7:47 pm (2 years ago)

    What you have there – is a daredevil! As long as she’s having fun – I think she would tell you it will be worth the aches and pains she will have as she gets older.

    Honestly, you should really have a camera crew following you around so we can see her in action! :)

  2. Anna
    September 27, 2012 at 8:36 pm (2 years ago)

    you have to laugh or you will cry… lol that is classic. You are a hilarious writer and Shiva and Luna are acrobat sou lmates. Luna is always shocking me with the agile-ness of her. You have to be very careful if you are sitting somewhere as she is most likely going to jump straight into your lap if you give any sort of inclination that you might want her there… Yes this even means when you are sitting on bar stools and tables. We have a high table out on our porch it is shoulder height on me nearly and she jumped clear through my arm resting on the table and into my lap. Crazy body awareness this girl. have you seen the blog for Maddie the Coonhound who stands on things? Should make you laugh.

  3. Pamela
    September 27, 2012 at 8:39 pm (2 years ago)

    Shiva is an adrenaline junkie. You need to find a way to introduce her to Tret, the Parkour dog from the Ukraine. I bet they’d be fast friends. :)
    Pamela recently posted..Mmmm, Bacon – FreshPet Video ReviewMy Profile

  4. Ximena
    September 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm (2 years ago)

    Haha — I love crazy Shiva stories. Elli’s done something similar once. I asked her to Paws Up (front paws) onto the railing overlooking the ocean once. And she jumped over it. THANK DOG there was a ledge covered in spiky bushes or she would’ve tumbled to her death.
    Ximena recently posted..Crossroads: Companion or Competitior?My Profile

  5. jan
    September 27, 2012 at 9:28 pm (2 years ago)

    Maybe Siva just has an uncanny knowledge of how much entertainment she is bringing to the blogosphere. I agree with Pamela, she is addicted to her own adrenalin.
    jan recently posted..Do dogs need their own staircase?My Profile

  6. Toby
    September 27, 2012 at 9:43 pm (2 years ago)

    Us dogs LOVE to keep you peoples on your toes. I once ran full speed towards a jump in Rally, then coughed up a spare cookie at the last moment which fell right in front of the jump and I put the brakes on so fast that my head went down and my body kept on going. I nearly flipped right over the jump. The way all the peoples reacted was classic….

    But I was just like, “What? I meant to do that.” Which is what I bet Shiva was thinking too!
    Toby recently posted..Train “Humane” DayMy Profile

  7. Sarah
    September 27, 2012 at 9:59 pm (2 years ago)

    Shiva just loves a good challenge. Apparently, a 5 foot high bar is not a challenge. Landing on it? Now that’s a challenge!

    I would like to add to Pamela’s comment and encourage you and Shiva to take up parkour and delight the interwebs with her antics.
    Sarah recently posted..Hurley, Puppy Protector ExtraordinaireMy Profile

  8. Jen
    September 27, 2012 at 10:35 pm (2 years ago)

    Hah, as soon as you said how tall that gate was, I thought “I can see where this is going….”
    Jen recently posted..September 27 is Train Humane DayMy Profile

  9. Julie
    September 27, 2012 at 11:50 pm (2 years ago)

    She is definitely the little dare devil isn’t she?? I have a kitty like that . . .it’s enough to make you crazy! I love this story and I’m glad she didn’t hurt herself! Cali would have been so embarrassed!!
    Julie recently posted..I’m back!My Profile

  10. houndstooth
    September 28, 2012 at 12:37 am (2 years ago)

    Ha ha ha! I love her spirit! She’ll still be wild and crazy until the day she dies! I can picture it now. You’re in for a lot more heart stoppers along the way!
    houndstooth recently posted..Kuster Meets The Boy ScoutsMy Profile

  11. Abby
    September 28, 2012 at 3:46 am (2 years ago)

    I love this story and I’m glad she didn’t hurt herself! Cali would have been so embarrassed!!
    Abby recently posted..moving companiesMy Profile

  12. Sue
    September 28, 2012 at 5:35 am (2 years ago)

    So glad Shiva was ok. How can you stop her being her?????

  13. Basil
    September 28, 2012 at 5:40 am (2 years ago)

    PAw shiva!! I hope she is ok, sounds like she was having fun though!! BOL

  14. One person's view
    September 28, 2012 at 9:53 am (2 years ago)

    Maybe try Xanax. Not for Shiva, for you.

  15. Jodi
    September 28, 2012 at 10:52 am (2 years ago)

    OMD, your heart must have been in your throat. Like watching a train wreck, you don’t want to see it, but you can’t turn away.

    Remember the video of the dog, who ran up walls and trees, etc? Maybe you could teach her to do that….I bet she could do it. :-)
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  16. lexy
    September 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m glad she’s ok – it means i don’t have to feel guilty about snorting with laughter about the situation :P She’s a trooper – and creative!
    When I took Gwynn to that herding instincts class, there were hay bails by the side of the barn – I asked him to get up on one… he did… and then he clambered up further, to the 5inch ledge that extended aroudn the entire building. Looked like some weird orange gargoyl, unable to get down by himself.
    lexy recently posted..He’s Sexy and He Knows It!My Profile

  17. Tucker's Mom
    September 28, 2012 at 6:59 pm (2 years ago)

    In this regard, Shiva reminds me a lot of Dakotah … very physically daring with not a lot of regard for his own personal safety. Fortunately, he also had nine lives.
    Tucker’s Mom recently posted..Breed LoveMy Profile

  18. Maggie
    September 28, 2012 at 7:16 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh my gosh. That is so funny. I have the boys do little things like that along our walks, too. One day I asked Emmett to jump up on this wooden bench and he vaulted the whole thing, practically pulling me over the bench behind him. You gotta wonder what they’re thinking sometimes.
    Maggie recently posted..Confessions of a multi-dog householdMy Profile

  19. Stacy and Ellie
    September 28, 2012 at 8:08 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh my gosh that must have been a sight! You can almost see the cogs turning in her head – mid-air decision to land on the bar instead of go over lol
    Stacy and Ellie recently posted..Summertime Catch UpMy Profile

  20. melF
    September 30, 2012 at 9:05 pm (2 years ago)

    LOL! I am truly in awe of Shiva. Holy crap!

    Very glad she is okay, but man is she a daredevil. I think Shiva doesn’t realize she has limits. Who knows? Maybe she doesn’t? I worry about Jasper losing an eye when he runs full on after it and into one of the Lilac bushes that line my yard. He almost did two weeks ago. Freaked me out. I know the fear you feel.
    Somehow Shiva always seems to know what she’s doing when she does it. Jasper just doesn’t think at all. I love reading your Shiva stories.
    melF recently posted..Black & White Sunday #7My Profile

  21. Amy@GoPetFriendly
    October 1, 2012 at 4:39 am (2 years ago)

    It’s awesome that she wanted to try again – dog with less self confidence might have been frightened from jumping at all! Maybe it’s good that she’s a wingnut. =)
    Amy@GoPetFriendly recently posted..Friday Pet Photo ChallengeMy Profile

  22. Lauren
    October 4, 2012 at 8:41 am (2 years ago)

    Omg, that’s so scary. Glad she’s ok.


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