Tuesday Time-out

I’ve just realized how few photos I have of Shiva playing with other dogs. My only excuse is that Shiva’s high-speed chase play style doesn’t lend well to good photography.

Over the weekend, Shiva had her very first doggy play date.ย As I was in a dog training seminar all Sunday, my practically husband took her to meet up with a friend’s older terrier mix. The first thing I asked when I returned home was if he’d remembered to take pictures.

Naturally, he had not. Another opportunity lost.

Shiva is usually a little selective about her dog park playmates. She is friendly with all and will greet every dog with – a little too exuberant – ย joy. But it takes something special to keep her interest. That something special being either a penchant for running around in circles or a decided dislike of spotted dogs named Shiva.

So if you are insane, or a Border Collie, Shiva will be your best friend forever. Unfortunately, neither of these friendships are going to help me take better photos. In the one case, all I get is a grey blur, and in the other I am too busy trying to convince Shiva to leave the snarling dog alone to think about pulling out the camera.

If only I was exaggerating.

As an aside, I think it’s funny how others can have such a different point of view of my dog’s behaviour. When speaking with a friend at the seminar, she said she was envious of Shiva’s “generous spirit.” This was after discussing how it’s a shame our two dogs will never get along, despite Shiva’s constant pestering of her dog. A generous spirit is not how I would describe her actions, but perhaps I am looking at it with a more jaded perspective. If someone else’s dog was to zoom around in a similar fashion, I probably would find it entertaining and harmless.

Mel from No Dog About Itย shared a video with me via Twitter that she said reminded her of Shiva. As I watched all I could do was cringe as I knew all too well what the dog’s handler was going through. I have no doubt that will be me if I ever get the courage to face a real trial (year of badassery, year of badassery, year of badassery…). Yet, when I shared the video with friends on Facebook they all thought the dog’s uninhibited joy was just incredible. Something to be jealous of.

Once again, perhaps a change of perspective is in order.

38 thoughts on “Tuesday Time-out

  1. I had the best laugh for days watching that video, and if the joy in your dog can make other people happy it can’t be all bad:) It looked like his owner wasn’t getting at all bent out of shape at his antics either. Admittedly she wasn’t BOL though. I’d take it as a compliment for Shiva to be compared to Teddy:)

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    • That’s how I have been trying to look at it. If Shiva can make people laugh, then our work is done. Hopefully I can put this belief in to practice and get my butt out there! Channel my inner Teddy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  2. That is a great video! I had to laugh while I watched it because I think most people who train dogs have been there. You train and think everything is ready and you get to a test/trial and the dog just runs around like it is play time. But he sure had a lot of pretty ribbons at the end. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great pictures of Shiva playing. (I don’t have a lot of Thunder and Storm playing either. They just move too fast!)

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    • He did! I was surprised. I can only hope Shiva and I will be half as successful. But even if we aren’t, I’ll settle for collecting a few videos of my own.

      They do move too fast! It’s time like those I wish I had a pause button.

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  3. I have no pictures of our dog playing with other dogs either, because he doesn’t play at all. He can be standing there, minding his own business,and a big nasty dog can just walk up, sniff, and decide to take him down. These socially-awkward dogs break their owners’ hearts.

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    • Awww, poor OBF, that is heartbreaking. I really hope the nasty dogs sense his aversion and leave him alone.

      He reminds me of a dog I saw on the weekend at the dog beach. His tail was tucked so low while another dog sniffed him, that his whole rear end was underneath his torso. It was awkward and sad. Unfortunately, what was even more awkward was that his owner had walked away and left him there like that by himself. That was when we decided it was time to leave.

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  4. I also loved the Teddy the Runaway videos. Dog joy is contagious. And I thought his person was terrific too. She never lost focus on her dog, waited for the moment he might have an instant of focus, and went right back into trying to get him back on track. Excellent.

    Sometimes you have to ask yourself what your goals are. Is it to win ribbons? Or is it to have a great relationships with a happy dog. If it’s the second one, I think you’ve done it.

    Honey is an easy and sweet dog who had the best start in life. And she doesn’t like every dog she meets and they don’t all like her. Some make it clear they want nothing to do with her.

    Dogs should be able to pick their own friends. We can’t always do it. So why should we inflict that on our dogs?

    BTW, I bet you could do a very funny post with lots of blurry Shiva photos. If you have them, you might as well use them.

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    • My goals have very little to do with ribbons, fortunately! If they ever had, I would have given up long ago. Right now my goal is just to try and hopefully have a good time. If we can entertain as much as Teddy as then that will be a great bonus.

      I agree. I don’t like every person I meet so I don’t expect my dog to get along with every other puppy out there. But try telling Shiva that! ๐Ÿ˜›

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  5. Teddy is awesome! I love watching the “beginner” dogs at trials, because they always prove to be entertaining. You just never know what they might do.

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    • I never looked at it that way. I either assumed no one would be watching us at all because they would be too busy worrying about their own runs, or that they would be watching us with a critical eye, questioning why we thought we could pull it off. But if people are watching hoping for a laugh… That is the kind of pressure I can handle!

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  6. That video was awesome! Of course it would frustrate me if I were the handler! LOL

    I think Pamela is right, if your goal is to have a great relationship with a happy dog, then consider yourself a blue ribbon winner. It is obvious from the videos you have posted that Shiva adores you. Congratulations!

    And you must tell me where you find all your training seminars. I would love to find some.

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    • There are days where you want to disappear into the ground, that I can tell you. So often I have just stood there, watching Shiva design her own course, wondering if I will ever get her back. Wondering if I am just irritating everyone who is watching. It’s very reassuring to know that may not be the case.

      Shiva does always come back. Sometimes she just prefers the more scenic path. Thanks for your great encouragement!

      This seminar was offered by a couple of local dog trainers, one of whom is our agility and behaviour trainer. I suggest checking out dog daycares, veteruinary clinics, and agility clubs. They are likely to have information on all sorts of dog related events.

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  7. Hahah! I had seen that video this last week too! I liked the dogs pure happiness (even if it wasn’t winning any ribbons with the zoomies).

    Bella doesn’t really go to the dog park because she is on the other end of your dogy issue. She is he one snarling telling the over excited dogs to back off and calm down. Too bad most owners seem to think it is ‘aggressive’ and their dog running up like mad isn’t the issue at all. She doesn’t bite-just makes nasty noises.

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    • Shiva used to be like that too, though she was more comfortable off-leash at a dog park than she was on-leash in our neighbourhood. With time she got over it but it wasn’t easy. Now she is the wacko one insisting every dog should be her friend.

      “Whyyyy don’t you liiike meeeee???”

      Since I’ve been on that other side I feel awful if I can’t get her to back off from another dog who clearly just wants to hang out with his or her people. That’s when the leash is back on and we leave the park. One day I hope to be able to call her off before any barking can even begin. It’s definitely our biggest dog park issue!

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  8. Katy and Bailey treat the camera like celebrities fleeing the paparazi. They hate having pictures taken. However, I am glad to know there are so many wonderful photographs I regret not getting because they are so happy and having fun.

    While your dog may not be photo friendly it is wonderful to know how happy and friendly Shive is and how others notice as well.

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    • That’s very true. Much more important to know they are having a great time than to have the photos to look back on. Sometimes it’s important to put away the cameras and just experience the moment.

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  9. I thought that video was great! I loved seeing how excited and happy he was. I understand how you want to cringe as the handler, but I don’t think I could help laughing at the situation.

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    • After the fact, I will laugh as well. What else can you do? Really, I am very lucky she loves working so much, that is brings her so much joy. Much better that than having to drag her around the ring, right?

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  10. It’s all about perspective, that’s for sure, but you’re around her 24/7 and so the behavior is all relative. I have similar moments with Dante. At the dog park, all he really wants to do is wander around sniffing everything and marking. Occasionally he’ll find a dog that can actually keep up, but most times we leave without him having run around (which is why I walk him most days instead).

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    • Too bad we live so far away from each other. Dante sounds like the perfect running companion for the Shivster. I’d love to see if she could keep up with a greyhound!

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  11. Oh, that video totally cracked me up! I give her handler tons of credit for going back in the ring with her again and again. That takes guts!

    I hate it when I miss photo opportunities! Oh, it totally burns me! You said Shiva moves too fast most of the time to catch good pictures of her. I have two possible solutions. A lot of cameras now have a sport setting, and that might be what you need to capture her action. It will give you a really cool effect, too, is my guess. Another suggestion is to just shoot short videos. If you don’t want to post the videos, you can always take stills out. It might be worth a shot!

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    • It does take guts! The primary reason we haven’t trialed is due to Shiva’s zoomie problem. I haven’t even been brave enough to enter the ring in a fun match. Perhaps Teddy has inspired me to try, no matter what happens? At least we won’t be the first!

      Thanks for the great ideas! My camera does have a motion setting and I’ve used it once or twice. But it is so slow that by the time the photo is taken, Shiva has moved way out of view. I’ll have to play with it more.

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  12. Not many pix of me playing with dogs because I don’t really do it.

    I’m not keen on other dogs at all – but we’re working on it.

    I really admire Shiva’s joy of living.

    Love and licks, Winnie

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    • That’s okay. Maybe other dogs just aren’t your thing. I am sure you get a lot of joy out of other things in life. Whatever works for you and makes you happy, I say!

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  13. Kristine – It was so nice to see all the comments here today. I completely agree with what many people said, especially Pamela, Jodi and Carrie. I think the fact that Shiva continued to walk by your side after her leash broke says everything. I totally get the handler’s perspective in you as well. If it was my dog I know I would be feeling a lot of the same worries and concerns. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been the spectator, the reader of your posts, that I can appreciate Shiva’s funny and wild and crazy side. You tell them so well.

    I personally think that Shiva has a zest for life that is something we should all aspire to achieve. Invite people to play – whether they want to or not. Run like crazy and act silly once in a while – life’s too short to stress the small stuff. And above all, love those who love you back with great exuberance.

    Thanks for the mention. I still love that video. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  14. On the floor, tears rolling, can’t..stop..laughing…that was the funniest video I have ever seen, probably because I know all too well and it wasn’t me!! That’s how you gain perspective. ๐Ÿ™‚ You’ve got to give that lady credit, she just kept trying. Thank you for the awesome laugh, I needed that more than you can imagine.

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  15. I love Shiva’s zest for life. And I love the stories of how she keeps trying to make friends, even when they keep blowing her off. That kind of confidence and perseverance is so … endearing. I admire her, I wish I could approach every day with that kind of exuberance and expectation that everyone will just love me!

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  16. I was just gonna say…I bet an Australian Cattle Dog would be crazy enough to want to play with Shiva…then I saw that last picture with the ACD in it! If Riley got along with “exuberant” dogs, I bet she and Shiva could run around and play for hours without either one of them getting tired! ๐Ÿ™‚ Alas, Riley is picky about her “fur friends” and you live way far away anyway!

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  17. Omigosh, that Teddy is cracking me up!!! Dewi would SOOO do the same thing. And, I agree with Pamela, that handler has incredible patience and skill to get Teddy’s focus again. She’s clearly learned to work with the joy and not against it. So inspiring. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  18. Sometimes when you write about Shiva I feel like you’re writing about Oly. I have the same problem. I’ll look at her behavior when she meets a new person and I want to KILL HER. But all it takes is meeting someone who looks at Oly’s energy and absolute love of all people and things and thinks it is an amazing trait to snap me back into it.

    Flyball definitely helped as well. Sure, Oly has 12 times more energy than other dogs. But in certain places and avenues this makes Oly a champ.

    I am sure if you and I got Shiva and Oly together it would be a crazy mess of awesome.

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