As part of the home-boarding, I regularly meet people as they come to the house and drop their dogs off. I even walk with and meet with some clients outside of any boarding arrangement. But sometimes, as was the case last May with Max and Becky, I get to meet people who really do stand out for just being so damned nice, down to earth, and full of good humour. This weekend I boarded a GSD named Taz (who I naturally renamed to Tazmaria Olmalero), and a Collie Cross (I think it's crossed with a Staffie) named Wilf (who I naturally renamed to Wilfred Bramble), owned by Graham and Lisa.
From the very first moment I met Lisa and Graham, I just knew I liked them. They were open, funny (believe me, I can't even own a toilet brush any more), and sociable. Their dogs were an absolute credit to them, and their GSD, Taz, has reminded me just how much I miss owning GSDs.
You see, before Ellie, I'd always owned GSDs, but grew disheartened as a result of the sheer number of them that have developed fear-aggression through the lack of nerve caused by the reckless over-breeding in the UK in recent years. Taz, while still only a few months old, seems set to be representative of the breed as I once knew them to be - courageous, loyal, steady in nerve, and with gorgeously rich and deep colours.
Having Taz for the weekend certainly reminded me just how much I miss the traits of the GSD - the laying in doorways to watch both the exits and the entrances, the leg hugging, and the constant look of alertness.
Ellie took to both of them without any issue. Wilf is quite a timid wee thing, though he also has a devilish side in him that likes to wind Taz up from time to time, while Tax is a typical young dog - always experimenting and finding out where the limits are. She did put herself right in Ellie's face at one point, but a quick growl and snap from Ellie quickly made Taz realise that's probably not the right way to behave.
Once they sorted boundaries and space out, they were all just fine and dandy.
I really do love watching how dogs communicate their feelings. They are so much better at it than we humans. They don't hold grudges, are always consistent, and are absolute masters of subtlety. Touch wood, despite all the dogs that have come through, we've never once had a fight yet. I believe this is because as each dog has come through, I've learnt more about their sometimes very subtle signals and how to interpret them. But I digress.
On Wednesday, Teal'c the Rottweiler arrives for a couple of nights! Teal'c is my surrogate Rottweiler. I see her just about every week as her owner, Sue, and I take dog walks together. I guess she's the dog that I never really allowed myself to have. :)
This afternoon's challenge, to teach Ellie to put herself onto the weighing scales. That should be an easy one to do. I don't see why I should be the only one who has to be reminded how much weight I am putting on as I get older!