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Adventures in Dogwalking: Miss Congeniality

January 15, 2013


I planned Goldie’s walks to make her happy. Goldie was a hunter, so city walks and parks were boring to her. She wanted somewhere brushy and dirty. The more gophers and bunnies the better. Our walk routes were developed around those factors.

Abbie Lynn, however, is a whole different animal. She does not hunt. Last night we saw 2 bunnies, and her expression was a mild “Oh, hm, look at that animal.” Goldie would have run through cactus (ask me how I know (and why I carried needle-nosed pliers in my pack)) to get to bunnies.

Abbie Lynn wants 2 things from a walk: to see people who might be her friend, and to see other dogs who might be her friends.

SHe will see someone 50 yards away and begin wagging. She puts herself in a smaller, wigglier “Look what a cute dog I am” posture. If the person responds, bliss. If they don’t – like last night when runners kept passing us on the trail at the park – she looks confused and dejected.

She will trot after runners, not in an aggressive “Must chase running thing” kind of way, but rather a “Hey, wait up, friend! You still have a chance to meet my cuteness” way.

She also loves every dog she meets. Friendly dogs get the full springy play bow and hop, while aggressive ones cause her to stand calm and still, waiting for them to realize she’s no threat.

I can see lots of dog parks and play dates in my future. I had imagined another good hiking partner, but I don’t think back hills trails are going to make this mutt happy. She needs her public.

  1. January 15, 2013 06:59

    If she gets to be with you I’ll bet she’ll be good on a hike. She’ll just need both kinds of interaction.

    She sounds a lot like our friend, Bucephalus. Any time he sees a few people gathered on the street as he passes he’s just SURE they’re waiting for him so the party can start!

  2. Gretchen permalink
    January 15, 2013 08:52

    My guess is she just hasn’t been exposed to the brushy kind of fun yet. Believe it or not, some dogs need to learn how to sniff around. I bet she’ll pick it up.

  3. January 15, 2013 10:34

    It amazes me how they each have unique personalities–just like humans! But they’re much more open about their needs. They don’t worry about not being liked and bs like that that we get into.

  4. January 15, 2013 12:46

    She’s so sweet, Sue. I adore her inquisitive little mug, and you write about her personality so well that I can practically see her in my mind.

  5. January 16, 2013 05:52

    My big guy is exactly like Abbie. He’s puzzled when people don’t greet and interact with him. Loves all dogs. We always had to sit by the mean dog in training class because it never bothered him if they got nasty. He just looked confused as to why they were so grumpy. If my neighbors are hanging out in our cul-de-sac he cannot wait to be taken outside so he can participate in the fun. Yappy hours were designed with him in mind. On the other hand, my little Cavalier wants NOTHING to any other creature of any kind. Won’t even look at dogs we encounter on walks. She likes people, but prefers to have them sitting so they calmly pet and admire her on her terms, on the street is just too common for her. As others commented, I’m sure once Abbie matures she’ll love all types of walks with you. But, as I say about Bruno, when you’re as popular as they are, sometimes they just need to be with their fans!

  6. January 16, 2013 12:00

    Abbie sounds like a girl in middle school. Well, truth be told, she sounds like me in middle school. She’s a pleaser and a cute one at that.

  7. January 16, 2013 13:02

    This made me smile so ridiculously hard that I scared my cube mates. GOOD!

  8. mar permalink
    January 16, 2013 14:03

    Squee! Waggy pup! She is beyond adorable and sounds like she’s a good fit, if different than what you’re used to.
    Grover is pretty meh about hunting/prey drive too and Millie would take off after a leaf if she thought it might be alive.

  9. amyinstl permalink
    January 22, 2013 11:29

    My little Oscar is just like that. Here in the city we don’t see many people when we walk; but he always gets so excited when one of his dog friends is in their yard… or when a complete stranger comes down the sidewalk. I’m hoping warmer weather brings more outside folk.

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