Jay Cronley: Change comes hard for dogs, too
BY JAY CRONLEY World Staff Columnist
Sunday, July 15, 2012
7/15/12 at 4:04 AM
Dogs don't know much about moderation.
Lessons are aimed at cutting back on a full throttle: Sit. Stay. Spit that out right this second. Heel. Stop that. Come back.
A dog's chief characteristic is unconditional enthusiasm.
Of considerable interest is what's at the end of a dog's nose.
Or what's not.
Forget what you know: Drastic change is not a simple thing to deal with.
You can't sit down with a dog that survives another and say: You know all the hours we spent learning how to get a blind dog inside? Remember how at first you didn't know she was blind and you were continually blindsiding her? Running over her? Wanting to play the same as always, but getting a delayed response?
Remember how you stared and stared and stared and finally seemed to get it, sensed that she couldn't see, saw that she had started to lead with her head down?
Remember how I would tell you to go out back and get her and you would almost roll your eyes, but would do it, would bump into her and would then walk slowly and lead her back into the house?
You can't say, well, she's gone.
You can, but it doesn't register.
Dogs don't handle death well. It seems to come as such a surprise.
Wag more, bark less: Keeping a surviving dog busy sounds like a good idea.
Walks in the morning.
Walks in the evening.
My female dog who died recently was what my male knew best for a lot of years. He wasn't away from her even for a day.
I have begun to talk to my male dog more than ever before. At first this change of pace seemed to concern him. First he hid. Then he would bark. Now he pretends to understand most of what I say.
Rides in the car are numerous.
Sometimes he appears to wonder: Why all the good stuff?
Then there are the times when the both of us automatically go to where she was supposed to be.
There's nothing to do then but tough it out. And it's good to have help.
Original Print Headline: Change comes hard for dogs, too