Monday, July 18, 2011
Tales of a Dogsitter - Love at First Sniff?
Buddy a red and white Australian Sheppard arrived in camp today from Washington state. His dad Carl is obviously a truck driver, pulling in the driveway in the cab of a loud semi. They were greeted by a group of barking dogs on the deck that wondered what the vibration and noise was all about. I could tell that Buddy was well trained, reluctantly coming on the deck when told to do so but not particularly happy about being left behind. Carl said Buddy would be on a food fast and not to worry if he didn’t eat for his 36-hour stay at TBTB.
Buddy seemed secure hanging out on the deck, being pretty much of a loner after completing the required doggie handshakes - allowing his butt to be sniffed by all the dogs in camp. He was obviously not interested in the camp thing, and certainly not responsive to any treats, albeit liver. Ahhh, come on. All dogs love liver – not Buddy the Aussie.
His entire attitude changed when he saw HER. Yeager, an adolescent black lab mix with white socks, sauntered onto the deck, walked up to Buddy for a sniff then turned around and walked off. Buddy's eyes glazed over and he began following Yeager wherever she went, grabbing a sniff every chance he got but each time he tried to mount her, she snarled in his face putting an end to that nonsense early in their relationship.
For the next day and a half, Buddy became Yeager’s shadow. She liked him but also liked to romp with the other dogs in camp. He seemed okay with that, content to stand back and watch her flirt and frolic with the others. At mealtime they were fed side by side and he would watch her eat her bowl of food and then continue by eating his. He seemed to have little interest in anything but her. Carl was right; Buddy didn’t eat a thing while he was at TBTB.
When Yeager was crated at night, Buddy would lie beside her crate and wait patiently for the morning when she would be let out and they would sashay out for their morning pee. When we did our usual 10-dog walk Buddy would lie in the bushes at the top of the driveway watching us until we returned as he resisted being part of the pack. He would then jump out when he saw Yeager prancing down the road near the driveway. What a pair they were.
Carl came to get Buddy the following afternoon and although Buddy was glad to see his dad, he was reluctant to leave the deck. From the outside of the fence he jumped up one last time and Yeager jumped up from the inside so they were nose to nose. Buddy licked her face once, then turned and ran into the cab of the semi – saying his final goodbye I suppose.
It was interesting to watch their behavior. Buddy was totally taken by Yeager and although she enjoyed the attention, she didn’t appear quite as infatuated. I wonder if this was a case of Love at First Sniff for Buddy Boy? It sure looked like it! There is never a dull moment at TBTB Dog Camp.