Once upon a time in a midsize village in northeastern Illinois dwelt a little dog named Mitchell and Dog-Mom. Dog-Mom dutifully walked Mitchell at least twice if not thrice or even four times a day if the weather was willing. Mitchell always was willing…unless the weather was not.
Mitchell always knew where they were going. Sometimes they would head west toward Auntie Karen’s house. Sometimes they would head east toward a different subdivision with lots and lots of cul-de-sacs. Dog-Mom would find out which way they were going because Mitchell always picked. and Dog-Mom had little to say about the matter.
Anyway, every tree, bush, blade of grass, water hydrant, and mail box bore Mitchell’s dutiful mark, and he would check each one on the various trails as he and Dog-Mom went on their merry way. (If Hansel and Gretl had Mitchell with them, they would never have needed bread crumbs.)
One day, Dog-Mom and Mitchell met a new puppy on their walk, and Mitchell decided to let the puppy know whose neighborhood it was.
A conversation ensued.
Puppy peed on one of Mitchell’s trees.
Mitchell peed on his tree, and then kicked grass in the puppy’s face.
The puppy peed on the tree again.
Mitchell re- peed the tree, and then peed in the puppy’s face.
This pee conversation continued endlessly as the two Dog-Moms watched and laughed their asses off until the puppy finally gave up and rolled over on his back in total submission.
Mitchell was finally happy. It was his tree after all, and puppy learned a valuable lesson. Don’t pee on any tree while Mitchell is around, or you might need a bath.
Once upon a time in a small village in northeastern Illinois, lived a little dog named Mitchell. Mitchell quaked and shaked, and wouldn’t come out from under the chair, or out of his crate, or from behind large pieces of furniture. He was just afraid. He wouldn’t let Dog-Mom touch him..Mitchell was sad…Dog-Mom was sadder.
Finally Dog-Mom got super hero Doctor Vet and the beloved vet-tech Meredith to come to the house and visit Mitchell. They helped a lot. Within two days, Mitchell started taking short walks outside with Dog-Mom…and he allowed her to rub gently behind his ears, and give treats . Mitchell likes a good ear rub, and peanut-butter flavored treats are good too.
Soon Dog-Mom took Mitchell on a great adventure. They went to a small magical summer home nestled in a wooded area. The wooded area was filled with all sorts of wonderful woodland creatures….deer, and turkey, and owls, and rabbits, and coyotes, and…well a lot of wonderful woodland creatures, and lots of human types who walked their dog-friends. The smells were wonderful., the other dogs were ok, the other human types …not so much. Long walks were good because there were lots of opportunities for potential friend encounters. Soon Mitchell was willing to sniff the human types, but they did not and still do not have the privilege of touching him. Mitchell is very personal space conscious when it comes to human types.
Dog-Mom made sure there was a crate for Mitchell at the small magical summer home too…because Mitchell still liked small spaces for hiding when nasty fear got the better of him. He decided it was the perfect place to sleep. One night, Mitchell made a momentous decision. Mitchell decided Dog-Mom might be ok to sleep with. So…in the middle of the night, Mitchell put on his big-boy pants, bravely walked over to Dog-Mom’s bed, jumped in and started snuggling. Mitchell has snuggled every night since, and has never returned to his crate. In fact, snuggling at night, sitting next to Dog-Mom, getting ear-rubs, and head rubs, and nose rubs are his favorite things.. But only Dog-Mom and Beloved Meredith, the vet-tech, are allowed the privilege.
Once upon a time, an anxiety-ridden puppy named Mitchell came to live with Dog-Mom in a small village in northern Illinois. Mitchell was so timid, and frightened of Big-Evil- Scary-Dog-Mom, that he cowered in a corner for two full weeks and only came out when Big-Evil-Scary-Dog-Mom brought neighbor Lucy – the westie-bichon -frieze down the block – over to play. Mitchell loved Lucy.
Big-Evil-Scary-Dog-Mom was so mean, she invited the vet-doctor-person over to the house to examine Mitchell and prescribe some sort of medicine to help Mitchell get over the cowering. The vet-doctor-person helped leash Mitchell so that he could take walks. Once leashed, Big-Scary-Evil-Dog-Mom made Mitchell wear a leash in the house for a week, and when they finally were able to take walks…she put a second leash on him.
The first walks were scary. Mitchell would only walk half-a-block before putting on the brakes. But Dog-Mom who was neither evil nor scary anymore – just big – persisted, and eventually convinced Mitchell that they could walk the two whole blocks to that cute neighbor Lucy ‘s house whom he missed greatly.
Mitchell learned to love a new phrase…”Want to go for a walk?” He started bringing his leash to Dog-Mom who was no longer that big anymore either.
Still, Mitchell needed to learn how to ride in a car. He didn’t like it. For over a year, Dog-Mom would lift him up and plunk him down in the back seat for a ride in the car. Sometimes they would go to visit the vet-doctor-person…and Meredith, Mitchell’s favorite vet-tech. Sometimes they would go to Dairy Queen, and Dog-Mom would let him have the end of her ice-cream cone. Other times, they would go to the Little Trailer in the Big Woods where owls, and deer, and turkeys, and other strange things lived nearby.
Finally after almost a year of “rides in the car”, Mitchell connected the words with the experience, and joyfully jumped around the house making snuggly noises in total anticipation of the car-ride experience.
The Big-Evil-Scary Dog-Mom is now just Dog-Mom and is the only privileged human-type – besides Meredith the vet-tech – who is allowed to rub his ears.
Once upon a time, a little dog named Mitchell was afraid of his own shadow, and a dog-Mom named Marianne was totally bereft from grief after having lost her beloved Moose. The two met, and Mitchell went home with Dog-Mom…but he wasn’t real crazy about the situation. .or Dog-Mom….or any other human types for that matter. He cowered in a corner and hid in his crate. After awhile Mitchell came to appreciate that Dog-Mom was not Satan’s spawn, came out of his crate, and decided that Dog-mom required protection. A growl and bark were needed. He discovered his image in a mirror and growled at the foreign dog that recently and unexpectedly moved into the house (too funny).. He discovered a backyard invasion of bunnies and squirrels and decided to growl and bark at them. (I’m dying to see what he thinks of the coyotes around here.) He discovered geese and threatened them. The silly birds flew away.. He saw a skunk in the back yard, and went berserk. (Fortunately Dog-Mom and Mitchell were both safely inside the house and behind a patio window while the skunk was outside in the yard.) He even discovered that growling at Dog-Mom was ok when playing tug. Today he discovered mourning doves. Guess what he’s decided to growl at now? Dog-Mom feels so safe.