Trying to get Tobie some exercise…

Nothing much going on around the Secret Lair over the past few days, just minor chores and getting myself into some sort of shape for summer. Since there’s still nothing really worth talking about but I’m aware of having neglected the blog, I brought the camera along on a morning walkie.

Spent part of the weekend working on “just what breed of dog is Tobie, anyway?” Early on, I assumed he was an Anatolian mix. Lately I’m starting to wonder if he isn’t a purebred ASD. Longtime readers might recall what a homely adolescent Little Bear was. Very much a Heinz 57 mutt, LB seemed to grow unevenly in different directions at different times. But Tobie’s growth has been much more…together. Having looked at a hundred pictures of pedigreed ASDs, I just don’t see any way he looks different from that. The only way he doesn’t match the mold is that Anatolians are supposed to be suspicious of strangers, but he loves to meet new people. Maybe standoffishness is a mature trait? I don’t know.

When I and Neighbor L encountered him at that shelter eleven months ago, he struck me as a puppy who’d been well cared for but who had recently experienced something very unpleasant. He wasn’t at all keen to make new friends and was lay-down-and-piss-himself terrified of getting into a car or truck – but other than that he didn’t in any way come across as feral or damaged. And – once he decided I wasn’t going to be another circle of hell – he was very rambunctious and adventurous. He really wanted to go exploring on his own.

Which caused me to develop a sort of scenario of the events that led him to that loud, unpleasant concrete cage. I strongly suspect that he regarded his “rescue” as more of a kidnapping. The lady at the shelter said he was turned in by two people who claimed he was ‘a stray,’ and that was all she knew. I can picture him being in a pedigreed litter, somehow getting free of his safe yard with his safe family to go on a Grand Adventure, and innocently pissing off some asshole – knowing Tobie, probably by digging up a flower bed – who bundled him into a car and delivered him to a shelter far from Mama and his siblings.

Which is why I’ve said a hundred times – tag your frickin’ dog*.

Anyway – somebody’s loss was my gain, and in any case I set out to talk about walkie time.

I like to mix up the route to keep us both interested. Whatever his breed, Tobie is a big puppy and needs more exercise than the old one-legged guy can realistically give him, so I try to make best use of the time.

And when Tobie gets out to the wash, what he really wants to do is run. Just run. And if he ever matures to the point where I trust him to have a good run and then come back, I’ll be inclined to let him do that. I’d really like to get him off the leash, but he’s not ready. Too many temptations. He’s already big enough that I’m not worried about predators hurting him but there are plenty of other things that could. Remember Porcupine Dog? Because I do.

Okay, so he can’t run as much as he’d certainly like. But there’s no rule says he can’t dig.

And dig, he will.

Oh, dig dig dig. Sometimes he digs veritable trenches to nowhere.

Until he decides he’s done…

And then it’s time to head home, for a treat and a drink and Nappy Time.

A lot of times he looks like a mature dog but he’s still very much a puppy. All the experts say I have at least another year before he squares away and starts acting mature. In the meantime I try to learn from my mistakes raising Little Bear, so that he can have more independence when he’s old enough to use it with some level of safety.

*Someone at this point will bring up microchips, too. Yeah, okay: That would probably work better in an urban setting with a vet on every other corner than it would here. But your average Moe has no way of even detecting, let alone reading, a microchip. Tags are cheap and easily visible.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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6 Responses to Trying to get Tobie some exercise…

  1. says:

    Maybe he was a Dwarf in a previous life:

  2. winston smith says:

    Folks, Do Both. Please.
    I havent taken a poll, but i’d bet almost all vets and shelters have chip readers. They have become very inexpensive.

  3. Robert Gaines says:

    RE tags ‘n chips:

    Approached the front door of work (disabled resident home) this morning an hour later than usual only to be greeted by everyone’s favorite kitty RUNNING towards me while MEOWING quite piteously. She had been left out overnight and that was NOT an OK thing. Her slaves, er, human owners thought she was inside. She is chipped ‘n tagged partly because she will climb into your pocket/laptop bag/etc. and happily leave with you unawares, but mostly because we don’t want some jerk saying “Gosh, I found her and had no way to find her owner.”

    Aside: She also wears a GPS tracker. It is useful only if you LOOK at the damn screen, people!
    Sorry for the rant; I have PTSD: Puddy Tat Stress Damage.

  4. Ruth says:

    I’mma agree with the BOTH chip and tag.

    Anyway–yes, if he’s high content or purebred ASD he may not show adult temperament until upwards of 4 or even 5yrs of age. But even then dogs vary. I have a Tibetan Mastiff, and the breed is supposed have a high dislike of strangers. My dog? He only dislikes you if he has reason to believe you’ve set foot on the property uninvited or if he has reason to believe you are a threat to me and mine. Everyone else? You’re welcome to pet him before he goes back to ignoring you.

  5. Robert says:

    “You’re welcome to pet him before he goes back to ignoring you.”
    So, your Tibetan Mastiff identifies as a cat?

  6. Ruth says:

    Yah, I’ve occasionally referred to him as my 140lb cat in a giant dog body.

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