Great Gobs Of Tansy Updates, Part II

I still have a mountain of Tansy-related ideas. Let’s keep truckin’.

In another post, I said I wanted to train Tansy to come to a whistle. Well, a week later, I got to see how I was doing. And wow, it was powerful. I would blow that whistle, and Tansy would move heaven and earth to get back. Yes! I have to work harder to keep that working. It certainly extends how far she will hear me, and makes it so she comes back super fast.

Does anyone else have a dog that wags while getting ready to pee or poop? That’s a new one for me. this dog is one happy dog.

She’s also one intense dog, more intense than most dogs can handle. We already know how old Trix feels about her. She likes her a lot, but Tans always finds the limit. Then the shoe thief and his fiance came over, and brought their 2 dogs…and neither of them thought too much of the poor shmans. She just wants to play, for real that’s all.

But one dog who can’t get enough of Tansy is my brother’s dog Zoey, the little tiny reason for me to start training with the whistle. This dog is suuuper small. Tansy could pick her up and fire her across the room if she wanted to. And this dog will not leave Tans alone. She’s a perpetual motion machine, in her face, running under her, being a total goofball. They both seem to enjoy it, I think. I’ve never let them both play freely because I’m afraid that Tansy might forget how big she is and turn Zoey into a projectile. plus, we’re always in a house, and I always worry they’ll both get crazy and accidentally break something. Some day, I’d like to let them loose in a fenced area, and see how it would go. I want them to have fun, but I don’t want to see little zoey get hurt. She’s sooo smaaaall!

I did see Tansy get frustrated with Zoey once. We were home for Thanksgiving, and Tans and Zoey met for the first time. Poor Tansy, I had to keep her on leash all weekend because I was trying to manage their playing. Eventually, Tansy just wanted some peace and quiet. She started whining, so I took her out to pee. No, that wasn’t it. So, I asked her if she wanted to go to bed. She seemed to indicate this was the case. I let her off the leash to see where she would go, I think Zoey was outside at the moment. She started to walk towards bed, but made one stop to launch Zoey’s bed across the room. Then she continued to where I thought she would go. After I put the tiny bed back where it belonged, I couldn’t help but laugh. But that’s a new one, having a dog ask to go to bed.

On that Thanksgiving trip, I learned that Tansy isn’t the biggest fan of long trips. She will tolerate about 2 hours before getting a wee bit restless. She can do it, but it’s not her favourite.

I always knew every dog was different, but seeing examples of it always drive the point home. Take the cuzz ball for example. Trix never really cared for it, but she never cared to fetch things. If you threw it, you should go get it. But Tansy loves Trix’s Cuzz ball…it’s crazy. I think, in another life, Tansy was a baseball player. She will slide down the hall after it, leap up and grab it, and catch that ball out of the air. And when she does, she growls at it. It’s the greatest thing ever. She also loves to take it to bed with her. But don’t forget to put it away when you go to bed, or you might wake up with her squeaking that thing in your ear. Ow ow ow ow!

I’ve had it confirmed that Tansy barks when frustrated. I saw it first if I put her in the crate and then let in someone she knew, but I saw it one time when Steve was playing a game with her. He would go into the kitchen, a place that is off-limits for her, and then sort of call her. She got to the boundary, then stopped and let out this howl-bark noise. We laughed so hard and then told her she was a good girl for not going into the kitchen. Then we felt like jerks for making her so mad.

Ow…I caught Tansy’s tail in the door of a car. I only had that happen once with Trix, and that one wasn’t my fault, Steve’s grandpa shut the door for me but didn’t realize Trix’s tail wasn’t out of the way. But this time it was all my fault…and oh my god did Tansy scream. I will never ever do that again. Oh my my. But I give Tansy credit. Not only did she forgive me, she had no problem getting into a car at the end of that week, and kind of did a better job of protecting her own tail. Every time I see her tuck it in so much, I’m simultaneously proud of her for learning that and sorry that she had to. It’s a constant reminder of how I screwed up. At least I don’t think she blames me or the cars.

One thing I’ve learned about Tansy that isn’t so flattering is the little brat is a bully! Brad offered Trix a treat, and Tansy stole it! Trix had one and dropped it, and Tansy pounced on it! That’s just evil, picking on the old, slow, blind dog. Gees Tans.

she’s also stubborn in weird ways. She went through a phase where I would say come, and she would be lying on her bed, and she would just look up at me but not move. That has thankfully gotten a lot better, and she only does that now when she knows boots are involved.

I’ve talked about reworking errors with dogs. Well, I do believe that Tansy made me rework an error. There’s this complicated lab parking lot that used to be super hard for us to traverse. Well, thanks to the captain, I crossed it a lot, and Tansy and I figured out some tricks we can use to get safely to our spot. Well, once, I missed one of the turns, and got pretty lost. Tansy knew it, because she turned around, and before I knew it, we were at the starting point again. That was probably the best and smartest thing we could have done. I laughed and was blown away that she took the initiative, and decided “I don’t want to screw around in this parking lot…let’s just try this from scratch.

Let’s wrap this one up with a funny thing a little kid said to me. Steve and I were waiting to catch a bus to Cambridge. A little kid and his mother were also waiting for the bus. The mom explained to the kid what a guide dog was and why you shouldn’t pet them while they’re working. The kid paused, and then said “Doggie, you’re my hero.” I thought that was the cutest thing I’ve heard in a long time.

And that does it for another round. I have one more and then I’ll be pretty much caught up.

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