Over the weekend we had friends over, something we haven’t done much since we got Cooper. Not that Cooper isn’t a social butterfly of love. He is! But between the Big Snip that had him “quitely” penned up for 2 weeks, the holidays and our own stupidbusy life, we haven’t been handing out the invites. That means, though, that Cooper hasn’t had nearly enough chances at working on politely greeting guests (instead of climbing up them like they’re human jungle gyms), which, in turn, makes me hesitant to have people over. While it could be a neverending cycle, I am lucky in that almost everyone who knows me knows that if they come over they will have to deal with some level of dog interaction. Now I never *allow* my dogs to act like wonton a$$hats but that doesn’t mean they won’t give it their best shot, especially if they think they can get away with it (and they always think they can get away with it!).
If you have dogs, especially big ones – because let’s face it, little dogs can get away with a ton more baddog behavior than a big dog – you know how tough it can be to have friends over until your big puppy has really absorbed the lessons from those etiquette courses. So Saturday night we invited friends over and I spent the first half-hour that everyone was here trying to keep Cooper with me, with ALL four paws on the floor, and basically anywhere but in everyone’s faces. He can reach faces. He’s a big puppy. A very BIG puppy. It was exhausting and rude to our friends, all of whom were so sweet, tolerant, understanding, and forgiving. I mean, they are dog people after all, they get it. All of this changed though when Tim arrived. Tim loves dogs and they loooooooove him. Cooper took one look at Tim and decided that to heck with living with us, he was ready to go live with this new guy. Tim, in return, doted on Cooper. It was a total mutual admiration society. They sat happy on the couch together like the best of friends. They even left a slice of space for Tim’s girlfriend, also a dog person, who was absolutely fine with the arrangement.
The upshot of this is everyone should have friends like Tim, who make the best of your badly-behaved big puppy and help you feel a little less guilty about not being uber diligent with the socialization training – and, who help you actually get some of that work done in the process. He also provided the super adorable video below… Thanks, Tim!
That’s Smiley! He’s 15 years old and was born without eyes. He’s going deaf but can still hear enough to get around off-lead on a walk. Smiley had a superrough start in life. Besides being blind, he lived his first two years at a puppy mill. He was rescued from that horrendous situation and adopted by a woman named Joanne George. She saw that Smiley was such a bright spirit to whom people were drawn that she got him certified as a therapy dog. George believes that Smiley’s greatest work is the time he spends with children, who get that Smiley is different and has challenges but doesn’t let that stop him from being happy and doing his best to make others happy, too.
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