Monthly Archives: August 2013

We’ve come a long way

We took Spencer to Fluggenhofsee today, a lake with a dog beach about a 30 minute drive from here.  He was an absolute dream for the most part.  Pulled like a steam train but I was expecting that since he’d had the excitement of a car ride, the excitement of a new place and the excitement of hubby being with us all on top of each other.  Other than that though his behaviour was about as good as I could wish for.  He recalled when asked, didn’t go wandering too far off, didn’t really bother about other dogs unless they approached us and was polite when they did.  He said hello politely to an obviously intact male French Bulldog (I swear this dogs balls were bigger than its head!) but once it was clear the dog didn’t want to play with him he went and found his tennis ball again and resumed playing fetch in the lake.  He completely ignored the other Frenchie who was clearly frightened of him.  Then a little mixed breed bitch came along and I managed to let the German owner know that Spen was friendly even if I did refer to him as an it rather than a he lol.  They had a play for about 5 minutes then the other dog and owner moved on and Spen went back to playing fetch.

When I look back it’s kinda hard to believe he’s the same dog.  He used to be utterly obsessed with other dogs and would have gone flying up the hill to see these dogs while they were still on the path 12 months ago.  Today he was happy enough to wait until they came over to us.   He didn’t try to follow them when they left either which he certainly would have done at one point.  Nor did he really bother about the dog we passed on leash on the way home.  There was no lunging, screeching, spinning or barking, just a bit of a whine.  And once we’d passed it he lost interest and I felt confident enough to let him off leash again.  He didn’t go charging back the way we’d come to introduce himself.  He was responsive to us when we wanted him to do something.  Not as responsive as he is to me on walks locally but again, new area and hubby was with us.  I had no fears letting him off leash.  Well, no fears except for him possibly swimming off never to be seen again lol.

It’s days like this when I really realise just how much he’s improved.  And it’s days and walks like this that I really, really missed with Rupert.  This is the sort of day out I used to have with Shadow and Wolf down at the river.  Just chilled out and not having to worry about managing an aggressive dog around dogs other people couldn’t or wouldn’t control.  I’d have loved to have been able to take Rupert somewhere like this but somehow I don’t think it would have been anywhere near the enjoyable few hours out it was with Spencer.

And now for pics.  I took lots and lots of them but I won’t post them all here lol.  A lot of them were taken using the 10 photos in a few seconds mode on my camera anyway so are very similar to each other.


Watching to see where the ball lands.IMG_0457


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I don’t think he liked the sand all over his ball, every time he dropped it he’d scratch at it, roll it around a bit and eventually pick it up with a grimace and shake his head.


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In the car ready to come home again.


As you can see, he had fun! 🙂  Just wish I’d taken a change of clothes so I could have gone in with him, I had to make do with paddling lol. Hopefully we will go there again at some point.  And hopefully I will find somewhere for him to swim that I can get him to without having to rely on someone driving me there and back.

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Needless panic

Spencer had a bit of an incident with another dog.  I won’t call it an attack because it wasn’t.  It was more a case of two dogs really not liking each other and having a fight.  No damage done as far as I’m aware but it seemed more than the usual noise and slobber handbags type scrap.  Had we not separated them quickly I think it may well have escalated to more.  Hubby got caught on the hand splitting them up but not badly, didn’t even break the skin so obviously no real intent on either side.   The dogs had met a couple of times previously and although not best buddies they’d been okay.  A bit of noise and slobber the first time but nothing that made me think they’d have problems in future.  There was no apparent trigger for the scrap, both dogs were off leash and just flew at each other.  Just one of those things I think, I guess they can’t get on with every dog they meet any more than we get on with every person we meet.

But I spent all last night and most of this morning worrying that Spencer was now going to be just like Rupert and attempt to destroy pretty much any dog he encountered.  A bit of a stupid worry really considering Spen has always been fairly confident with other dogs and although intolerant of rude behaviour from strange dogs he’s generally friendly and even his telling off a rude dog is done appropriately.  But when you’ve been there, done that it’s hard to think rationally.  Rupert only became aggressive after several attacks by other dogs, a couple with intent to harm but most just the usual bully boy type “attacks” that are all noise and no intent.

Being a Sunday today we had the sled dog meet we go to each week.  Now that was a daunting event given my worries.  But I had a feeling that Spen would be perfectly fine and it’s me who’s likely to have the problem so I set my alarm last night and dragged myself out of bed and to the field where the meet is held.  Being rather pathetic I found my heart racing and I was shaking as I walked across the field.  Some of the dogs saw us and began to make their way over so I stopped and let Spen off leash.  He knows the dogs after all, gets on with them and at least if he’s off leash I can’t panic, tighten it and transmit my “oh my god he’s going to attack them” vibes down it.  He took off with his friends over to where the other owners were.  Then I spotted a new dog.  Oh god.  Spen approached it in his usual way, his tail wagging and his “hi, want to be friends?” body language though and all was perfectly fine.  He didn’t even seem to feel the need to hump this new dog which is something I do have to watch for.

Then a dog he kept taking exception to last week arrived.  More “oh my god” moments for me (yes, I’m pathetic, I know) but this week she was his new second best buddy (I don’t think anyone will take Willows place) and instead of grumping about her rude behaviour today he took it all as invitations to play and had a blast with her.   It seems rude behaviour is acceptable once he actually knows them.  Or at least to some extent anyway, he still takes exception to some things and I can’t say I blame him.

So my worries were all completely unfounded and stupid which deep down I knew anyway.  He has not turned into an aggressive dog because of one incident.  He’s still the same playful, slightly annoying, wants to be friends with everyone Labrador he always was.  People keep telling me I need to remember that he’s not Rupert.  But while I know he’s not Rupert it’s still difficult to over come some of the worries I had with Rupe.  Like simply letting him off leash.  It’s taken nearly 18 months for me to be comfortable letting Spen off leash, how long is it going to take me to get over worrying about him becoming dog aggressive because him and another dog have had a scrap?  And I bet I still panic the next time we see a strange dog when I’m out on my own with him.

Well, I think that’s enough of a pity party from me.  I have no new pics to post or anything.  Well done if you even made it this far lol.

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