Sunday, September 03, 2006

The American Response to Any Problem


Yes, in addition to researching and writing an article on my newfangled Zen-dog rituals, I'm taking P-dog shopping tomorrow for her new Therapy Dog backpack. B-dog already has one (vivid red with a white cross on the side--think Swiss Army Dog).

I purchased the backpack for B-dog as a way to add weight-resistance to our walks, to give him more exercise on days when I can't walk a whole hour with him. I noticed his demeanor changed immediately after donning the backpack. He didn't seem uncomfortable, just more cautious and attentive to me. Like he knows it's a uniform that signals a different kind of activity. He walked more slowly, at my side, and paid more attention to me--all things I'm supposed to be reinforcing. So I'm going to get a pack for P-dog also, even though I know she'll hate it. (She doesn't like outfits--not even bandanas.) My plan is to have them wear the packs for our Zen outings. We'll do regular strolls without the packs. The packs will reinforce the message that we're doing something different.

The packs might also make us seem less weird when we go to the dog park to follow the trainer's instructions: strolling on the perimeter without interacting. We'll look more like we're in training. Truthfully, I still want to train P-dog and maybe B-dog as well for therapy work, and P-dog is eligible to test for Therapy Dog certification now. So if people ask what we're doing I'll say "We're training to be a Therapy Dog" and not "We just got rejected from Camp Bow-wow."


Blogger aerobil said...

I shop for Belly and it's not even in response to a problem. She's got camo boots for the winter and a pumpkin top costume for halloween. A baseball hat for spring and a reindeer antlers for her work with Santa. Buy whatever dog gear you can from L.L. Bean--they've got a lifetime guarantee, so if anything happens to it, you get a new one forever! Love that.

5:12 PM  

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