From “At home with the dogs of kona’s touch” series celebrating
APDT’s Train Your Dog Month and winner, best social media campaign
It can happen in all families if we don’t pay attention. The sick kid starts to get all the attention and the other kids get a little goofy. In a multi-dog family it’s important to make sure all of the canine’s needs are met, MOST of the time. All of the time would be awesome, however all is a hard word to apply all of the time.
It’s so important to make sure that we give Kaiya and Lhotse’ quality time and keep their normal life as normal as possible while we prepare for Little Star’s surgery next week. We have been out with Star for three hours, twice in the last week and while that doesn’t seem like a long time for most dog dogs, for Kaiya it is an eternity. We must counter that alone time with special fun things to keep her stress level from escalating. Fortunately, that’s not only an easy task, but it’s often a fun afternoon in the woods, in the park or the baseball field. Yesterday at the park was a very fun time for Kaiya and a very special time for me.
As you may know already, I am a baseball fanatic, whether it be playing or watching, I’m all over the game 24/7. I’m telling you this because I think it’s important that our canine best friends benefit from what makes us happy. I try to incorporate some form of my favorite activities into their lives as is appropriate. Kona, Bo and I played fetch as often as we could. With Kaiya, who’s not much of a fetcher, we run bases. On our walks, I like to incorporate some fun activity, to keep things exciting and keep the dogs using their minds. Being a dog mom and trainer is so easy if we just use what we have and share our knowledge and joy. So when we arrived at the field yesterday for our regular base running and toboggan hill climbing it was no different than any other winter play session. The field was covered with snow and we made new footprints as we entered. When we run bases in the snow we run where we think the bases are. Kaiya’s been running bases for 6 years and I, well, for a very long time.
We started where Home Plate should have been and began to jog around the bases. Usually I ask Kaiya to “paw” each base and she slaps the bases as we pass.
In the snow we just trot around where the base are. Before scoring the winning run, I usually give her one more “Paws” cue and she slaps Home Plate and gets a treat. I’ve thought chewing tobacco but the ASPCA may frown on that, so she gets an awesome high value treat and we collect our breath together. Yesterday Kaiya was on a long leash and when we got to the Home plate area, I said “good job girl” and gave her a treat.
I turned toward the fence, heard a noise and turned around just in time to see Kaiya digging in the snow looking for Home Plate. I was elated. She not only found it, but when she did she slapped her front paw on that base and looked up at me as if to say, “Mom, you gotta touch the base before the ump calls you safe.” I couldn’t have been prouder if my human child had just graduated from Harvard. I would imagine my joy somehow may have helped with Kaiya’s joy. That’s why I think it’s important if we can find some compatible fun together and run with it, so to speak.
It was one of our finest moments together and I will never forget my little shortstop digging through the snow until she touched Home plate.
What an awesome home run.
What an awesome dog.