Friday, September 17, 2010

Who's the Smarter One Then?


My dog Ansa is a rescue. We've been together over 5 years now. She was in rough shape when she found me. Skinny, fur falling out, underfed on bread only, never walked and tied up for most of her life up to the point she arrived.

It took nearly two years for her to bond with me. And I remember the moment. I was walking her on leash - as she would run away if off leash - up a hill and she stopped and looked behind at me and then sat down with her eyes on my face. From that moment on she obeyed all commands and I could walk with her off leash and give her the run of the property without fear of her running away. Her intelligence and overall happiness captivates even strangers. She is by far the brightest dog I've ever had and obedient to a fault.

Her only truculence has come at night and I've put it down to a battle of wills.

I say to her: "Time for bed, Ansa" and she skulks off to my office while I go upstairs.

I call her from upstairs:

"Come to bed, Ansa" and it takes some very harsh words to get her to come upstairs, slowly and reluctantly.

If I leave her downstairs, she comes up an hour later and scratches at my door which is both disturbing and annoying.

She pulled this routine the other night when it suddenly dawned on me that the command "bed" meant her bed in my office. Well triple "duh" me! No wonder the dog was completely baffled and what I had put down to a streak of stubbornness was actually obedience.

Now I use the word "Upstairs, Ansa" when I am going to bed at night and she bounds up the stairs instantly.

I'm a bit slow, but her training of me is getting there.

17 comments:

  1. So wonderful that she has left her miserable origins behind her and become such a happy dog. And good that she's managing to train you out of your careless commands.

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  2. Oops, left out my URL there. It looks like I need some training too.

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  3. I love a shaggy dog story. My dogs are rescue dogs too and don't they show their gratitude.

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  4. I think you and Ansa are well matched.

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  5. OH , and i think she is an absolute beauty!!

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  6. Took me two years too until I figured out what my dog was expecting of me. I often wondered why she would shake her head and sigh so often when trying to get me to obey! :-)

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  7. my niece found a little black pug in the middle of the road. with fur falling out, starving. She had obviously been in a puppy mill and after having many litters, just tossed out.
    She is the most loving little thing and never leaves my niece's side.

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  8. I'm a pacifist to my core ... but when I read of animals who have been used and abused, I wish I had a gun and could handle it. You and Ansa sound like a match made in heaven.

    Why do you bother to close your bedroom door at night? Old habits dying hard?

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  9. It takes most of us a while to realize we are the dumb animals on this planet, although there's lots of evidence.

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  10. What a sweetheart Ansa is!

    Imagine what she'd be saying if she could write a doggy blog:
    "I love my mistress very much. Humans, or most of 'em, are our best friends guys. But hey - don't expect too much show of intelligence too soon. Train train train - show 'em who's in charge."

    ;-)

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  11. Our dogs know best, don't they, WWW? All we have to do is pay attention and not assume that we know everything.

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  12. Sometimes, it's just not that easy to think like a dog.

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  13. What a delightful telling! My own dog, Chester, gone over 20 years now, often despaired of ever getting me to understand what he was trying to convey. You could see it in his eyes and in the slight shrug he used to give with his massive shoulders, as if to say, "May as well do as she says. Maybe someday she'll learn."

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  14. Awwww. I'm sure you'll get there in the end ;- )

    What an amazing job you've done with her though. You have definitely been her guardian angel, however slow! Lx

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