Friday, February 1, 2013

Buster Posey... the Dog

How I would love to be super-regular-blogging-woman for my mere personal satisfaction, but alas, life happens, and the blog just sits.  But without further adue (and emotional anguish from distant relatives who want to hear what's going on), we introduce to you...

Buster the Dog

a.k.a. "Buster Posey" (according to Miles)

We got this little fella kind of last minute for the boys at Christmas time.  It was an entire family affair with Uncle Russ scouting out the little darling in Reno, a nice big Kennel for him compliments of Auntie Renee, Auntie Kassi and Uncle Ryan transporting him back to Humboldt with nice plush bed and bag of food.  What a fun family gift!

So this guy is a Labradoodle, heavy on the "oodle", and I tell ya, it is the only way to go.  My area rug sheds more onto the dog than the dog on the rug.  Actually, I've never found a hair of his anywhere but his hair brush, for that is what he has, wooly, soft, curly "hair", and I am truly not allergic to this fella.

Buster is now 4 months old, and I am going to admit something.  I had a few anxiety attacks when we first welcomed him home.  A puppy!  What were we thinking?!!  But this little guy is smart, and he is quickly learning not to chew the books on the shelf or the children and that bones are wonderful, squeaky toys are the best, fetch is fun, and walking without pulling the leash is the way to go.  We've been clicker training him, and he knows 'sit', 'down', 'bed', 'heel', 'drop it', 'leave it', 'load up', 'let's go', 'wait', and 'get it'.  And he has also figured out what 'go for a walk' means, the difference between his 'ball' and his 'bone', and that if he wants to steel food from the table, Miles is his best bet (ya, he's naughty sometimes, too).

The kids just love him, and he is game with all their antics.  Charlie and Miles are both getting an education in what is okay to 'do' to a dog (pet his back, throw him a ball, give him treats and hugs) and what is not (sit on him, pull his hair, play with his tail, etc, etc, etc!).  Lucky for them Buster could really care less what they do to him, and yet we are vigilent to set boundries (the vigilance is the hardest part I think).  Not sure every dog would appreciate having their cheeks grabbed and jiggled.  Calvin is my little training helper.  It is amazing to how much Calvin is taken with this animal... he is NOT our animal guy!  Or so I thought.  Clicker training is really just good old operant conditioning (minus the punishment aspect), and Calvin really gets how reinforcing desired behavior increases the behavior and that it is important to avoid reinforcing those naughty behaviors so they go away.  Calvin is so diligent that when he is playing fetch with Buster, Buster knows that if he wants Calvin to throw that toy he better sit calmly or it won't happen.  Sit = Get to chase the ball.  Smart Buster and smart Calvin.  Really, I'm not sure who is training who at times.  It is way fun to watch.  Besides taking an interest in training Buster, Calvin just wants to be with him, pet him, cuddle him, play with him.  I did not expect this!  It is a treat to be able to see Calvin get so much satisfaction out of his dog.

So anyway, that is our overdue news.  I think it took a few weeks adjustment for me to feel like we did a good thing (I felt like we should have been on a meals list like after you have a baby... it was just that crazy), but adjustment period now past (yet still on the Costco frozen section meal plan), we are blessed to be able to have good ol' Buster Posey with us.  I missed having a dog in my life.

Me and baby Charlie with my family's dog Maverick.  Irish Setter.  Wasn't he pretty?

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