When I was a puppy, I apparently was rather stubborn. Gretchen says that when she grabbed the leash to take me on a walk, I’d run the other way and bark my head off. She’d wait patiently, but I’d make my way around the house barking my high-pitched bark refusing to come anywhere near the leash. One time, in fact, she sat on the floor with her back to me and waited for me to come to her. I barked, she claims, for 43 minutes until I finally tucked my tail, bowed my head, and walked toward her.
I have no memory of any of this, though every once in awhile I am possessed by some unknown demon that forces me to refuse to come inside when I’ve been in the backyard. I bark then, too, but only on occasion. When Gretchen (or Ann, for that matter) tells me come in with that stern voice, I come in albeit reluctantly. And there are times when I refuse to eat my food. Other dog owners find this hard to believe and so too do my dog friends because I get to eat some pretty delicious stuff — venison, duck, trout, and even wild salmon. I’m not sure why I’m stubborn about my food, but I am. I’ll eat eventually, but apparently not in a timely manner that appeases my mothers.
So I’ll admit, I have a stubborn streak, but don’t all dogs?
No, says Gretchen, not like mine.
So today we started our dog day with Ollie and I’d be hard pressed to find anything stubborn about Ollie’s behavior.
Except today. Today it was kind of misty rain and like always, Gretchen had a dog coat (my evil red one that I’m too stubborn to wear) that she normally puts on Ollie. He never makes a fuss about it, but today, after she suited him up and put his new harness over the coat, Ollie refused to move. He wouldn’t budge. He just stood there like his feet where fence posts stuck deep into the ground.
We tried to figure out what was wrong, but Ollie is a man of little words. He stood silent with a pained look on his face. Gretchen checked the coat to make sure the Velcro wasn’t pulling on his curls. She checked the harness to make sure it was cinched up too tight. Nothing. He just wouldn’t move.
So we took off the coat, put the harness back on and what do you know? He was Ollie again. Some people say that dogs can only think about one thing at a time. I don’t know if I agree with that, but apparently the coat AND the harness were just too much for Ollie to wrap his head around. Whatever it was, he was more than happy to play in the misty rain so we headed to the tennis courts for wonderful game of fetch and chase.
When we got Ollie back home, we rubbed him down with a towel, which he greatly appreciated before he ran back into his house to warm up.
See, even Ollie can be stubborn.
Next, Gretchen took me home so I could eat the breakfast I’d refused to eat in the morning (yes, I ate it all up!) while Gretchen headed over to pick up Rosie. By then, the rain was fading, but just to be safe, Gretchen put on Rosie’s coat…or what she thought was Rosie’s coat. It actually happened to be Tyson’s. It still fit, but it was a tight fit and while Rosie has her stubborn moments, the wrong coat didn’t stop her in her tracks.
Other things do though. Rosie doesn’t like it when others walk behind her. She stops, turns around, and stares at oncoming people traffic. Gretchen does her best to keep her moving forward by waving her favorite dog treats in front of her just out of reach. And if there’s a dog who’s coming toward Rosie, well the same thing happens — she stops and stares and waits.
Gretchen says she’s not nearly as stubborn as I am. Perhaps. But what I like about today’s photos of Rosie is that she looks like a fallen leaf in that yellow coat, doesn’t she?
They made their way back home without Rosie stopping, staring, or waiting. She was happy to move along leaving he stubbornness in her wake and when she got home, her Dad was there, which made Rosie dance the happy dance like only she can!
Maybe she was just happy to get that yellow coat off of her. It was a bit tight. Gretchen won’t make that mistake again!
Still, the yellow coat really did make her look like a leaf!
A big leaf, but a leaf nonetheless.
“At least she’s not so stubborn she won’t put on the coat,” was Gretchen’s retort.
She has a point.
On the way back to our house, Gretchen picked up Gemma. Now, let’s talk about stubborn. Granted, Gemma’s a terrier, which means she certainly is bred to be stubborn, but unlike most terriers, Gemma is very happy-go-lucky about her stubbornness. For instance, when Gretchen got to Gemma’s house, she was sitting on the back porch staring at a squirrel on the fence. Not barking at it, not chasing it, not charging at it to get it off the fence — just transfixed in a stare.
Is that stubborn? I think so. Or maybe it’s patient. Still, a walk with Gemma is sprinkled with moments of Gemma’s stubbornness. In fact, it’s kind of a maze to get her out on her walk. There’s the dog next door that she has to bark at, the dogs across the street she has to woof at, the German Shepard at the corner she waits to see before she barks and the tiny mixed breed who sits in the front window of its house just waiting for Gemma can send Gemma into a spinning frenzy of stubbornness. “No,” she protests, “I will not keep walking. I must bark at these dogs. I must!”
Gemma and I played a bit in the backyard where she stubbornly pushed her back end into me over and over until I finally gave in and tackled her. Then we went for a walk, where Gretchen had to bait her into looking at the camera and not at the trees across the way for the possibility of a squirrel.
Once Gemma went home, we went to pick up Bella. Bella was very happy to see us and asked if we could play at the tennis courts before we went for a walk. So off we went with Bella stubbornly trying to race ahead in hopes that we’d get there faster. We eventually got there and boy did we have fun!
We both chased balls, but then Bella got into chasing me while carrying her own ball around. It didn’t matter because the point was for us to run and run we did…around and around and around until finally, Bella laid down and said, “That was great! Let’s go for a walk now!”
So they walked me back home and then up through the neighborhoods back to Bella’s house where Bella did her own version of the happy dance because her Mom was home early from work.
Finally, Gretchen picked up Saber who has grown so big in the past few weeks it’s just silly. Normally, I’d say that Saber doesn’t have a stubborn bone in his body, but sometimes he can be stubbornly persistent about wanting to play with me. But Gretchen wanted me to rest a bit more so she took Saber to the tennis courts by himself. Was he stubborn about playing? Only a little bit, but then he played and with the wild abandon of a puppy.
A 52 pound puppy, but a puppy nonetheless.
Wait? He weighs 52 pounds? He’s only 5 months old, right? How can he weigh so much?
Oh yeah, he’s not stubborn about eating his breakfast. Got it!
The only hint of stubbornness he showed was when Gretchen said it was time to leave. He didn’t want to go, but when she told him they were coming back to my house to pick me up, Saber about leaped out of his skin!
(Okay, he was just shaking his head in this photo and Gretchen had to laugh at how it turned out!)
Saber and I went for a walk down to the school where we got to play a bit with our student friend. By the time Saber got home, he should have been worn out, but was he? No, no, no! He was too stubborn to be tired. Instead, he raced around his house doing his puppy rendition of the happy dance because his Mom was working from home! What a lucky dog.
It was a good day today. I’m tired, but I also lost some of my stubborn streak by eating my dinner without any coaxing. I guess that means I’m growing up!