Jul 18, 2008

One great ball, three great dogs

Hennessey thinks that keep-away is the best game EVER and is really, really, realllllly good at it. When he absolutely has to, meaning that I've managed to either do a treat exchange for the ball, or waited him out as he gaily prances by me over and over with The Ball of the Day in his mouth as he gets closer and closer to me, knowing perfectly well that I won't grab for it, he finally drops it in front of me, then sit as he's been taught, and wait for me to throw it for him again. A real prankster, but if you don't know his game, he'll pass by you just close enough so you think you can grab it from him. You can't. Just try. Or he'll drop it and pretend he's interested in something else to tempt you to believe that he's lost interest and you can walk over casually to him to pick up the ball. Oh, no. He'll wait until you get just soooo close and then grab it and dash away. One has to laugh. Funny, delightful boy.

Who else loves this ball? Roxie, that's who.
She actually retreives for a treat exchange. Nice - she learned that one pretty quickly as she swerved on a dime, ball in mouth, to see what my outstretched hand held for her. Beautifully built, lavish with affection, and a glutton for belly rubs, Roxie is truly poetry in motion. She had a particularly hard time being kenneled, so we hope it's a good thing that she was redeemed yesterday by her owner. Have a great life, Roxie girl.

Then what about Cui? What is a Cui? Hard to tell, but when a standard Poodle has not been groomed for eight months, this is a horrific look at neglect. When he arrived at GADAB, he was frightened, undersocialized, and young - he is eight months old. We do know that he was kept in a small space, not walked or exercised. Was he ever groomed? We don't know. It was hard to feel anything but mats on this guy. But, the amazing resilience we see over and over again with our dogs has surfaced in Cui, and he is absolutely delighted to be in a world that he had no idea existed.

Still head shy, we are playing Treats Rain from the Sky with him so he'll learn that hands mean good things are coming to him, and I've tossed the favored ball up in the air and he actually lifted his head UP to try to grab the ball. I playbow, he play bows - he loves to run with me, his docked tail is now waving happily as we play and it seems that he wants to do everything that I show him. We're going as slow as we need to with him; he still startles easily, but with time, it looks like this special guy will enjoy life to its absolute fullest. And oh, yeah, he had to be pretty much completely shaved and underneath that rug of hair is an obviously unused body - no muscle tone. But how much better must he feel.

Was it Billy Crystal in his Fernando Lamas persona who said something like, "Dahling', listen to me, in order to feel mahvelous, one must look mahvelous". Cui is both now - devilishly handsome and feelin' mahvelous!

Written by Corinne Dowling

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