Friday, December 25, 2009

Mutt Tusslin'!

The Loki Mutt has been abusing his older brothers lately. His method of operation in attack has been to collide with the elderly dogs and run away before they could recover. My elbow has been out for since August so I haven’t been able to play with Lucas like he needs to be played with, and neither Bert nor Sam give him a good workout. It was time to test out the elbow, and show the puppy he didn’t land in an old folk’s home after all.
Lucas also likes to rear up on his hind legs and swat Bert and Sam with his front paws while they aren’t looking. This is great fun, at least to Loki, but the older dogs snap at him when he does it. I decided the Alpha mutt needed to put in an appearance. We were out in the back acre, which is covered with leaves right now, and when Loki stood up to pounce on Bert, I dove headlong into him. I felt my shoulder hit him squarely in the chest, and it knocked him backwards. Before he could recover, I jumped on his back (putting no weight on him) and began growling and pulling his collar. Of course, the Loki Mutt was totally stunned into inactivity for about .0001 seconds, and he began to try to escape, and fight back. We rolled around in the leaves, and I taught him a few things about Opposable Thumb Theory, and why pulling away from some who has grabbed you isn’t always a good idea. Running forward when your front leg is being grabbed from behind will cause a puppy Lucas to fall into a pile of leaves, if done correctly. Moreover, the leaping up and swatting technique needs improvement if the Alpha mutt grabs the Loki Mutt and lifts him off the ground, and dumps him on his back.

Bert and Sam helped. The three of us kept him hemmed into a small space, and every time Lucas would try his body block maneuver on Bert or Sam, I would tackle him. Sam can still roll him pretty good, but neither of the older canines can pin him like I can, and Lucas discovered speed means zero when you’re lying on your back. When I did let him up, and he did get away, Sam would roll him so I could get him again. We played this game in the woods for a couple of hours, until Lucas was panting like, well, a dog.

The downside to this is Bert wanted to tussle with me the way we used to play, when he was a puppy, but he can’t. He’s over ten years old, and his shoulder gives him fits, so Bert is reduced to growling and snarling as if he’s playing, but not doing very much other than grabbing at my hands. I play along, and let him push me a bit, and the other two dogs seem to realize this is more ritual than anything else, but it’s still sad. Bert and I used to roll around in the yard like we were trying to kill one another. Loki seems to get the general idea, but he needs to understand there are limits, and when I tell him stop, no, or if I say ow, that means he’s going too far. Ow means you’re playing too rough, and there were a few times Loki got popped for biting hard. I let him accelerate the play to whatever level he can stand it, but he has to know I can hurt him far worse than he can hurt me. Lucas also has to understand he isn’t allow to play too hard with his older brothers. Bert can still chew on his ears, but outside Lucas has more room to run, and I don’t think he understand how much mass he’s got. Mass, and its relationship to force, has been better explained to him after this afternoon.
I needed a full body workout and playing with Lucas gave him all I wanted and more, too. He’s getting heavy, and he’s fast, too. The dog learns very quickly as to what I’m going to do before I do it, because of the position I put my body. Bert learned like that, and I wonder if Luke is going to be as much fun. So far, it’s been pretty good for us both, but I am going to be very sore tomorrow. Right now Lucas is on the floor and out like a light.
I’m kinda tired myself.

Take Care,
Mike

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