Thursday, January 24, 2013

Snowy Socialization

So we had about an inch of snow stick last night. It's wicked cold, so it didn't melt when it reached the ground or streets. While Kona has seen snow before, this was a bit more of a "real" snowfall (stayed around a while, more powder than slush, etc.). He had a grand time when I let him out this morning.

Later, a neighbor brought their dog, Tucker over. Tucker is a large black lab mix (probably close to 80 lbs.) and plays pretty rough. Kona's first experience with Tucker was when he visited our neighbor's yard to play, and Tucker spent most of the time knocking down and pinning Kona.

= < Fun for our favorite cur.

So this time, Kona's over a year and the play date was on his turf. There were the normal raised hackles and barking when they first saw each other (both on leash), but eventually they calmed down enough to play. The pattern was similar, with a lot of aggressive play by Tucker, but Kona figured something out pretty quick: He can outrun and outmaneuver Tucker!

What followed was several minutes of Tucker chasing Kona, but losing several steps on him when Kona would turn on a dime and sprint the other way. At one point, Kona leapt OVER Tucker. It was pretty hilarious, and I extremely annoyed I didn't have at least the phone out to get some of this footage. He had his jacket on, though, which I think helped him last longer in the cold.

Basically a lot of this.

By the end, Kona was chasing Tucker a bit too, so I guess once the initial crazed energy was burnt through, they could play a bit less aggressively. In the end, Kona was one tired pup. Which is, IMHO, a very good thing.

Monday, January 14, 2013 Play! PLAYPLAYPLAY!!

So Kona had an interesting weekend. He got to take a car ride to my mother's house (≈20 miles), which he handled like A BOSS! He was more freaked out before the car ride because things weren't following the normal routine for us leaving the house (e.g. I got a treat ready, like I do for his crate, but then I got out his leash). Once we were on the road, he was fine. I'm going to need to come up with a more secure option for future rides though (he was just on a blanket in the back of the van).

Once we arrived at my mother's I took him out and around to the fenced back yard. When he saw my mom's springer spaniel 8mo puppy, Beau, Kona got very nervous (hackles up, growling and lunging). So we backed things up a bit. Beau went inside and we let Kona off leash in the yard. He ran off some tension, then Winnie (my mother's 14 yo female springer) came out. Winnie is older and grumpy, so when Kona got in her face a bit with the whole "alert nose touch" thing, Winnie growled and snapped once. Kona learned it was her yard pretty fast and the hackles started going down.

Then Beau was brought out again. There was a moment or two of hesitant sniffing, then they ignored each other for a minute or two, THEN they started tearing around the yard in circles chasing each other.  Kona got to fall in the goldfish pond, which apparently was a treat.

Socialization/Play Date = success.

Kona and Beau, or "Bona" as they are now referred to. Would NOT stop playing with each other. Winnie was enjoying herself, but tired of it quickly and left the lunacy to younger pups. We actually had to separate them because they were exhausting themselves (I think it was a demented game of chicken where neither would admit to the other he was wiped out).

At the end of the day, I think the two of them had removed every ya-ya they had and burned through them. Kona slept the whole car ride home.

New best day ever for Kona? Hard to say, but it's definitely in the –ahaha– running.

BFFs: Best Fools Forever?

A tiny sample of their day.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

In the Pink

I mentioned his nose getting pinker? Well, E managed to snap a pic of him and send it along.



Pretty dramatic change, I thought.

The big one-point-oh

Kona is a year now, as near as we can figure. Based on DAWG's records from the shelter, etc., he was born in late December or early January. So, for simplicity, we're using New Years Day as his birthday. We do the same thing for Moose (our cat). The difference being he's nineteen now.

Kona's working on a new trick, "Over." He basically jumping hurdles. You can see him bounding like a gazelle over the simple log setup in the back yard.

On a different note, Kona's nose is turning pink. I remember Zeke's doing the same as he got older, but this is happening sooner and faster than that. From what I've read, it's not uncommon in some dogs for their noses to pinken in cold weather, then return to black in spring. Who knew?? (I tried to get a decent close up of his shnozz, but he isn't great about staying still.)