Archive for March 27th, 2009

Since I got Mischa he has changed a little. Get me right: he is still the super sweet dog he always was. But he is also developing traits that are more dog-like.

I may have mentioned that it took me two weeks of steady playing and tug-of-wars to get him to growl, and he looked somewhat confused at the noise he emmitted. His usual noise is groaning which seems to be his way of getting attention. Steady, long groaning. And when you look over at him he rolls over on his back pulling his paws up in a sort of squirrel look. Obviously demanding a tummy tickle or ten.

Mischa and his "little sister" Knickers who lives with Karin. He was sort of both mummy and daddy for her, and now she behaves like an irritating teenager whenever we meet her, poking him endlessly until he tears her head off.

Mischa and his "little sister" Knickers who lives with Karin. He was sort of both mummy and daddy for her, and now she behaves like an irritating teenager whenever we meet her, poking him endlessly until he tears her head off.

The first time he barked was a real surprise to both him and me. It happened in the midst of play and he was clearly carried away by the speed of things.

When I first heard him howl I realised what a nice voice he has. He joined in with the sirens of the Sonderkommando of the police whose sirens are a little deeper than the ambulances and regular police cars. Not only did he join in, he aped the up-and-down tune rather well. That a group of street cleaners were totally wetting themselves laughing at him was neither here nor there — he had done his duty as a distant wolf and answered the call of the wild.

But more has happened. As I said, he is as sweet as they come, harmless, as most would call him. And that worried me a little. Not because I want a dog that might harm, but because he refuses to defend himself. And so, a month ago, he was rather badly bitten by another dog (Mischa gets so very enthusiastic when he meets other dogs, and this one really didn’t like that). And the bite got infected and Mischa got really quite ill, with diarrhoea and vomit and a very swollen wound. The good thing is that he is easy to treat and let me shave the wound and put a compress with vinegar on it to draw out the infection, held in place with a small, tight t-shirt… I think he felt a little silly but he put up with it. And Louise had coal tablets after Max, so we treated his diarrhoea with that. He took about a week to recover and is as enthusiastic about other dogs as ever. And still whimpers and runs the other way when attacked. And wouldn’t dream of lifting as much as a paw against another dog.

Well. That was up until yesterday.

I took him for a long walk to a park where a lot of people take their dogs, and he loves running from dog to dog getting to know them all. Then he ignores the ones he finds boring, usually medium sized slightly older males, snarls a little at the younger males and humps the females as much as he can. But he is not particularly fond of confrontation and will normally back off when faced with noisy or aggressive dogs.

Recently Louise has noticed a change in this. Now he will give the noisy ones a real telling off when he’s had enough. He breaks up scuffles between the other dogs by throwing himself bodily in the middle. He is like a doggy police officer — “behave! or else!” No wonder he occasionally gets bitten.

One thing he has never shown any sign of, though, is jealousy. He’s always been happy to share his toys and me as if he wasn’t totally sure we were his in the first place. That is, until he got The Wonder Toy, a ball on a rope. Louise gave it to him, and he adores both her and the toy and wants to take both everywhere. Whenever I take him for a walk he nudges me and looks imploringly at her door as we leave — “is Louise coming too?” Because that would be Christmas and ice cream and dried pig’s ears all at the same time!

Mischa with The Wonder Toy

Mischa with The Wonder Toy

Yesterday he had only me and The Wonder Toy. And once he had sniffed the other dogs and come to the conclusion that they were either dull or too fast for him, we played and played with that toy. And then a super-friendly white Boxer butted in and wanted to play. Which he did. And Mischa let him. At first. Then Mischa evidently started to think that there was something not quite right about that white thing butting in like that. So he started placing himself between me and the Boxer, pushing him out of the way. The Boxer was a little dim-witted and did not take the hint but happily threw himself in all sorts of directions around both me and Mischa while snapping for the Toy.

And then it happened.

Mischa had enough. He actually got angry and totally went for the oafish white creature, growling, barking and chasing. And snapping. And then he came back to me with the Toy and a look of complete ownership over both me and Toy.

And I realised that now, now I really am his and he mine. And no white Boxer is ever going to break us apart.


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