On Letting Go

I’ve taken joy in watching Laika open up over the last four days. In that time, I took her from never having worn a leash and headcollar to walking politely and responsively. She had no prior training whatsoever, and yet by yesterday, she sat and came on command and was picking up the fundamentals of clicker training. She was beginning to understand that my leaving her sight did not constitute abandonment, and had become relaxed enough to goof around in the snow. Though not particularly motivated by food, I discovered that she will do just about anything for a kind word and a head rub; it was for those that she learned from me fastest and most enthusiastically. Continue reading

On Laika

Our new addition, the Afghani rescue dog, has now been with us for a full day. We settled on a name for her: Laika, after the Soviet space dog.

That’s the only thing, alas. Everything is new and strange for all three of us. She’s been uprooted twice in two weeks, and now has to adjust to being separated from her mother and sibs for the first time in her life on top of coming into a strange house with strange people and even stranger cats. Until yesterday, she had never been on a leash or encountered stairs. She’s like a puppy where training is concerned, but at least one that knows not to pee in the house, bite or jump. Her personality is laid back and gentle with a submissive streak, and she has a longer flight distance than a North American dog. Continue reading

On Cruelty, Compassion and Second Chances

Today, my partner and I are taking on a major commitment. We’re adopting a dog. This is not out of the blue; we’ve been discussing it for a few years now, but until recently circumstances have not been optimal for integrating one into our home. With me now working from home on my thesis, we agreed that this is the best time for it, but simply hadn’t found the right dog yet. Continue reading