Dog trains man

Monday, December 31, 2012

What You Liked Best About Kenzo In 2012

On this last day of the year we want to celebrate some of the posts you liked best on this blog during the year.

Thank you for stopping by Kenzo and Viva's blog in 2012 and making us laugh, think and feel supported by all the encouraging comments you left behind.

We hope you keep coming back in the new year.

The posts you selected as the best by reading, sharing, and commenting the most, are - ordered by popularity:

1. Pet Friendly Travel Outcasts. Based on our encounter with a fellow outcast, and why us outcasts should enjoy traveling with our fearful dog too.

2. Victims of a Hovawart Puppy Mill. This horrible Hovawart puppy mill is still in business. Some of the victims tell about their experiences. 

3. Why the Hovawart Must Never Become Popular. Popularity comes with a high prize, and I wonder if it is not best for our Hovies, to remain hidden in obscurity.

4. Open letter to Mette Gjerskov. The letter I wrote to the Danish Minister of Agriculture and Animal Welfare. I got a response the discriminatory breed laws will be looked upon, but nothing like that has happened yet.

5. The Forgotten Hovawarts. A dive into the breed history of the Hovawart. I particularly like this one to be among the ones you liked the best, it is a subject I find fascinating.

6. Wizards Kelsey and Nolan, and their Hovawart, Ethanah. Written by Hovawart newbies Kelsey & Nolan, and an awesome kick-off for the Hovawart School of Witchcraft & Wizardry series.

7. There Is a Time to Think and a Time to Act. Sharing Kenzo's temperament test and trying to understand him a little better, is probably also what I like to do best.

8. The Cat Behind The Dog Blog. How the legacy of a cat sparked the birth of Kenzo's, and now also Viva's, blog about dogs.

9. The Fearful Dog Therapist Strikes Again. One of those zen moments with Kenzo and how he interacts with other dogs.

10. A Week Under The Wings of a Guardian Angel. This is my personal favorite. Getting to learn Kenzo better - even after 5 years - and a milestone for how our bond has grown.

That's it, are some of your favorites among the ones on the list? Have a Happy New Hovie Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hovawart TV: Hovie Fairy Tale

Winter, puppies, Hovawarts. Pinch me, is this heaven?


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Tree Confession

It was a while ago since Kenzo joined me at work in our Danish office. As I had no appointments that day, and only boring paper work to look forward to, I imagined it would be a perfect opportunity to bring Kenzo with me once again. We could take some breaks playing in the snow and add some fun to a day that otherwise had a very pale outlook.

The reception area of the office building was ornamented with a Christmas tree, positioned right by the entrance door in an attempt to add some seasonal inspiration to the armies of office workers passing through each day.

While wrestling with two computer bags over my shoulders and Kenzo's leash in one hand, I opened the front door. Two people approached, and in an empathic moment, I stood still and kept the door open for them, while we exchanged good morning hello's with a smile. Love that about Denmark, where people are so polite, and you even greet complete strangers in the mornings and afternoons. It gives such a good start of the day.

Continuing into the hall, the leash suddenly tensed. I looked back in surprise, as Kenzo usually just follows me, and what I saw next made my heart skip a beat. Kenzo stood by the Christmas tree, with one leg lifted, his sprinkler system already in the "on" position. I jerked the leash in some kind of automatic emergency response my brain fired into my right arm - sorry Kenzo - to interrupt the image that now is imprinted in my memory forever.

Nobody else was in the entrance hall, which softened the total embarrassment of the moment a little. I quickly dropped off Kenzo in our office and returned with some cleaning agents. My mind was working overtime. He never did that before. It was so easy to teach him as a pup that a Christmas tree in the house doesn't mean he just acquired an inside potty service. I was baffled.

When we went for our first walk, I kept Kenzo on my side that was opposite to the Christmas tree just in case. I knew that for a dog, no cleaning agent in the world could have covered up the odor, and it would have been a magnet to Kenzo despite my cleaning attempts. Two men were standing beside the Christmas tree, looking at two small puddles. That can't be, I thought, I just cleaned it.

"Some bastard just let his dog pee on the tree", one of the men said. "Really?", I replied cowardly, realizing that other office dogs had of course picked up the smell, and every male dog now passing by the tree, went on a mission to drop off their own business card. "You couldn't do that, could you?" the man said smiling to Kenzo. "Eh ... no ... nee", I stuttered. I felt a glow rushing up to my cheeks, something I hadn't felt since high-school. I am such a bad liar.

The man, still looking at Kenzo, concluded, "You are a good boy". We really had to move on now, as this was becoming too embarrassing, but that meant making a risky pass of the Christmas tree. This time with a full bladder. And the men would also see the letters G.U.I.L.T.Y. that someone must have painted on my back in the meanwhile. Taking a deep breath, a leap of faith, and three steps later, we made it passed the tree. Kenzo The Merciful didn't punish my dishonesty. "You are, you absolutely are, a good boy", I whispered to my partner in crime.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wizards Marc and Cheryl, and their Hovawart, Kaspar

I am very excited to introduce you to some very exotic Hovawart Wizards, Marc and Cheryl!

I first met them through Facebook as they stood out from the "usual" Hovawart crowd, because of the place they live: Bangkok, Thailand. Truly a Hovawart family in paradise.

Thank you for participating in the Hovawart School of Witchcraft & Wizardry!

Hovawart Wizards: We are Marc and Cheryl, and live with our three boys, Andrew, Jonathan and Matt, in Bangkok, Thailand.

Hovawart: Kaspar is our Hovawart, and luckily for Kaspar our family lives just outside Bangkok in an area where there is plenty of space for him to run free. There are birds to chase, other dogs to play with and various sized monitor lizards from 2 feet to 8 feet! It is very hot in Bangok, but Kaspar finds cool places in the crosswind, and can usually be found in any air conditioned room. Kaspar was born in May 2009 and is an unneutered male.

Marc spends lots of time through his job visiting farms around the world. While in Germany a few times, he came across farms with Hovawarts and really liked these dogs. he mentioned this to one of his German colleagues and due to German efficiency, the next thing we knew Kaspar was in Frankfurt waiting for his flight to Bangkok. He arrived when he was 5 months old. He is now 35kg and very active.

Kaspar is an excellent family dog. He likes being around us. Although he is quite big, he is very quiet. He only barks if someone is at the front gate or walking too close to the front gate. We have a swimming pool but he prefers the dirty canal and has only jumped into the pool once. Sometimes he will sit on the step at the edge of the pool so only his feet are wet.

He likes to wrestle with Marc and loves being brushed and tickled by Andrew. Although Kaspar is rarely leashed, he keeps close to us during his walks and will generally listen to our calls to heel. We notice that as Kaspar gets older he is more interested in being with us and less interested in chasing other animals around.

Kaspar has been on holiday with us to the beach. We enjoy having him with us, but it is a challenge because there are many stray dogs in Thailand, and the culture of having pets inside is not present. However we have found some hotels that allow us to have him with us. At the beach Kaspar likes to sit at the edge of the water. He finds spots under shady trees and most of all he likes being with us. 

If we go away and leave Kaspar with someone he does not know, he will not eat until we get back.  Recently we went on a trip to a national park and only realized once we got there that a new regulation meant no pets were allowed in the national park (which was an island about 2 hours away by speedboat).  We had to leave Kaspar on the mainland with someone he did not know at all. The carer told us that on the first day when she took him for his walk, he broke free and found a spot near our car. He did not move for 2 days, did not drink water or eat any food.  At the other end we were also worried and cut our island holiday short so we could retrieve him.

That was an eventful holiday – we drove down the road to Phuket (about 3 hours) and the next day we were on the top of the mountain waiting out the tsunami warning. Kaspar met another Hovawart at the top of that mountain. He was a black dog about 10 years old. His owner was a German long-time resident of Phuket.  We heard that during the Tsunami recovery in 1996, Hovawarts were flown in to find people in the debris. I would really like to know if somebody reading this could confirm if that was the case?

We like Kaspar because he is intelligent, loyal and protective. He treats each member of the family different, based on their age. We figure that on his list we rank in this order: Marc, Cheryl, Andrew because he spends lots of time with Kaspar, Sita (our maid) because she looks after him a lot, then Matthew the littlest and Jonathan.  Marc encourages Kaspar to jump up and kiss up, but Kaspar never jumps up on little Matt and is always calm and gentle with him.

Kaspar's daily routine looks like this: he wakes up around 5am and goes for a 5 - 7 km run with Cheryl. It is cooler in the early morning while it is still dark. On his run Kaspar greets his other friends, sometimes has a play and is home about 40 minutes later. He runs free without a leash because the compound is enclosed and there is not very much traffic. There are many fields and little canals that he gambols through. The rest of the day is meant for relaxation.

Kaspar eats some breakfast (dry dog food) and then spends most of his day sitting near Cheryl (or in any aircon room if available!) or catching the crosswind by the front door. He gets another walk in the mid afternoon after 3:00. The children come home from school starting at 3:30 and Kaspar is there for a jump, pat and a lick. Kaspar has dinner after the family at 6:30 pm. For dinner he has meat with carrots, greens and rice specially prepared for him. Between 7 and 9 he goes for his last walk of the day. Our house has quite a big garden, so he is free to roam around during the day. Sometimes if he is eager to see his friend he will jump over the back wall (only about 2 feet) and sneak out. But he is soon back and waits patiently for someone to open the front gate.


Hovawart Wizards, like Marc and Cheryl, try to provide real life information for Muggles - those not yet touched by the Hovawart's magic - to learn more about Hovawarts in the Hovawart School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. A place where Muggles can read how we play, what kind of training and activities we undertake. What makes Hovawarts special to us, and how they made us into Wizards. The role they came to play in our lives. And the hard times we shared. Helping Muggles to make the best choice possible if a Hovawart could be the Magical Creature for them, or at least what to expect.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig