Dog trains man

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Comforting Tiger

When we arrived at our cottage on the West-coast during Christmas Day, Tilde jumped out of the car full of anticipation. She rushed inside and quickly examined all the rooms while she was barking with a high pitched voice, "I'm here, I'm here!". She returned to the hallway when she found out the house was empty, and I let her outside again so she could scout the surroundings, which didn't took her very long either.

Her original excitement disappeared again, as soon as she realized Kenzo wasn't in our cottage either. I went with her on a long walk right away, so she could swallow her disappointment and in a second, she was already off towards the horizon again, romping around, sniffing, generally having a great time, and on the lookout for mischief opportunities. Just Tilde, being Tilde.

My little girl, only a couple of weeks away of official adulthood, has done a lot of growing up. She hasn't changed towards dogs and people, and she can take care of herself now. Although, she is still afraid of the dark, and doesn't like to go out after the sun has set. Something I forgot, because we would always do our evening walks together with Kenzo, and I thought she had outgrown it.

Tilde simply loves the undivided attention she now gets of her humans. She can now snuggle on the sofa with us without having to worry Kenzo would steal any of our attention. Which he always did, in a way you might not expect. We keep all their toys in a big bucket so they can always go and get a toy if they would like to play. When Kenzo needed attention he would pick out a tug-of-war rope and show it to Tilde, and she was torn between the choice to continue to snuggle or to steal the rope from Kenzo. Kenzo always won. That is, in getting Tilde to steal the rope from him and give up her snuggle time.

When Tilde was digging in the bucket for a toy I expected her to come with a rope but to my surprise she took an old forgotten toy from the bucket. It was a, formerly stuffed, tiger. We tried stuffed toys with Tilde before, but she usually ripped them apart in a matter of minutes and the tiger quickly shared the fate of the stuffed toys before him. This particular toy only had its head stuffed, the rest of the body was just an empty cloth with a squeaky toy, and after Tilde had "killed" it some months ago, I removed what Tilde had left behind of the stuffing and threw the tiger in the bucket.

She ignored my invite for a tug-of-war when I reached for the tiger in her mouth. Tilde had other plans. She took the tiger up in the sofa, started to gently bite it and lick the skin. After a couple of minutes she lied it down in front of her and rested her head on it. The tiger had become her comfort toy, her security blanket.

Tilde never done that before with a toy, or even with a blanket. But since Boxing day, she picks up the tiger every single day for some snuggle alone time on the sofa.


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Posted by Kenzo the Hovawart on Friday, January 8, 2016
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