Dog trains man

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Life Changed


I open my eyes and have a peek around me from under the covers. No wonder I am feeling so warm. Tilde is laying curled up between my legs and Zerline is laying fully stretched out on my side. I feel her warm breath blowing in my neck.

I sleep a lot. Ever since that day in the beginning of October where I survived a heart attack and they performed a PCI on me. With a lot I really mean a lot. I sleep most of the day. The heart took a hit, it functions only on one third of its former capacity. It will get better in time though, the docters told me.

Ofcourse I had to learn the hard way. On day one after leaving the hospital I went for a walk with the girls only to quickly find myself out of breath. My former body could push on, the new one couldn't, it just got dizzy and failed. It was a new reality. Life had changed. Not being able to walk the dogs was a shock, a crippling reality.

I had no other choice than to adjust. So did the girls. They quickly followed this new routine of sleeping a lot. I actually think they liked the fact I was joining them in all the naps they take during the day. We found a solution for our beach trips too.

We take the car and drive to a beach 15 km south of her where cars are allowed on the beach. I drive to a spot where we can be alone and there I just let them out. I shuffle a little through the sand in a pathetic pace, but the girls grab the opportunity to rough-house with each other, chase seagulls and scavenge for crabs. When we return to the car they feel fulfilled.

Later on the day I make one more trip. We mostly make some fun and do some tricks, I couldn't even measure it in miles. But we have to be patient, better times are around the corner. I hope we can at least do a 5 km walk again soon.
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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Where Did My Puppy Go?


What happened to that innocent little creature I picked up at Schiphol airport three months ago? That tiny fur-ball, who fell asleep while I held her fragile body in my arms, snoring with satisfaction. That small dependent baby dog, who studied me endlessly with her big brown eyes.
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Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Dog's Summer


"Tilde No!". Too late. Tilde jumped the fence and was out of sight, chasing the bunny on full speed. That'll be the end of this particular fence solution I thought.
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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Conversations With A Hovawart #5: Puppy Class


"Can we have a word?"

Oh no, I thought, not the union again. Zerline could read my mind.
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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Rabbit Feet And Jackass Wings


Zerline is thoroughly discovering her disproportionate growing legs. She is trying them out on a daily basis to mark her latest top speed and if she can keep up with Tilde already.
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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Zerline's Family Tree, Beyond The Berlin Wall


The long-time readers of this blog will have guessed this post was right around the corner. I researched Zerline's roots, like I did with Kenzo and Tilde.
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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Fake Shepherds


"OMG. She feels so soft!" I hear that a lot. "Will it last?" some ask too.
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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Shaping Memories


We're well passed three months now. At this age, Zerline reminds me a lot about Kenzo. We first got him home when he was about the age Zerline is now.
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Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Wild Bunch


Today I tried to take a walk alone with Tilde. Being just the two of us would allow for a longer walk and, with all the time which goes into puppy Zerline, she would appreciate some alone quality time with me.
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Monday, July 31, 2017

Hovawart TV: Zerline The Surfer


It was an impressive sight for Zerline. The first time we went to the beach she dared to go up all the way to the shoreline to have a closer look at all that boiling water and listen to the waves roar.
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Friday, July 28, 2017

Hovawart TV: Digging A Team


When you dig as a team you can get deeper and move more sand when you work together. Trying to own the pit won't give any progress, and practicing dry breaststroke swims in it won't either. To dig, in itself, is the goal. Tilde seems to get that. But can she teach puppy Zerline to dig in the same direction?
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Monday, July 24, 2017

Report From Puppy World


We are almost through the first month of puppy-hood in the blink of an eye. Zerline is 11 weeks old today. She has done a lot of growing. Her legs in particular seem to explode and lift her still fragile body higher and higher up into the air.
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Friday, July 21, 2017

Conversations With A Hovawart #4: The Union


"Can we have a word?"

Zerline looked serious. Those big brown puppy eyes told me she had something important to share. I laid down my camera and reporters notebook, both overheated from puppy adventures, to give her my full attention.
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"Dit Is Een Goed Stel, Hoor"


It's a sentence each Dutch person recognizes. Spoken by the sports commentator Theo Reitsma as he observed the Dutch national soccer team celebrate their win in the final of the European Soccer Cup in 1988. There is nothing profound about it. It simply means "This is a good team, for sure."
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Monday, July 17, 2017

Summer Socialization With A Twist


In the middle of Summer all the rentals are occupied. Although I enjoy the emptiness of the West-coast during Winter, the tourists bring a special vacation atmosphere with them I have come to appreciate. People are happy and wear smiles, they have time and are not busy, or try their best not to be.
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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Bold and Bolder


It was the moment I had been waiting for. The moment in which I could witness Tilde and Zerline to truly connect. To find each other, enjoy each other's company while forging a bond on the road that leads to a true friendship.
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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Rediscovering Beauty


The rapidly swelling buzz of hundreds of bird wings made me look up in the air. A flock of Starlings made a fly-over that low, I could have touched them if I would have reached my hand out. Tilde took a sprint after them. Jumping, barking, like a crazed jack-in-a-box. Zerline, who was sitting down, looked up in amazement. Her gaze followed the birds until they disappeared over the horizon. She was mesmerized.
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Monday, July 10, 2017

Breaking: Copenhagen Is Secured


Zerline took one look around the premises and knew it. This new place they call her home wasn't up to Hovawart standards at all. It was lacking some essential features. How could she keep her family safe in a place with so many gaping security holes. Zerline wasted no time. There was Hovawart-work to do!
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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Tilde, Meet Zerline. Zerline, Meet The Wild Thing


The sight of Tilde coming around the corner caught Zerline's eye and immediately aroused her curiosity. She quickly trotted forward to meet that dog, who must have looked a lot like her mother Amber to her.
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Monday, June 26, 2017

Countdown To Zerline, Eight More Days


Atie sent me this photo of Zerline getting acquainted with the transport bag which will bring her from Holland to Denmark. The photo captured a moment which stood out from all the other cute puppy photos I received during the last couple of weeks. The photo captured Zerline making a symbolic first step on her path which will lead to us. It signaled how close we are to having her here. How close we are for everything to become real.
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