Dog trains man

Saturday, September 10, 2011

It's The Environment Stupid

We rented a small house close-by last week's dog show. Honestly, how interesting can a 3½ hour drive and a dog show be for a dog? So the idea was to give Kenzo and Viva a little bit of extra quality time.

The show was in "Skærbæk". See the right of the map below. And we found a nice place on a small Danish island nearby, "Rømø". A 15 minute drive. We never visited Rømø before, and we did a lot of planning on how to make this work for Viva.

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Traveling with Viva is not easy. Her fear of new places and dogs in particular demands some additional planning. Like to make sure the view of the place we stay doesn't have a whole lot of people and dogs go by. Or to find places for walks that are equally undisturbed.

All our worries turned out to be in vain. The island was beautiful and you could walk and see in all directions without meeting people or dogs. And it quickly showed from the first minute we spent outside, how much Viva just loved this place.

The first thing we noticed her do, was her interest to spider the horizon. You could see miles away and it must have comfort her she could scout the country-side ahead and make sure we were as good as all alone.

When we were on the move, she was ahead of us all the time and made her own decisions as to what direction we should go. Yes, this is the same Viva that is always on my side. Or rear. As manipulative humans, we of course took advantage of the situation and let her walk up and down the sand dunes. A great work-out for Viva to strengthen her muscles in the fight against spondylosis.

Even when we had been hiking for more than 2 hours, she kept on going. Independent. And ahead of us at all times. And sometimes she hit the jackpot. A fresh pile of fox poo to role around in! Sorry there is no video of that, although I am glad I could retrace the spot where I dropped the camera every time she did that.

I have never seen Viva take to a new place like this before. As a matter of fact, she even liked it better than the places we usually have our walks. She told me loud and clear: "It's the environment, stupid!".


  1. Well I'm glad to see I had absolutely no reason to worry about Viva being neglected or ignored in the face of superstar Kenzo! As a second child -- you know, the one who gets no pictures taken of her once the novelty of the camera and babies wears off -- I'm very sensitive to that issue!

    Seriously, I'm glad Viva had a good time too. It looks like a wonderful place.

  2. Viva looks like she feels right at home there!

  3. @Edie
    Viva says thanks for keeping an eye out for her :)

  4. Hi. I found you on the Saturday Pet Blog Hop. Nice to meet you. Bongo

  5. @Kim
    It was a good lesson for us, we'll have to find more of these places so she can thrive :)

  6. That's great! Sounds like Viva has a deeper message for you perhaps?

  7. Viva looks happy and mellow. Her mouth is open and relaxed in the "happy pant" Heck - I would be loving it on that island, too! It looks like a lovely spot to have a vacation!!

  8. @Laura
    Nice to meet you Bongo :)

    ... and I received it loud and clear :)

    It was a lovely spot. I am sure we will return to the Danish west coast!

  9. What a wonderful gift to Viva. I loved how the video showed Viva leading the family. She came right back when you signalled to her and she'd look back frequently to make sure you were still along. It was a beautiful sight. And yes, she was certainly thriving.

    I hope you find other opportunities like this.

  10. How wonderful! I know that feeling all too well about new environments. Such a wonderful feeling watching them run and enjoy with fear or anxiousness, isn't. Just to be so free and happy.

  11. @Pamela
    Glad you liked the videos and noticed these things :)
    We don't have these opportunities anywhere close where we live I am afraid. There are beautiful places, but they have a lot of people and dogs present at all times. I am seriously thinking of getting an RV or some kind of transport so we can make long trips in the weekend.

  12. @24Paws
    Thanks :) It is indeed, and it happens for Viva way too less. Glad we experienced she CAN be relaxed on a walk.

  13. What a beautiful spot. I can see why she loved it so much. It must have been such a great feeling to watch her step out with such confidence. I hope you get more chances to see her like this in the future!

  14. That is wonderful that she took so well to a new place! She must of felt right at home! I love watching the boys enjoy new places, they are like a whole new dog!

  15. What a beautiful place to be!


  16. @Jen
    Viva hates new places, we are so glad we found the exception. She told us what she liked :)

    Yes, we all had a fantastic time, knowing Viva did so well :)

    It is, Denmark has some beautiful nature!

  17. Oh Leo! Just watching Viva you an tell how much she really loves the place. Is it possible she could look content and invigorated at the same time?
    Will you go back then? It looks like a lovely place. I have to think it restores the souls of dogs and humans alike (although I imagine the roll in fox poop was less than soul restoring. LOL!).

    To be honest, I'm kind of jealous. Daisy would have loved this place too.

  18. I'm tickled to hear you all had such a good time! Traveling with a fearful pup definitely takes more planning, but watching Viva play on the dunes must have made it all worth while. It's really something to see them relax and explore and enjoy being a dog.

  19. We already tweeted about this but now when I saw the place it makes it even more interesting. Hubby's training area, also known as "Jerry land" has a lot in common with this place. And it also has (and had) strange appeal to all our dogs.

    Specifically, they go out of their minds there. There is no other place they do that at. Doesn't look exciting to us at all. I don't think it is exciting. It seems that it just looks and feels safe enough to go out of one's mind there.

  20. Lovely. Curious, is Viva not trustworthy off lead or is one required in this area for real or imagined nature protection reasons?

  21. @Mel
    We sure will go back, or find a place with nature a lot like it.

    All the above :) and she also just been in season ...


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