Dog trains man

Friday, September 19, 2014

The "Shitbag" Checklist

If you have been reading Jan's Chickenshit post, well, Tilde wasn't finished with us yet. And this time, she was caught on camera.

I was looking forward to the weekend, and also to meet Emil in person - as Jan mentioned in her post, we were spending a weekend with friends we know for quite a while from FB - I always followed Emil's story on Dina's FB page, and watched him grow from a shy and insecure puppy mill dog, into a happy and thriving Hovawart.

I hoped the dogs could find out of it together during the weekend, although there wasn't much to worry about I guessed. Kenzo connects well when treated politely, and Tilde ... well, she would probably be all over Emil with kisses and wiggles.

I was in for a surprise.

First we met our friends and Emil without Kenzo and Tilde, many of whom we would meet face to face for the very first time. It was such a thrill to meet them in real life, Dina, Jan, and Thomas. A little later, when we finished our initial greetings while out eating lunch, I picked up Kenzo and Tilde, and it was time for them to do the rounds, dogs first, people second. Kenzo and Emil did the kick-off.

Sniffing and peeing to the left and right, dog body language at work...

The final check sniff...

"Yup, that dude is cool, dad!"

We took the boys for a short walk. It was as uneventful as their first greeting. They did great. Last but not least, Emil impressed me, he did everything exactly right. Now it was Tilde's turn.

As expected. Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, kiss, kiss...

Meanwhile, Tilde's bodyguard experienced some anxiety, watching his little sister meet this good looking Hovie boy, with no ability to intervene if events would unfold into the wrong direction.

"Hello! Who is looking out for my little sister?! My lead is stuck on something!"

"It seems to work out. But I better keep an eye on that blond dude myself as nobody seems to care."

"That blond dude is taking her for a walk now! This is turning into a nightmare..."

My friends later baptized Kenzo with a new nickname, "the General", due to his obsessive need to oversee and monitor not just Tilde, but all interactions and events, either canine or human. And if necessary, correct any anomalies.

And finally on return from the last walk, all three, with Dina as dog whisperer

So far so good. Everybody had meet each other and all was fine, and we went into the garden of the cottage rental to let the dogs play a little. Tilde was flirting with Emil, and everything looked alright, when suddenly, it happened.

My sweet, adorable, and affectionate Tilde, dropped her angel disguise, and turned into a Gremlin within a split-second - please do enlarge the photo by clicking on it:

The photo, although blurry, catches the moment by sheer luck. Emil's sweet character must have given her enough confidence that she could get away with bullying him without getting hurt, or get a huge no-bullying-allowed lesson in return.

Later in the evening and the next morning she persisted in her attempts. She would put up her charm and come on to Emil, with the sweetest face she could muster, wiggling all-over for some kisses, and as soon as Emil made the slightest move, the Gremlin was growling right in his face. Imagine someone offering you a cookie, and slam the lid on your fingers, if you took one. Emil was at a loss. He must have wondered how to stop the Gremlin, without getting into trouble, as for each of Tilde's growls, a dark shadow started to rise from whatever corner "the General" was resting in, and he certainly didn't want to draw his attention.

Luckily, one of the advantages of being together with other - knowledgeable - dog people, Tilde's attempts were quickly recognized and nobody freaked out about it. Instead, we could all help Emil together by stopping Tilde in her tracks, although we all couldn't resist to laugh about her, for the unruly and exuberant character she is, and the perfection with which she made her Jeckell & Hyde performance act.

Jan and Thomas, famous for labeling their Hovawarts River and Cooper on FB as "Shitbags" - due to their unruly nature and long careers of mischief, of the dogs that is - were wondering if Tilde wanted to make a shot at the title too. Tilde's counter-surfing, jumping up, mouthing, etc. further supported her dubious ambitions in that direction.

During the next day, it was Emil himself to draw the final line in the sand. We went on a long beach walk and therefore left "the General" back at the cottage because of his injury, the dogs were playful, and Emil told her this time, enough is enough. Tilde, slightly surprised with this turn of events, looked like a kid caught with her hand in the cookie jar. Her respect for Emil returned, the Gremlin was tucked away, and she learned her lesson.

With order restored, Emil and Tilde could now seal their relationship with some Hovawart beach fun. Well done, Emil !

And as for Tilde, she continued with other equally harmless endeavors instead, involving a lot of chicken feathers, which makes me wonder, if she actually keeps some kind of "Shitbag" checklist. I wouldn't be surprised if she did.


Thank you for the photos, Thomas and Jan - and for your sense of humor, Dina too.

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