Dog trains man

Monday, February 1, 2016

Wizard Update From Susanne: Rico the Neighbor Lover

For the fans of Hovawart Wizard Susanne and her boys Rico and Mammoet, today a brand new update about the illustrious trio.

I also told Susanne she really has to start a blog of her own so she can share these stories more frequently, but I couldn't convince her. What do you think?


This morning me and the boys went for our morning walk through our neighborhood. It is all newly built and they are still constantly adding new houses. So right behind our street there are a number of fields which are still open and vacant.

I like to take the boys there because it’s so nice and quiet and they just love running around over the open fields, through the puddles...

So this morning we went there again and they were being their normal silly selves.

As we turned the corner to walk around one of the fields and along a quiet road, we came across a woman on a three wheeled bike. I have to add, that we are living in a very special neighborhood. It’s a happy mixture of “normal” houses and houses for mentally and sometimes also physically disabled people. I have to say that in my life I have had much worse neighbors. These neighbors are almost always happy and up for a chat. And especially Rico, our “little one”, just loves them! Unfortunately he expresses his love in a typical quiet, polite, Hovi way (eheemmm). So that means usually breaking free from me (when not leashed), running over there and jumping around them unbelievably happy. Luckily about 95% of them love animals and dogs and it only brings a smile on their face. The trick is then to get Rico back, especially when they’re walking on. But well... The joys of owning a Hovawart...

Mammoet likes them too and finds them to be very interesting. However he is generally much better behaved than Rico and stops and comes when I tell him to. And also often I get the impression that he finds them a bit suspicious and mainly wants to go check them out to make sure they’re okay. And if he has any concern starts barking. For Rico the word “concern” is a totally foreign word! :D

But well, deviating from my story here.. ;)

So we came across the lady on the three wheeled bike. I had Rico already by the collar, because I had seen her coming. Mammoet however was still happily walking in front of me, sniffing here and there.

He noticed the woman and moved towards her a bit, investigating, still very happy. I told him to walk on. Unfortunately I used the word I normally use when doing agility or something similarly exciting, so he didn’t walk on, but got even more exciting and walked partly back to me, partly in circles and partly further towards the woman. So when he approached her, half happily saying hallo, half ready to bark, I finally said a firm “Mammoet NO!” and he left her alone and went his way. The woman totally relaxed and wishing us a good morning as she passed by. Oh by the way, meanwhile Rico was on my side jumping, standing on his hind legs and grumbling/barking a bit in excitement and frustration because he couldn’t get to her. But well, what else is new!!!

So when the woman had passed I turned Rico loose and we walked on. They said hello to the deer that are living there in an enclosure, even though I got the feeling that Rico very curiously staring at them (as always) didn’t come across as the friendly “hello there, friends!” I am sure it was intended as!

So as we completed our round and began to walk in between the houses again and past a playground, I called my Hovis, which responded directly, gave them a treat and told them to walk right next to me. They immediately went to their usual sides, Mammoet at the right, Rico at the left side of me (I have more strength on my left side, in case I have to quickly grab him).

So we were walking along a stone path in between the houses, doing a few tricks, all went lovely. Then we reached the street again, where also one of the houses is, where the disabled people live. I saw that there was a caregiver who had just exited the building and was unlocking her bike. I didn’t think much of it and we were just about to turn left to walk home, away from the lady, when she began merrily and loudly talking to someone inside the house to say goodbye…. I got a bad feeling but I was too slow. The second I looked over there and was about to grab hold of the dogs, or at least Rico, I already saw Rico bolting, jumping the small hedge, wagging his tail as if it was some kind of propeller that was about to come off, and jumping around this lady, who had just been talking so happily!! I was of course calling him, telling him to stop and come, but well, of course my poor Rico couldn’t hear me because his head was filled with excitement of greeting this lovely lady. Then my heart stopped… The door to the house is a big glass, automatically opening and closing sliding door. And apparently someone was still standing quite close behind it. So Rico thought: Hei!! Another friend!! And ran inside the building and disappeared...

I whistled and called his name and to my big big relief a few second later he reappeared, equally happy and went on saying hello to the caretaker again, who was still standing in front of the doors. Luckily the doors hadn’t closed on him!! I called him and he came… Ran past me, turned around and made his way back to the lady. I pretended to take the ball out of my pocket and called him again, and finally he came running full speed, made a sliding-stop that any racing-horse would have been jealous about, and stopped right in front of my feet, threw his butt to the ground and looked at me with biiig big Hovi eyes! So I grabbed him and gave him a treat.

All the time I had been holding Mammoet by the collar beside me, who was watching everything that was going on with big interest and excitement. And of course, being a true Hovi, the second I let go of him to grab Rico and give him a treat (I needed both hands for that, for I was really not planning on letting go of Rico again any time soon!!) he turned and also started running towards the house, wanting to have a look what all the fuzz was about!! But I quickly called him back and he stopped and came. And that is exactly the difference between Rico and Mammoet! Rico probably hears me, but thinks:  Yeah yeah mum, I will come, really, I just have to have a look see first here and then when I’m done, I will come. And Mammoet thinks: Oh mum calls, too bad, but I have to go back now. Who knows, she might have a treat or even the ball ready for me!!

So when I had the boys back the caregiver drove away on her bike. By the way having a very wide smile on her face the whole time!! I apologized as she passed by and said that Rico just had too much joy in live. And she replied: Oh well it’s really no problem at all! Better like this than the other way around! And drove away, still smiling.

The rest of the way home I held on to Rico, just to be sure, until we were back in our garden with the gate locked.


Hovawart Wizards, like Susanne, 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.

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