Dog trains man

Friday, October 21, 2016

You Get The Hovawart You Want

"Tilde!" A handful of sand hit me on the back of my head, and I felt it seeping down my neck where it changed the inside of my jacket's color into a piece of sandpaper. I reached out for Tilde, who was digging a sandpit behind me, when the next salvo hit my outreached hand and the sand continued its path up my sleeve.

The days of enjoying the serenity of a Summer sunset on the beach are over. Back in the days with Kenzo and Viva, they both lied calmly beside me on the beach. My hand stroking their backs. It was mindfulness as nature intended.

I smiled. Although I miss those days with Kenzo and Viva, I embrace life and how Tilde has changed it. The serenity of the beach at sunset has been changed into a playground with no limits. She has no ambition to sit or lay still. There are seagulls to hunt and crabs to scavenge, maybe make a new dog friend and wiggle through the legs of some new people she'll meet. Sitting down is not in her dictionary. They're is too much to do, too many options.

I throw my jacket some feet away and ask her to go to it. Her curiosity is easily aroused and she soon discovers we're playing a new game when every time she steps on the jacket, I throw a treat some yards in the opposite direction. Within minutes she races to the jacket over and over again, makes a small jump just in front of it to land with both her front feet on the jacket simultaneously as if it was a treat dispenser, "I get it! I get it!". When I am out of treats the game ends, and she starts to dig a new pit, this time covering the jacket in sand. At least, I am sitting too far away now for the sand to reach me.

I enjoy her creativity and endless energy. Her independent character, when she puts her own needs before mine. Unintentionally, she also reminds me of the good memories I have with Kenzo and Viva, as they were so different than Tilde. The old saying goes "you get the dog you need" and maybe that is why Tilde found me. Constantly cheering me up, making me laugh with her daily dose of mischief. I needed that.

You get the dog you need is maybe true, but I also think you get the dog you want. They are the product of nature, but nurture too, and I could very well go the extra mile with Tilde, teach her also to be calm when we chase sunsets. And not just with sunsets, but teach her other things too like Kenzo and Viva once did. But I don't. I am reluctant, afraid that if I would push it too far, I will cross some invisible boundary, and smolder her precious creativity and free spirit. Tilde would no longer be Tilde without it.

Tilde being Tilde, does give some challenges when we are out and about. Many people enjoy her because they see a energetic, playful, free and happy dog. A dog that loves people too. Yet we also have the occasional critic, who just sees an obnoxious dog with an irresponsible owner. They see Tilde through a filter, they compare her with the image of the dog they would have wanted.

It makes me sad and I feel hurt on Tilde's behalf when that happens, and I second-guess myself if I am doing the right thing. But then on the other hand, maybe these critics don't recognize a dog which is in balance and harmony with herself and her owner, when they see one. Tilde doesn't let me dwell for too long though when that happens. She has me cheered up in no time, reminding me she is the dog I want.


  1. Your words ring so true. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. A very timely reminder to all of us dog owners out there.


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