Dog trains man

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Emil of The Woods

His name is Emil of The Woods. Can you remember him? He was one of Kenzo's, and is Tilde's, best friend. He will be one of the main characters of the book I am writing. Like Tilde, also Emil is an "of The Woods", and no, they are not family.

Emil was visiting us a couple of weeks ago on the West-coast. We hadn't seen him in a while after we moved away from Copenhagen. I remember the first day we met like it was yesterday because of the way in which Kenzo and Emil said their first hello and clinched their friendship. After exchanging a short sniff, Emil looked at Dina, his caretaker, and Kenzo looked at me, as if they both simultaneously signaled "he is alright". No rough playing, no macho drama. We went for a walk and they both pretended they had been doing that together for ages.

Emil had a talent for staying out of trouble. Which probably helped him getting out of The Woods in the first place. He knew he could relax around Kenzo, his older and wiser buddy would not make it difficult for him. They quickly forged a bond. Over the years, Emil became more confident. They made a great pair. Two big blond Hovawart males, the master and his apprentice. Kenzo was once sending a message to a neighboring dog in a holiday rental who was being cocky. A strategic positioned pee accompanied by some serious scratching of the earth. All while looking the neighboring dog straight in the eyes. Who ofcourse, had to react. Emil jumped right in front of Kenzo to send his message too. Kenzo was not alone you hear!

As soon as Emil arrived from Copenhagen, we went for a walk in Kenzo's valley. Every time we visit, it feels special. This time, even more so, seeing Emil walking in the footsteps of his old buddy. Tilde was her usual excited self when Emil is around. Zerline just darted around. Not sure how to behave herself around this big male, she decide to just act silly.

I feel privileged to witness Emil's growth over time. Kenzo only played a little part in it, but I am glad he did. Now it is Emil's turn, to help Zerline and others do their own growing. Emil has always been good with other dogs. He is capable to function with dogs of all ages and personalities. He has a long line of friends who come for a stay-over or to spend the holidays away from their family. From dogs to rescued chipmunks, Emil welcomes all in his Hotel of The Woods.

We reached the last sand dune before the beach. A treacherous steep slope is hiding just behind the top. When Zerline was a puppy she rushed to the top only to discover how the ground suddenly disappeared under her paws and she tumbled down 50 feet to the bottom of the sand dune. I stopped to tell Dina, "Behind the top of the hill..." my sentence was interrupted by Emil rushing forward and before we could warn him, he too disappeared and tumbled down the slope. We rushed to the edge, afraid he had hurt himself, but judging the grin on his face he was fine. He looked up at us with big eyes, trying to figure out what happened and how he could make it back to Dina. He still is a puppy at heart. And definitely out of the woods.


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