Dog trains man

Friday, June 22, 2018

Like Me, Like Me Not

With the last guests leaving in the coming weekend, a two and a half month streak of welcoming visitors is coming to an end. Apart from their incident, which both Tilde and Zerline luckily already seem to have forgotten, it was good to be around people again.

I was happy for the opportunity. Spending the Winter at the West-coast is always something I look forward to. Alone with two Hovawarts, exposed to the elements, there can go weeks before we meet another soul. It is refreshing. But I am not a hermit, I also look forward to the return of humanity during Spring. I can appreciate both settings. To have a leg in each world is good for me. Also for Tilde and Zerline. Tilde has always been outgoing and Zerline seems to go in her footsteps, although I was worried what being in such a desolate place would mean for her development.

We never planned to spent Winter this year at the West-coast. I wanted to get Zerline socialized with a more urban life as well. I hoped she could get acquainted with both worlds, one more rural and one more city-like. My accident and the delayed house sale spoiled those plans and we found ourselves stuck on the West-coast. While I experienced how we met fewer and fewer people when we were out, I started to worry about Zerline, who was still going through her socialization phase. I compensated with short trips to nearby towns as much as I could during those days, with the help of Merete. A bonus of all those trips was that Zerline started to love car-rides. She doesn't sleep, looks curiously out of the window, wondering where we would be going to during each trip.

The return of the tourists during Spring was therefore welcomed, as were the many friends and family we received. I could also see how Zerline had lost nothing of her appetite for people. On the contrary. She is happy for guests, almost too happy. She seems to think all those people are coming for her. But then again, sometimes they do so she isn't completely wrong there.

Zerline has that typical Hovawart-smartness, and quickly sniffs out which of our guests are used to Hovawarts and which are not. The first tend to set boundaries a bit sooner, knowing they would otherwise be overrun. The latter give a little more slack, despite my requests not to, until they discover that they have just become the latest Hovawart toy. But bullying unsuspected guests aside, she otherwise is a loving and cuddling hostess, if you earn it.

I almost thought I was in the clear and her development during Winter wasn't interrupted. Then adolescence started and Zerline decided it was time to start barking at everybody she meets. Ah well. Never a dull moment with a Hovawart Youngster.


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