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.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Finding Mr. Right

I was puzzled. We had just passed a group of road workers, and Tilde had done everything in her power to greet them. She just didn't let me pass by, pulling the leash, wiggling her body with her tail slashing from left to right. The men noticed, and one approached to reach out his arm for Tilde to sniff. Tilde made a slight hesitation, which I thought was odd considering all the trouble she went through to get closer, but then she went in to earn her cuddle.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sleeping Apart Together

The day after Tilde's arrival, we bought her a nice dog bed, an upgraded deluxe version of the one, Kenzo was already using for years. She was quite fond of it, and already on the same day, she claimed it as her own.

But sometimes, one bed, isn't enough. And at bedtime, she rushed ahead to pick her spot for the night. "Which dog bed do I, the princess, like to sleep in today?". Kenzo followed, and patiently waited for Tilde to make her choice, after which he trotted towards the remaining empty spot. Just before he could step in, a growling Tilde was rushing over to occupy it for him.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

That Guy With The German Shepherd Again

It might be hard to imagine there is a soul on this earth that doesn't like sweet, beautiful and popular Tilde.

"Our" - it is a long story - German Shepherd girl, is one of the few non-believers. Her name is Dina btw, and yes, I really have to get a photo of her.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Meanwhile, at the West-coast

Kenzo does, what Kenzo likes best:

The best Hovie is a tired, wet - and sandy - Hovawart.
But we are not finished yet, in the evenings, Viva joins:

Now we reached perfection. A bed full of sand.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Missing Hot Hovie

What do you do when it is hot. Swim as much as you can. Obvious.

And when home, find a cool place in the shades to observe the world.

Well done Viva.

Although obvious for Viva.
Kenzo can't sit still, and he rushes from whatever he is doing in the burning sun, to one of his cooling places.

Sometimes we can't find him and he goes missing.

Ah right, there he is. Charging up for the next dash.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Viva The Easter Bunny

Three years ago, on the day before Sheer Thursday and Easter, we brought Viva home with us from the shelter. Our Easter Bunny in disguise, complete with a basket of easter eggs. I can vividly remember each of the eggs she kept hidden for us in her basket during that day.

We discovered Viva was returned to the shelter by her former adopters on the Monday before Easter. I drove by the shelter later that day to have a look and hear more about her and her background. And of course, to express my interest. The shelter people thought it was best for Viva also to meet Kenzo to see if they could get along, and I got an appointment for coming Wednesday to bring Kenzo when the shelter's behavioral expert would also be there.

That Wednesday was the day before Sheer Thursday followed by Easter, which are all public holidays in Denmark, so I was slightly annoyed that would probably mean we could first get Viva home after Easter if it would work out. On the bright side, the selection process is there for a reason, and it would be best for Viva too, not to rush things. Still there was hope Wednesday we could finish the process.

On Wednesday the meet between Kenzo and Viva went excellent and we were invited into the office for the "formal" part of the adoption to answer what felt like a thousand questions. When I heard the shelter's director was not in - she would have to make the final decision - my last hope to make it before Easter melted down like snow in the sun. While answering the questions, my mind already started wandering off thinking about Viva, having to spend Easter in the shelter. My pondering was suddenly interrupted, when the interviewer stood up in the middle of the interview, and said she had to make a phone call.

Sitting alone in the room, me and my wife hardly talked, as we both in silence were trying to accept the situation as it was turning out. Not knowing that in a few seconds, we would both fall off our chairs, when the interviewer returned from her phone call, which turned out to be a call to the director on holiday, bringing the message they would be glad if we would like to adopt Viva. We could take her home with us already today. It was not normal procedure, but because everything looked so good, they wanted to make an exception. For Viva's sake.

The best highs are always the ones, that follow after the lowest of lows, so it took a moment before I could scramble all my brain cells to get used to the new reality while citing each Danish version of "yes, we would love to...", I could think of. My wife still insists to this day, I responded in my native Dutch language, without me realizing it.

Finishing up the last paper work, we finally reached the part in which we could pay the adoption fee and leave with Viva. But the Easter Bunny had one last easter egg still in her basket. The terminal of the shelter didn't accept my card. If my wife's stare could kill, I would have dropped dead on the floor that very moment. As she knows, it is not the first time my irresponsibility with financial matters put us in such a situation.

I rushed out to see if I could get the money from an ATM. And it was a slight relief to find out, after visiting the third ATM of different banks, clearly something was wrong with the ATM network and not with the color of my account. At least I could save face for the home-front, although now I had to fight the banks too to get Viva home.

Blessed with an account at an Internet bank - quite new in those days - I went home to pickup my laptop, and brought it with me to the shelter to make a wire transfer instead, which they approved as payment reading it from the screen. The whole visit to the shelter had taken three hours now, and we could finally leave with Viva to celebrate Easter and introduce her into her new home.

Kenzo and Viva made their first meet on what would be Kenzo's turf for the last day, and as you can see on the photo he was making his best impression of a peacock trying to impress this beautiful lady newcomer:

And soon after, they engaged in their first play. The Easter Bunny came home after all:


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Dogs Play Chess Too

With only one ball to play fetch, Kenzo and his pal Joska the Viszla, change their game of chase into a game of chess - who owns the one ball and how to hold on to it as long as possible.

The problem is though, when you hold on to the ball, it is difficult to greet others or have a sniff, or investigate all the goodies you find on a beach. And once released, the other chess opponent is never far away to steal "your" valuable item.

They think and develop strategies about how they can hold on to it anyway, and outsmart the other. Kenzo thought he had found the ultimate strategy. As Joska doesn't like to get wet above his toetips, Kenzo trots down into the shallow water, drops the ball, returns to do what catched his attention in the first place, and then comes back to pick up the ball again. It worked, over and over again.

Seems far enough over here

Ball is safe, outsmarted him again

To Kenzo's surprise - he didn't notice the small stretch of sand - it was Kenzo that was outsmarted by Joska this time. He could only watch in horror how his strategy just failed, while holding his breath.

This is not happening?!?

Back to the planning board. The chess game continues. I wonder what they come up with as their next move.

Monday, February 25, 2013

When I Grow Up I Want To Be ...

Kenzo - 5 months

Kenzo - 2 years

Kenzo - 4 years

Kenzo - (almost) 8 years

... A guard like my dad Odin.

Going done memory lane with the family photo album, I realized Kenzo's passion for his Stake Out job goes back longer than I thought.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Spotting UFO's Kenzo Style

What do you do when your name is Kenzo and you spot a U.F.O in the water?

Over here!

Stay behind me dad.

I'll check it out, this is huge

The bridge we pass almost daily holds a life buoy for emergencies. Some vandals threw it in the water. Of course, that is noticed and taken advantage of by the Drama Queen.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

England Here I Come

Kenzoooo!, you are chasing the wrong ball, it is right behind you...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Stake Out

Kenzo's self-appointed job is to keep an eye on things. To be a Hovawart or not to be. It is hard work. A lot of responsibilities.

Not now dad, I am working, I am keeping an eye on some hikers.

 Have to stay absolutely still ... and focused

Still, focused ... and vigilant

Oops, I moved. Did I still looked good?

It is not a coincidence Kenzo sits on that little porch on the side of the house. It is his favorite stake out place. He has a full view to the path that goes through the forest where people hike, and if he just turns his head to the right he can see through an opening in the fence - in the pictures behind him - to spot if someone is coming on the driveway that leads passed our house to the neighbors. Everything is under perfect Hovawart control.

Friday, January 25, 2013

You Shall Not Pass

Fetch is not Kenzo's favorite. It's a Hovawart thing. He enjoys the Never-Leave-Home-Without-It toy for another game.

Hey dad, try to pass me if you can.

Maybe add some healthy competition to keep it exciting for you as a soccer fan, dad.

Got it! You loose. Again.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ear Nibble Prohibition

Viva is almost done with the cone-of-shame after her eyelid surgery. The stitches will be removed in a couple of days. But impatient Viva feels healthy already, and she can't understand what this new and evil ear nibble condom is doing on her head.

I can't feel anything ?!?

Oh yeah, this is so good, so, so good. Purrr.

We'll soon be back in the good old days.

Kenzo did smuggle in some ear nibbles through, he is actually getting the hang of how to beat this cone-of-shame. Maybe he misses giving ear nibbles more than Viva does receiving them. Soon we'll celebrate the end of prohibition with some old-fashioned and full-fledged ear nibbles.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Top Spot For The Top Dog

Viva's favorite place to sleep is an old carpet we have in our spare room. Kenzo occasionally uses the dog bed in the room too. To give Viva some extra TLC in the post eyelid surgery days to come, I set up a camp bed for myself over there.

Hey dad, thanks for the upgrade of my room, glad you guys keep me company.
You really shouldn't have done that, so kind of you.

In return, I insist you take the top spot on the carpet.

Why doesn't that make me feel like the top dog?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Am I A Hova Now? Or Half-a-Hovawart?

No Viva, just the Wart on the inside of your eyelid is gone. It annoyed you so much, we asked the vet to remove it for you. You don't need a Wart to be a Hovawart. Even without it you are still the most gorgeous ever Hovawart, sweetie.

So it was kinda like very expensive plastic eyelid surgery?

I'll expect a whole lot of Kenzo TLC the coming days anyway

Viva had a small wart - already as long as we have her - on the inside of her eyelid. Lately it started growing and annoying her, and yesterday the wart was even bleeding a little bit. So the wart had to go. Our luck was that we finally have Viva's health in such a good shape, that there was no additional risk to let her undergo surgery. The stitches can be removed again in 10 days, until then, we take extra good care of her.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Never Leave Home Without It

Treats, water, cell phone, doggy bags, and ... I think I forgot it. Now the real question is, does my mistake go unnoticed?

Hey there, dad. Thanks for carrying it, can you get it out of your left pocket now? Thanks.

No? Right pocket then silly, you know it should be in the left. Come on, check it please.

You didn't....

How could you!

Nope, Kenzo didn't forget. Never leave home without it.

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