Monday, July 21, 2014

Blondie, Portrait of a Street Dog

We first met Blondie in 2007 when she was around a year old. She remained a street dog, until early 2012. She is my least trained dog. When Kirt was in the hospital I left her in the house overnight without having an accident. That’s due to her innate cleanlinesng.
Blondie's response when yelled at or threatened, varies if she knows the person but to do what I ask her is a concept that didn’t always compute with her. To this day I can ask her to sit for a treat and she may look at me like what??? The other three sit ws, not any trainiagging tails knowing something good is coming their way, but Blondie is my du-huh kid. She’s been known to have brain freezes.
One day I walked her across Delgado Community College Campus across from City Park. In the late afternoon the trees were tossing some shade across the campus. I was lost in thought. Blondie sniffed every tree and bush. We were walking fairly fast when suddenly she stopped with her nose under a bush along one of the buildings. Under the bush lay a big female Muscovy just as shocked to see her beak to nose. Blondie had a brain freeze that gave me enough time to get her away before went ballistic barking and lunging at the bird. She’s had brain freezes when confronted with new stimuli. If it’s in her repertoire, she’s got it covered.
During her young life on the country road where she was born, Blondie bullied her way into what she wanted. She wasn't always loyal to the resident street dog, who lived here before she came.   She bit hard for what she could get.
After weeks of watching her keep a young female away from food, I watched her invite the submissive female to eat. I thrilled me to see that exchange. In my early years on the island, I observed more and influenced less. After years of teaching dog behavior and obedience I've learned much more about dogs by hanging with the satos.
Blondie still chases new dogs away. If they don’t go, she bites harder. Earlier this year she fought an English Bull Terrier, that didn't want to go away. On the hill in the thick woods and grass I couldn't get to them. Chi and the boys came to me. I put them in the house, while I tried to get Blondie. The battle raged on until finally Blondie came to me bloody and tired.

She allows the boys, Lucky and Robert Redford, to go to the food bowl before her if it has the usual kibble, but when I pour leftovers over it, she’s the old Blondie first at the dish. Lately, she’s looking a bit past her prime. I've come to love and admire my big blonde girl for who she is.

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