Bodhi has been with us almost a week now, and his true colors are beginning to show. First and foremost, like Paris, he is a daddy’s dog…big time. All 80 pounds of him curls up in an easy chair with Marley. Marley is more his size than I am, and Bodhi loves being in touch with Marley.
Bodhi howls too..we didn’t know that for about five days. He howls when the fire engines are running their sirens. And he barks, though we didn’t know that either until about day six. He wants our company, and sometimes I come home and hear him barking. It isn’t separation anxiety – he’s not destructive – but perhaps he is just finding our company to be good, and misses us.
He’s met some of the dogs in the neighborhood, and he is as sociable with them as Butterscotch was. He greets very nicely, and would a perfect dog for testing dogs to see how they respond to other dogs.
He has a Gentle Leader now for walking. It was either that or a shoulder replacement for me, and the Gentle Leader was less expensive. He doesn’t mind it much, and I can now take him for long walks which he really needs. The GL also gives me the ability to easily steer him clear of obstacles he can’t see. They told us he had a moderate energy level. Moderate must mean about 3-4 long walks a day in some people’s books. It looks more like kinda high energy to me, which is to be expected with a four year-old lab.
Training is going very well. He’s a smart boy, food motivated, and eager to please. I’m using a Clik Stik, which allows me to give instructions using touch, and then click and treat for getting it right. (The end with the ball expands out like a wand.) So far, he has learned that a touch on the hind end means sit, and a tap on the floor in front of him means down. Not bad at all for his first week.
He is also learned a little bit of impulse control. He wants to charge out the door, so now he has to sit before the door opens. We had a bit of stand off on this at first, and I had to wait almost five minutes for him to sit, but he finally did it, and now he sits within about 15 seconds. Like I said, he’s smart. A friend has offered him a spot in the beginning obedience class as a “new dog gift” and I think we’re going to do that. He’ll enjoy the training, but also the contact with people and dogs.
He was admired greatly at the vet’s office and checked out well except for some skin issues, which we expected. He has seborrhea, and so will need a weekly bath with an antimicrobial shampoo. It used to take a small army to get Paris to take a bath, and the experience was traumatic for all. Bodhi just stands there, and seems to enjoy the 10 minutes of being lathered and rubbed all over to work everything into his skin and let it sit there awhile. His fur is better already, and I expect he’ll feel less itchy over time.
And, for those of you who have followed me for awhile, Hiro, one of our cats, took his first walk with Bodhi this week. The walks with Butterscotch were always more than leisurely, so the walk with Bodhi was a little bit of a surprise for Hiro. Top speed! But I’m pretty sure Hiro will be joining Bodhi for walks some more.
We’ve applied for his lifetime license, gotten him pet insurance, and registered his microchip with Home Alone. Not bad for his first week with us. He was a great choice for us…meant to be, as one of my sisters said. Meant to be.