Diesel and Maggie are good friends now – Maggie’s still the boss but they do play together. He’s used to the routine now, he goes out in the morning and stays out until night unless the weather is bad…Maggie is scared of lightning and thunder so I always bring her in and it’s not fair to leave him outside so he comes in also. He’s very good about going to his bed and laying down when he’s in the house although sometimes he gets very excited and runs around like a goofball. [ed. note: I find this incomprehensible.]
I got Diesel a toy that he’s absolutely gaga over – it’s just a squeaky ball wrapped in canvas with several canvas tails so you can play tug of war. He’s so obsessive about it and it just cracks me up when he squeaks it – he’s loves it. I have discovered that he keeps it safe by burying it then digging it back up so it’s always muddy and nasty but he will carry it around for hours and hours.
He’s laying out on the deck in the sun right now next to Maggie. He won’t go near the horses and when I let them in the front yard, he stays under the carport and watches to make sure they don’t come anywhere near him (they couldn’t really care less about where he is anyway). I’ll be interested to see how he handles the farrier when he comes to do my horses because I bring them under the carport for the farrier so Diesel’s safe place will be penetrated by those evil horses – what will he do? So far, he’s a pretty happy guy.
I wonder if you trained Diesel to run on a treadmill. The first nasty day that he was here and I couldn’t play ball with him to spill some of his energy – I put him on the treadmill and he immediately knew what to do. It’s wonderful because now if he’s too full of himself and I don’t have the time or inclination to go outside and work it out of him, I just stick him on the treadmill and let him go for a mile or more and then he’s just fine.
He’s a good dog and I’m glad to have him.
How does it feel to only have one dog to contend with? I bet you find you have a lot of extra time on your hands and a lot calmer life.
First, thanks to Debbie for the update. We really appreciate it. Second, as I told her in a return e-mail, I did (in a fit of exhaustion) teach Diesel to run on the treadmill. I hadn't mentioned it here until this very minute because I wanted a good video of it which necessitated moving furniture and setting up a light, but I ran out of time over the holidays. It was a lot of fun and to be honest, I didn't have to do that much teaching. I just had to figure out the logistics of it and say "good boy" a few times and he understood. I held the leash and pretended to walk or jog along next to him. He did it without second guessing me, without an explanation and with zero experience. It was beautiful.
Stella, on the other hand..did not master the treadmill. Stella analyzes everything and she thinks way too much. She'll walk up onto anything I ask her to but you let the floor start moving and Stella is going to pick up her marbles and go straight home.
Lastly, life is definitely more calm with just one dog. Especially since the two of them used to play the canine version of Smackdown in my office twice a day. Initially, I encouraged this behavior - in order to teach them to "stop" on command but they burned some good energy that way too and never once broke anything or turned over a piece of furniture - which I still find amazing.