Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Update On Max And His Young Jedi

(No pictures, because it's dark out at the moment)

Molly is having much less separation-from-humans anxiety already, even after just 40 hours.

Max has taught her how to play Bite Head, how to bark at the postman in the Max-Approved Manner (bark as he's coming, bark as he's leaving; don't bark in between when you can't see him), how to play So's Your Mother with the dogs next door, and has started on Bones 101.

I think we'll get into Proper Hole-Digging and Advanced Lounging in the next two days or so. Max tends to dig himself large holes in the shady corners of the yard, then lounge in them. Molly has been trying to emulate him, but is still obviously an amateur in the hole-construction arts.

Last night's So's Your Mother episode was a classic example of an old dog teaching somebody new tricks. Max and his girlfriend next door did two rounds of So's Your Mother (racing along the fence, barking and snarling horribly, then face licking with wild tail-wagging), and then Max backed off to let Molly have a go. She did her best, but apparently got too distracted or wasn't turning around sharply enough, because Max went over and scooped her out of the way gently with one paw. He then looked at her for a couple of seconds, turned back to the fence, and showed her what was missing with her performance.

She watches him, ears cocked, and does everything he does. If she barks incessantly at something, or gets too excited, he gently takes her head in his mouth and calms her down. If he chews a bone, she'll find another and *watch* him chew, then do her best to emulate him.

It's amazing. Max is so happy, and Molly is over the moon. I have a feeling when she's gone, he'll sleep for a week.


bdaiss said...

That or he's going to be constantly begging you for a play friend. :)

So fun to watch an old dog teach a new one tricks.

Anonymous said...

This is awesome, Jo. Does Max have a rehab program for dogs who have grown up attempting to be cats?


Sarah said...

Dogs can be so silly sometimes.

My mom has several dogs, and one of them will eat all of the dog food to keep the others from getting it.

Also, they will steal each other's toys constantly all day long.

woolywoman said...

how fun. glad you have the dog channel to watch while you recuperate.

MamaDoodle said...

Three years ago we got a puppy companion for our elderly dog. Big Dog taught Little Dog the ropes. 2 years later, Big Dog passed away and Little Dog grew into the role of Big Dog, though she was lonely. A year later (a few months ago) we got another puppy. It has been lovely and more than once has brought a tear to my eye to watch the new Big Dog teach the new Little Dog the same rules in much the same manner as she herself was taught.

They are amazing creatures and I can't imagine my life without them.

messymimi said...

Aren't animals amazing?

It's the same with cats. When you have a singleton kitten (no litter, just one kitten), they grow up to be a little off.

It's because they didn't have cat siblings to teach them how to be a cat, how to scrap and play fight and chase anything that falls on the floor.

I hope Max has lots of fun, and gets to play with Molly often.