Help! I Need Somebody, Preferably a Dog

The surest way to get Dusty’s attention is for me to say, “Dusty, help me.” That little phrase and he’s right there. I got him as a 4 month old pup not long before I had hip surgery. Because he was a pup, and so freaked out from whatever dark times he’d experienced in the first three months of his life, he was pretty impossible as a pet. But Dusty LOVED me and that was that.

I knew a dog trainer, Lisa. She’d helped me with an incorrigible untrained husky I’d adopted — Cheyenne — and she undertook the training of Dusty. For Dusty, it was like summer camp. He had a crate in Lisa’s garage (as did all of the other dogs she was working with) that was all his own into which he could go if he were overwhelmed. Lisa said at first Dusty spent a lot of time in the crate, but little by little he began to join in with the other dogs. He was easy for her to leash train and soon was going with all the other dogs to run on Shelter Island and to play in the ocean. Lisa also took him out with her when she went to ride her horse so Dusty became fond of horses. Then Lisa taught Dusty to help me up if I fall.

Dusty came home six weeks later. He still did not like people passing in front of the house (he still doesn’t) and he’s never learned to accept men in uniforms or other dogs when he is leashed to me, but once a person is inside the “territory” — the yard, the house, or Dusty is off-leash — everyone is his friend.

Dusty has taught my nearly full-grown Great Pyrenees mix, Bear, this trick, and Bear has taught this serious dog how to play. I don’t think Dusty has ever had a friend like Bear and I’ve never had a friend like Dusty. In the winter, when I wanted to make a snow angel and lay down on the ground to make it, both dogs were right there to help me get up. The snow angel didn’t come out so good but that was because I had two dog angels interfering.

The photo above is Dusty and Bear the day Bear came to live with us. She was a four month old puppy and Dusty was DEFINITELY skeptical. Now Bear is bigger than Dusty and they are inseparable.

8 thoughts on “Help! I Need Somebody, Preferably a Dog

    • I wish I could agree with you, but I knew how big Bear was going to be when she grew up. She’s not finished growing yet. These guys grow until they’re 2 years old and she’s just one. Luckily, she’s only ever been a house dog, and Great Pyrenees are known for being calm, low-energy and very affectionate. She’s also intelligent and is learning the difference between walking on a short lead and a long lead. That’s pretty amazing. Of course, Dusty is a good teacher and he loves her. ❤

      • LOL, I think you should have moved to the Rockies, the mountains might have suited her. By the way I have finished the saga of Martin of Gfenn and found it a very good book. To be quite honest religious stuff is not really my thing, but given the historical background and being in and around Zürich I was very interested. I like happy endings, but in this case it was not really an unhappy ending. The way you showed the development of the disease in the last pages of Martins disfigurement was very good and naturally accopanied with the development of the fresco. That book should have had a publisher. Now to my Dada book. By the way is your new book available online?

      • I am in the Rockies, but I couldn’t deal with living in the country and I didn’t know I would have Bear, so we just head out somewhere every day and she gets a ramble (and so do I). I think she would like the walking trails in the Swiss forests very much. I’m really happy you liked the novel. Religion isn’t for Martin, either. Poor guy. One agent I talked to about the book years ago asked how it ended — if Martin got married and had a family. I just thought, “What kind of idiot are you? He’s a LEPER.” Savior (my second novel) does have a happy ending.

        My new book is dead for the moment. The other publisher who was interested in it has told me I have to go through the whole submission process again and I can’t do that until May. After that, it will be 3 or 4 months before they let me know. After THAT if they don’t want it, I will self-publish. I’m disgusted by the whole business at this point and don’t care so much if my books sell big as that people get to read them if they want to. Savior is available for Kindle. 🙂

  1. I keep rescuing dogs and they rescue me right back. And yet, they seem grateful. And all they get for it is love and biscuits. Dogs. I can’t imagine my world without them. What a dreary place it would be.

    • Dusty’s “dogenality” is not my favorite and sometimes I have a hard time dealing with him, but no one ever loved me more and so I think that’s my challenge with that guy — to love him back. Bear was also a rescue but she has been some kind of strange perfect dog. I waited YEARS for Mindy to finally become my dog and not a day goes by that she and are are not both grateful to be together, finally. Life without dogs? no thanks.

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