Monday, December 22, 2008

Johnny Angel

My dog stays pretty close to me. He is a beautiful black lab, Johnny. He will be 13 tomorrow.
We taught him some hand signs when he was younger and now that he can't hear anymore he still is able to tell when I want him to go out or when his dinner is ready. Johnny has always just instinctively known that when someone drops something he is to pick it up. I cannot remember specifically training him to do so but I know he was rewarded for all good behaviors so maybe it has to do with all the positive reinforcements. Once in a great while he will see Tess drop her cane and get up and retrieve it for her.
What used to be really great was if the remote control fell off the bed on a cold night and I would hear his little licence jingle as he got up to find it. He is showing his age, he no longer wakes up when something hits the floor.
When he was an adolescent dog he learned to turn off the lights from a wall switch. That trick always impressed everyone.

Mostly he is just our dear sweet Johnny. He is extremely patient, well behaved, and loyal. Not only is he is tolerant of other dogs but he single handily taught granddog how to be a good girl. Granddog came along when Johnny was 4 and he rode herd on her letting he know what was expected dog behavior around our house. As you can see, that could not have been easy for Johnny. She is a really active dog. She is very different from Johnny. She is so food driven, she would turn herself inside out trying to get to a treat. Johnny will have none of it.

Tess tells me that whenever I leave the house to run an errand he howls and kind of whimpers. He is mostly an indoor dog but when I am gone he waits outside for me or lays on the inside of the door. I wonder if other dogs do this? I wonder what he does when we are both gone? I bet he howls. LOL This is starting to feel like an attachment disorder.
Johnny is a great dog, he tolerates us just fine. I imagine he wishes we would have taken him for more walks, but then, I wish I would have taken him for more walks. I bet we both would be getting around a little better now if I had.


m.m.sugar said...

As dog stories go-this is a beauty.

Pure love!

Lover of Life said...

We have a black lab, as well. Her name is Lucy (as in Lucy in the sky with diamonds...) There is something special about black labs. She is our "empty nest" baby.