Lately I've been feeling like all I've been doing is picking on FLD Gus. Getting his own mind, guard-barking, testing...
But. Adolescent behavior doesn't define this energetic, scary-smart, happy Future Leader Dog puppy. Gus has more than a few positive traits and there are some things he does extraordinarily well. Here are three that instantly come to mind:
HIS BUTT DROPS IN A FLASH
Before Gus and Gypsy eat, they must SIT at the entrance to our eating area--Gus on his mat and Gypsy on the carpet. When I say, Do you want to eat? Gus twirls around and around until he bumps against the wall where his mat is stationed, his butt nailing the mat at attention.
Gypsy, on the other hand, tiptoes to her place, eyeing me to make sure I really mean for her to SIT. (Her food does NOT go into her bowl until she sits.) Finally, she complains under her breath, leisurely lowering her rear end to the floor.
On our way outside, I tell both dogs, SIT, before I open the door. Again, Gus drops instantaneously. Gypsy moves as slow as molasses in January.
Gus is the happiest puppy I've known, even for a Lab, those notorious happy-making-machines. He is thrilled to greet Gypsy every morning, and races from his crate to engage her in play.
Gypsy wakes up crabby.
The other morning I noticed a small cut on Gus's face, no doubt from Gypsy putting him in his place. Undaunted, he bows and gyrates before her, his long Lab tongue snapping the air between them. She snarls. He dodges, but always comes back for more.
Put that baby-blue "Puppy Being Trained for Leader Dogs for the Blind" jacket on Gus and enter a grocery store, Home Depot, restaurant, library, you name it, and he is all business. If strangers reach to pet him uninvited, he is not fazed (as I am). In restaurants, Gus settles under the table, or at my side, sighs, and snoozes while we enjoy a peaceful meal.
I SO want Gus to succeed as a Leader Dog graduate that I often forget he's still a puppy in a big-dog-suit. And a Lab at heart. As his time to return to Leader Dogs nears, I must remember to take pleasure in his puppy-Labness, and celebrate the many things he HAS learned and how happy and eager he is to please.
FLD Gus, my teacher-of-so-many-things!
|FLD Gus, comfy in any position! Here he is at the end of a busy day--chillin' where he lay on the living room floor.|