Thursday was Loki's 4th anniversary with us and marks his 5th birthday. We had house guests here so we delayed his celebration until the weekend. For a dog so affected by change, to our surprise, he adapted well to house guests and even offered a game of tug with them.
This past year brought a few gray hairs of wisdom to the cracker's muzzle. Yet, he's still chock full of crack. I think at this point in his life, it's time to finally admit his last few anxieties will likely not be overcome. His anxiety around a singular one-person handler (me), vacations at Bernard's kennel, car anxiety and aggressive dogs are things that will always flip his crack-a-tude. Those are his quarks.
But the upsides to having him in our lives is worth living with those few quarks. He makes all of us smile and laugh every day.
But aside from his sillyness, he's a serious dog. And I really trust him. On many occasions, his instincts have served his, my, and even Juno's safety. I feel perfectly confident walking in deserted forests and unknown locations knowing he will be the first to let me know if something isn't right. I've learned to work with his strong defense drive, rather than against it, and it's served us well. Instead of correcting him for every little bark, groan or growl, I praise him for every alert and let him know his job is finished.
Recently, one of my house guests came up to my office to check on the printer. Loki was discerning enough to understand that my office was technically a no-guest zone so as my guest approached, Loki gave him a low growl. My guest was surprised, but all it took for Loki to relax was a "thanks but it's ok" --and of course the guest was allowed to pass and go to the printer. Some may say it's wrong for a dog to act this way. But I know better now. Behavior isn't necessarily right or wrong. It just is.
Part of me now understands that it is this method of communication-- working with his drive, not against it-- that makes him so insistent on being handled only by me. Because I get him. Who could blame him for not wanting his leash held by anyone who doesn't speak his language?
He and I are a team. For better or worse. And I thank my lucky stars he fell into our lives.
Happy Anniversary my boy. You've earned your gray hairs of wisdom. You are all grown up now.
Happy Loki-versary! He sure loves his momma!
We wish woo many more years of crackery, Loki!
(We mama's boyz know what its really all about, eh?)
Happy Gotcha day and Happy Barkday! 🙂
Happy Lokiversary! Wishing you many more years of crackery! It feels good to find someone who speaks you're language, huh?
Bart and Ruby
I know I am very happy the Cracker landed with you! Where else would I go for advice about my own cracker dog? lol Loki, I love you more than I can say! He has the heart of a lion!
Don't we all have a "quark" or two? Well, except for Mr. WD of course.
Happy Loki-Versary!!! You and your "handler" are one awesome team!!!!
Happy Loki-versary, handsome fella! Hope your day was great! Love the pics!
Oh happy day, you handsome Cracker! Your American counterpart appreciates the pearls of wisdom your mom imparts.
Melinda and Wild Phoenix
Beautiful post, beautiful boy! Happy Loki-versary and many more to come.
Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning
Happy Loki-versary! (How do you say that in French?) Wish you many more years of crackery!
-Dr. Liz and Family
joyeux anniversaire Loki !
Woooo happy anniversary Loki from your European neighbours. Hope your celebrations were super special cause you sure deserve it.
Happy Loki day!!!
Happy Loki Day! Yup, at some point I think that one decides which behaviors will just be there and which to continue working on. Loki is a great guy and a good companion to all of three of you. He couldn't have asked for a better life.
Happy birthday Loki. You have come on so much in your lovely home.
Molly, Taffy,Monty and Winnie
So sorry we're SO late (as usual!!!!) - but just wanted to wish Loki a belated Happy Logi-versary! He sure has come a LONG way - and it is all thanks to you & your hard work & dedication and patience...he was sure a lucky pup the day he caught your eye! 😉
Hsin-Yi & Honey the Great Dane
A belated mazel tov from us, too! Mama was all tied up for a few weeks, but we're happy to see you celebrated in style without us 🙂 Good job on protection detail, Loki. And you can't be too careful about those house guests, as our Cousin Pretty Girl constantly demonstrates. Glad your mom has learned to work with you and not against you; always the best way. Abby is 8+ now and mama is resigned to having really big holes in the yard for the rest of her life - hers or Abby's, whichever ends first.
Jed & Abby