Thursday, October 7, 2010

Answers to comments and questions leads to “boundaries”.


I’ve gotten some interesting and concerned questions or comments both to my email browndogcbr@(remove) or in blog comments.  I don’t want y’all worry about me, so I thought Thoughtful Thursday would be a good day to answer y’all. 

“I sure hope you never sneak out when you aren't wearing your collar! My pups love naked time around the house (thats what we call it)”  Kari

How can I let anyone who thinks we’re GOD in reverse, you really must visit the site, worry about my well being?  The answer of course is that I can’t.  The thing is that you don’t have to worry about me not having a collar on, I have to worry about my Humans gettin’ lost.  When I go I never let them out of my sight.  One of my “sit stay” exercises was to sit in the open front door while my Human Momma went to get the mail and came back to release me.  Then we had another exercises, the Humans called it one of my “boundary” exercises.  They like to sit on the porch.  At the shore there is a screen to signal me, but in the mountains there is nothing to stop me going down the steps.  If you’ve been following me for very long you know I mention “check cord” from time to time.

It is basically a simple line that snaps on my collar and allows the Humans to stop me from going where I might get in trouble.  It didn’t take me long to figure out that as long as I didn’t try to go down the steps, no one checked my check cord.  Once I got the idea and stayed close I started getting treats everytime I went back and checked in with the Humans as they rocked in the chairs.  I’ve been practicing boundaries ever since I came here to live. 

Learning boundaries and playing games also helped me learn my very serious duties of keeping an eye on the Humans and keeping them from straying too far or getting lost and keeping them on schedule.  Later I’ll do a more detailed series on my boundary training and it works for us. 

So you see, I know my job duties well and don’t bolt out doors.  You can leave the door open and I’ll just watch to be sure you’re okay.

Then my friend Mogley commented:

You are lucky, we have to wear our collars all the time. Maybe that is because no one ever plans ahead around here. They may suddenly tell us to jump in the car and we will go somewhere. Lack of planning requires we be prepared at all times.

Wow! Thunder. that's something we don't have too much of in Portland, OR. I hope it wasn't scary!!

Sage, I have a friend who is a rescue who looks a lot like an Australian Shepherd.  We took our Humans walking together in the park one day and there was a lot of hammering going on someplace nearby.  My friend said he didn’t like the noise, it made him uncomfortable.  He said he spends stormy summer days hiding in the his Human’s clothes closet ‘cause it muffles the sound of the thunder.  I tried to tell him that the thunder wouldn’t hurt him, but I don’t think I helped much.  The mountains is a bad place to be for my friend because the storms run around the ridges and the thunder echoes.  Then when the weather cools and the storms lessen, the hunters start and gun shots are echoing everywhere.  When bear season opens you can hear the bear dogs tracking and the shots often sound and are close by.  Once the shots came just above us on the ridge where a Bear momma and her 3 cubs reside.  My Human Momma and I were below in the yard having a practice session.  The noise was so LOUD we both jumped straight up in the air.  To put this in context, not only am I not gun shy, but I lay on the porch and watch my Papa when he gives Momma a shooting lesson. 

Course when we’re at the shore, there’s plenty of the sounds of hunting of duck and geese to dove and deer. 

One last comment, question actually, came in my email browndogcbr@(remove) regarding my beds.  Yes, my beds! They wanted to be sure all my beds met minimum standards…I hesitate to remind them that I am not in need of animal welfare!  I have a great home!  They thought a couple of my beds looked like throw rugs.  Well, they are throw rugs but they are covering a thick rubber mat.  And my night time sleeping mattress is Memory Foam! SO THERE! 

And now I want to spend a moment responding to a request from my friend Mogley  who is trying to spread the word about the great job GRRR is doing for homeless Goldens.  The Foster programs are alive and well!   Even if Goldens or retrievers aren’t your preference, Goldens write great Blogs and Mogley is no exception!  Stop by and visit!  I promise, you won’t be disappointed!  They are starting a new series on some of the 70 or so Goldens they have fostered and some that other humans in the GRRR foster families have fosted.



  1. Thank you for the mention of our blog. We hope to tell others of the joy of working with rescue, any breed rescue.

    We think the "Naked Time" without a collar is great, and we also think too many people are overly protective. We still come when called, we still know where home if. And if the very worst happens, we still have our chips.

    Dogs just want to have fun!

    Mogley G. Retriever

  2. Don't be too anxious to have "Naked Time" Mogley, with all the dogs you have in and out, I'd trade for a continual play date! Besides, if your Humans had to put collars on a whole bunch of you, would they stop taking you on so many rides? We have to think about unintended consequences. However, maybe at night you could get undressed for bed?

  3. So glad to know that you are always safe!