The Making of a Faithful Friend

The pups recently had their four month birthday and are suddenly little dogs, not little puppies! That time went so fast. They’ve chunked up then stretched out, going from roly-poly babies to slender adolescents. They’ve bit by bit traded puppy energy for dog energy, uncontrolled impulses to attentive action. It’s somewhat bittersweet. Okay, very bittersweet.

The puppy stage is adorable, and it has been worth all the work and the messes, the endless sweeping, mopping, and shampooing the carpet, but honestly it has been neat to see their individual personalities emerge and develop as their puppy craziness has subsided a little. Bess has turned into a great pup for Brad, loving her job of riding with him to check cows and tag calves in the morning and has great cowy instincts.

Josie, meanwhile, has become the best little buddy, helping me with chicken chores and attempting to herd them around, riding on the fourwheeler and loving when she gets to chase cows, going on long walks and hikes, but is even content to run errands with me in town or hang out in the house when I have housework or writing to do. She has such a strong desire to learn and to be doing, so I started training with her on a little agility work when I have a few minutes here and there, and she absolutely loves it. She follows me around like a little shadow, coming to find me occasionally in the middle of the night or if she loses sight of me on our walks. Where I am, generally she is.

And when you’re talking about working dogs, that companionship is extremely important, where trust, mutual trust, is grown and cultivated. These dogs are so intelligent and intuitive, and they have such a strong desire to please. Friendship, or companionship, is an important facet of the dog-human relationship to nurture, feeding into their desire to work and their instinct to do so, and using that innate desire to please to curb their not-always-correct impulses, rather than fear.

How fast these little creatures become faithful little friends!

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