A cross between a charming politician and an over eager used car salesman is how I would describe The Puppy Grady’s greeting. Sometimes I worry that people might find him to be overwhelming but so far everyone seems to forgive his enthusiasm. In return, The Puppy Grady rewards them with snuggle love and the promise of a life long friendship.
In addition to being a fan of the human race, The Puppy Grady is a curious pooch. Whenever he is faced with something new, he typically responds by putting a little distance between himself and the new object, quietly studying it for a bit, then walking over to get a better look. Once The Puppy Grady is satisfied with what he’s seen, he happily moves on. No harm, no foul.
So I was quite surprised at what The Puppy Grady did at the park yesterday.
As we were walking along he came to a complete stop, turned around and saw heading our way two young boys riding bikes and two young girls on scooters. The Puppy Grady started to growl, then bark, bark, bark, clearly bewildered and maybe even a little frightened by what he was seeing.
It can be tough figuring out how the world works. You think you understand something and then it shows up looking the same but different. What the heck? This is especially true in the puppy world. This wasn’t the first time The Puppy Grady had seen a bike or young kids but to see the two together appeared to have blown his little puppy mind.
The first boy proceeded to get off his bike and walk past us, cautiously I might add, since The Puppy Grady was doing an excellent imitation of a tasmanian devil. Once the boy passed us, I got my pup to sit. Then, a red headed young girl zoomed by on her scooter and shouted to me, “I like your dog!” The Puppy Grady stayed sitting but he continued to bark loudly, apparently intent on warning the entire community of these strange creatures. Seconds later, the other boy on the bike passed us, then another girl flew by on her scooter and yelled, “Your dog’s cute!”
The Puppy Grady sat watching the kids as they rode off into the distance, panting and trying to make sense of it all. I waited for him to settle down a bit and then proceeded with our walk.
Our puppy kindergarden teacher, Ms. Vickie, is always saying to expose your pup to everything you can think of so they can work through any fears when they’re young. She’s probably said it to us a million times so I figure she thinks it’s pretty important. I wanted to finish our walk and go home but, hearing Ms. Vickie’s voice in my head (in a non-psychotic way), I decided to use the opportunity as a learning experience for The Puppy Grady.
I walked over to where the kids were sitting and asked them to ride past my puppy so he could get use to the kid plus bike and kid plus scooter combination. Before I could finish asking they jumped up, got on their bikes and scooters and rode by several times, then came over to meet him.
Suddenly I was witnessing a lovefest between the kids and The Puppy Grady. He was so thrilled to be meeting them that he forgot about the scooter and bike. What had been a source of stress only minutes before was now only happiness. The Puppy Grady and the kids schmoozed and snuggled in complete enjoyment of one another.
And became life long friends.