Saturday, June 06, 2009

Keeping a Veteran Happy

Running With Dogs and I both have older dogs. Neither Mole or Mac are allowed to die, so that's no problem, but I can't lie- they're both getting older. They are not, however, senior dogs. I get a little touchy when people suggest that Mac is a senior- just because he's 8 and gray around the edges and a little stiff and way way calmer than he used to be, well, that doesn't mean he's old. Senior implies old. I recently learned, however, that he's what's called, in the fancy pants show and competition world, a "veteran." So is Mole. I think "veteran" is a much nicer word for both of these gentlemen.

T recently posted that she was humbled by Mole's willingness to do pretty much anything she asked of him. I can't say I was totally surprised by Mole, or by T- I live with both of them, and they are a super awesome team and Mole is a total Momma's boy, but I can say that I totally understand the feeling. Even veterans can teach their human partners new things or just remind us how awesome it is to have a relationship with a dog. Mole and T have been together a long time, but they're still learning new things and growing together. (Not growing old together, just... growing.)

So, I confess, that I have also been doing new things with my veteran. EK outed us about a month ago, but it's true, EK, Stella, Mac, and I have been dancing. Well, the first three have been dancing, and I have been trying my hardest not to trip on my toenails or fall on my face or step on Mac too many times in 45 minutes or, well, you get the picture. I try to take Mac to a training class every year to keep him mannerly, and because it makes him happy. He knows his basics- he can come, sit, down, stay, and a few other things. But he loooooooves class. He wags his fool tail so hard that I worry it will break. He prances like a circus pony. So this dance class, well, it makes Mac Attack the happiest veteran I've ever seen. He acts like a puppy, only a very very tired puppy, as he pants practically as soon as we pull up to class. Mac gives me so much, it's like the least I can do to make him this happy once a week.

Veterans can learn new tricks. Their owners are another story.


m said...

i bet ms. stomperpant would love that class! too bad it's so far!