Part 2 of Training a Therapy Newf…
Shamus had a terrific time revisiting the farm where his socialization class began a year ago. As a young Shepherd approached him, our vet tech said, “It’s okay. Shamus is socialized.” My head spun in her direction. Yes. You heard it here first, folks. The Clunes, with a long history of adopting hard luck cases, officially have a well-socialized dog.
Last year’s grumblings, the result of another dog’s approach, are now a thing of the past. Size no longer matters. Shamus greets every canine with his head held high (or low, depending on butt height). His tail, a pom pom in perpetual motion, cheers the possibility of any and all new friendships. He even trots past cows with exuberance whereas, last year, he dragged me out of the barn on our first walk through.
For how well he cleaned up his social act, Shamus is quite a dirty dog now. We forgot his drool rag. Big mistake. He slobbered and slimed himself, other dogs and us with a vigor never seen at home. He kicked up piles of dirt with every step, walking in his own billowing dust cloud like PigPen from the Peanuts. Most awe inspiring was his widespread influence on others. Relieving himself at the roadside, every dog who followed did the same on his mark. Yes, Shamus single-squattingly led a movement – a bowel movement – and it spread clear throughout the pack. I pitty the fool who walks that path next.
As dirty as he was, Shamus couldn’t have been happier. At the end of the day, he laid in a bed of dust on the kitchen floor dreaming for hours about finally getting one over on those cows… cows who struck fear into the very essence of his being before. He peed on their lunch, lifting his leg to a pile of silage before dancing a jig around them. Yep. That’s one dirty, dirty dog.
I leave you with fond memories of the farm and a glimpse at our two remarkable new friends, a blind Dalmatian and a deaf Boston Terrier. Every single dog in attendance was spectacular, but these two stole my heart.
Next week’s class is at The Crossings in Colonie. If you see us, give a wave. I just hope the duck pond clears out before we get there or we’ll have one very muddy back seat.