Tell me about your heart dog

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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Kashmir- ♥ CGC

Boxer Beach Bum
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 7:22am PST 
That would have to be my Kashmir. I love Zoe but Kashmir is truly my heart dog. She has been there for me in thick and thin and the first dog that was truly mine. After my car accident she wouldnt leave my side. Wherever i went she followed and it was very comforting. She is an all around great dog and i love her to death!!! cloud 9 We do everything together whether its shopping or going to the park, she loves the outside mall!! I even have her paw print tattooed on my shoulder.

*cant spell today*

Edited by author Fri Nov 30, '12 7:23am PST


Whippy- The- Whipador
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 7:46am PST 
Thanks Miyu. He's always been very grey for his age, started greying around 18 months old. He'll be 7 in January way to go

Lovely stories from everyone.

Spooky Mulder
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 8:33am PST 
My heart dog was my childhood dog, Shelby.

Though in many ways for me, she wasn't a dog at all. Growing up in rural Alabama, with hardly any contact with anyone outside of my own immediate family, she really did become my best friend.

She wandered up behind my grandfather's shop when she was still young, probably right under a year old. The first time I saw her, I was terrified of her... she was big, she jumped up on me and chased me around the driveway where we lived. I fell, I cried, and screamed I didn't want her. That night we went to my grandmother's, they sat me down at the table and asked... do you want this dog? They weren't going to keep her if I said no... and part of me did say "no", I was still scared, and angry... but for some reason, unknown to me as I was too young at the time to understand any concept of "fate", I said "yes".

In her 14 years she didn't know a single command, not even "sit". She didn't play fetch and she didn't like toys... but she would follow you anywhere, to the ends of the earth, and always had her eye on you.

All the local dogs loved here... even the wolf-hybrids next door, who on their regular escapes to terrorize our property, would always stop by to schmooze with Shelby. The other neighbor's hunting Lab, Rhett, was infatuated with her, and would sneak away from the neighbor's property just to see her. People, too, felt the same way about her. When our family moved away from the country, and into the city, everyone loved Shelby. One neighbor in particular I remember, an older man who hated dogs, would tell you as much to your face and would yell at people walking too close to his yard, would always bend over and pat Shelby on the head whenever she would make her morning rounds. She just had something special about her.

She was terrified of storms, and would hide in a closet under a pile of blankets whenever it would thunder.

The only time I ever saw her aggressive, was one day when I was riding my bike in the neighborhood. I did this everyday as a child, and in one home lived a particularly nasty Yorki who would shoot after me and chase me home. One evening, however, my bike chain broke and I had to walk with it home. The Yorki came charging after me as usual, only this time being unable to outrun it, I screamed and started running. When this little dog was nearly upon me, from up ahead I saw Shelby, barreling down the street. She slammed into this little dog, knocking him back and sending him running back from where he came. Shen never raised a lip, never bore a tooth, and walked me all the way back home.

Towards the end of her life, she developed some form of cancer, we were constantly having tumors removed. One in particular on her tail that she kept mutilating eventually led to us having to amputate, which left her looking something like a giant Corgi.

In the end, it was cripling arthritis that did her in... she could no longer stand on her own, and combined with incontinence would unknowingly sit or sleep in piles of her own waste.

The day we let her go was the hardest thing I'd ever had to deal with. I'd grown up with her, she was my best friend, in many ways she WAS my childhood... and a part of me died with her that day.

When I finally sought out my next dog, I knew I would never find another like her, and I didn't want to. She broke my heart, and I didn't want to try and replace that love. So I researched and picked the bloodlines I wanted, and when I found a litter, all of whom were sables and blacks, I said give me a male. As it turned out, as he was the only male available, I got a black dog. A big black male... a part of me was at peace with that. What could be more different?

And different he was, but in a wonderful way, in just the way I NEEDED him to be. Mulder will never replace that feeling I had for Shelby... but he is the dog that I needed to have in my life, and has his own special place in my heart that in turn, no other dog will be able to replace.

My friend.

Edited by author Fri Nov 30, '12 8:39am PST



Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 8:50am PST 
Does 2 count?

Kato, right now, hands down. People are amazed when we go hiking at just how much Kato and I know each other. Seriously creeps me out some times.

But the one dog I always remember was actually my uncle's dog. I didn't have a dog when I was little, but I loved going over to my uncle's. He always had at least 1 dog, all black labs. The one I remember the most was a good ole soul he named Kunta. Just an absolutely huge black lab. Not fat, just BIG. And just the most loving, gentle dog. I look back and always remember him being there on our adventures around the farm. He was our baby sitter. Followed us kids where ever.

My favorite video is one my grandmother has of us kids playing with Kunta. He was quite old in this video. He's laying in the grass and all of us kids are piling leaves on him. He just lays there, letting himself get completely covered in leaves and all you see after a bit is this big pile of leaves with just a tail sticking out wagging away.laugh out loud

Edited by author Fri Nov 30, '12 8:54am PST

Charlie Pete

G-day mate! - Wanna Play?
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 9:04am PST 
My Boy Charlie Pete. I've always had dogs; always loved dogs. But dogs in my past, as well as my current sweet JessAnneMarieLouise, have been easy dogs. Easy to love, easy to manage, required no effort. My boy Pete has made me work. I have had to earn him. He adores me (I know he does) but I have had to work for his behaviour. He has caused me great grief through his reactivity, but enoornous joy balances that out. He makes me laugh out loud frequently. He absolutely makes my heart beat. The best cuddler. The best mate. I adore him.

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 11:17am PST 
Many years ago I was blessed with Freeway. She was a truly amazing animal with a seemingly endless capacity for forgiveness. I was honored enough to be her keeper for the few short years of her stay on this earth. With the deck stacked against her from day one she wandered through life healing hearts and making lifelong friends. She never met a stranger and no person or animal was ever denied her friendship. Those beautiful eyes melted the coldest heart and soothed the most wounded souls. I lost her to heart failure on September 29, 1999, her ashes still rest near my bed and even as I am typing this tears of pain and loss flow freely. She was not my dog, she belonged to those in need, it was simply my destiny to assist her with her journey. Forever touched by her generous spirit. Forever missing her.

Losing Freeway crippled me. I refused to let another dog near me, I turned away from my family and friends and retreated to a very dark and lonely place. It seemed so unfair that the dog that healed everyone she met, left me to face life alone. And then, on February 28, 2002, one tiny pup that noone wanted, a baby with a soul older then time, a little girl with a huge agenda, dropped in and dragged me from my prison. Saboteur had very different ideas from mine. I wanted nothing to do with her, she wanted nothing to do with anyone but me. With the spirit of a warrior Sabi layed claim to my soul and took me along on her journey. Her courage, determination and loyalty are a credit to the breed even if her health is not. 'There is no quit in that dog' is a phrase we have heard repeatedly. Diagnosed with severe HD at 3 years old, the vet was not optimistic about things. We forgot to tell Sabs she was crippled, and she never found out. She worked until age 9 with no problems. DM is a much more grim prognosis. Our only hope is slow progression, but my fearless lady charges on. Heedless of dire predictions she plunges into the next chapter of our story and demands I come along. I am her world, no other holds her interest, she lives to be with me. We have had some grand adventures her and I. With luck we will have many more.

My heart dog, Freeway. But Sabi, she owns my soul.

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 12:11pm PST 
My Sophie...I've never had a dog like her before. Limited dog experience anyway but she just knows me so well. I have nightmares where she has disapppeared and other dogs are running around but I only want Soph. I never imagined a dog who would walk in the woods with me, perfect recall, just hiking trails unleashed, knowing if she barrels after a squirrel that she'll be back beside me instantly. Don't even have to tell her commands...just a wave of my hand a blink and she knows...amazing girlcheer

I love sitting- in laps
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 1:53pm PST 
Sabi, what you wrote was beautiful. Had me tearing up.

Can't say I've had a heart dog. The dogs we had when I was little were just our family dogs. The dog I got in my late teens that was with me well into my 20's was not. Mikey was not and Moose? Jury's out on that.
I love this big dope so much and he seems very into me, but I'm not feeling "heart dog" yet. I have a feeling we'll get there. He is such a wonderful dog.
My cat on the other hand. Boy oh boy. That guy had had my heart for sure. I never expected me, a dog person, to be so emotionally connected to a cat. Man do I miss him.

"Stubborn" dogs- don't need- corrections
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 2:17pm PST 
I think I've had two. But for me, they're not "heart dogs" they're familiars, and my belief is that familiars come back to you in another form after they've passed on. It isn't the body that you love, it's the spirit. And if that spirit is truly your familiar, then it will come back. It may not be the same species, and it may not even be the same personality. But you know. (:

Anyway, my first was a dog named Pooh. Well, actually, his name was $#%!-head, but around little two year old me, he was called Poo-poo Head. laugh out loud He was called that because they never managed to house train him. He was a Poodle/Wirehaired Terrier/who knows what else mutt. His grandmother is a legend in our house! His mother was my dad's heart dog.

Here's the story:
Dixie came to live with my grandparents when she followed my dad home form school one day. Dixie was a stray, and that's pretty much all they knew. I haven't seen any pictures of her, but they tell me she was some kind of Terrier mix; my dad thinks Wirehaired Terrier. Or, she could have just been a wirehaired mutt. Who knows? Anyway, there was a larger stray that terrorized her. At first, my grandpa did not want her. (He was VERY strict back then; he'd just come back from 'Nam and he was nothing like the spoiling, gift-giving person he is now.) But when he saw this itty bitty little puppy being chased around by this big mean bully, well... The rest is history. laugh out loud

Dixie got preggers (twice; remember, back then, things were different with breeding and stuff. Dixie was never fixed, I don't think. And she got out ALL THE TIME, so it's a wonder she didn't get pregnant more often) and out popped Patty. No one can seem to remember if Patty was in the first or second litter, but they do know that she was in the litter where Dixie needed help. My dad stayed home from school one day, and he suddenly heard SCREAMING. He ran in where Dixie was, and, yep, there was a puppy stuck. My poor teenage dad had to pull puppies out. They think the father of that litter was a neighbor's Standard Poodle. So, yeah, they were definitely too big for poor Dixie. ):

Anyway, I don't know the whole story of Patty. I just know that she was EXTREMELY loyal to my dad, and that I made her afraid of kids. I would chase her because I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to pet her. I didn't know any better. (Oddly, I didn't know that my daddy was my daddy until later in life, after Patty had passed away; he and my mom divorced when I was an infant and she kept letters and stuff from me. I only saw him when I visited my grandparents, but like I said, I didn't know who he was to me. I just knew he had a pretty white dog.) I'm not sure how Patty ended up pregnant, but she was. And this is where Pooh comes in!

Pooh was black. He DEFINITELY looked like a Poodle mix. He was the most patient, relaxed, and friendly dog I will ever come in contact with. I don't know if we have pictures or not, but if I ever find any, I will definitely make a Dogster account for Pooh.

Pooh and I grew up together. I used to ride him like a pony. He helped me learn to stand and walk. I would follow him and he would follow me. If I was old enough, I'm sure I even could have walked him. Pooh's only faults were his inability to be housetrained, and his anxiety. My grandparents left for vacation, and Pooh somehow escaped. We believe the cougar got him. ): The reason we think that, is because the cougar was seen in the neighborhood around the same time. His/her territory spans to other neighborhoods, so we only see him/her every few years, but we all know when the cougar's back, because pets start disappearing. Cats never come back, dogs vanish from their yards... Pretty scary. But I'm pretty sure the cougar is dead by now.

Anyways, I came back one vacation, calling for Pooh over and over again. When I finally asked my grandparents, they told me that Pooh was gone. To this day, I have never cried that loudly, that heartbrokenly, or that long. To this day, nothing compares to the amount of pain I felt. Not being cheated on, not reliving my traumatic past, nothing. Pooh gone was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. The one and only thing I would ever change, is somehow finding a way to convince my grandparents to bring Pooh to where my mom and I were.

After Pooh, there was Mitzi and then PeeWee. I loved PeeWee, but I was so troubled when we had PeeWee. Mentally, I should not have owned anything with a life. But, I think PeeWee did know he was loved, even if I was harsh to him at times.

And then... Lobo.

After PeeWee passed, we realized that a house without a dog was terrible. We spent weeks looking. In the meantime, my grandparents bought me a ferret. Another regret I have is giving her away when we got Lobo. I wish I would have just kept her and worked things out somehow. But maybe it was better? Maybe keeping her would have led to her death? I'm not really sure. Anyway, we ended up finding the perfect dog about an hour outside of town, at the SPCA.

Okay, so "perfect" isn't the adjective I would use to describe year-old Lobo. laugh out loud "Pretty" maybe. Or "out of control." "Hyper" worked well, too.

I've told this story countless times. I'm sure many of the dogsters remember it. But basically, Lobo was a terror. He marked, he pinned my brother to the floor once, and on a leash? Oh god. If he saw a dog, he was gone, and I was being dragged behind him. He didn't have a care in the world what *you* wanted. It was Lobo > everyone else in his mind. Heck, it probably still is. laugh out loud Definitely a far cry from passive, obedient, relaxed Pooh.

Honestly, I didn't feel connected to Lobo for quite some time. There was another dog I wanted, and Lobo just... annoyed me. A lot. It was *his* fault I had to get rid of my ferret. It was *his* fault that I had bruises all the time. It was *his* fault I couldn't pet other dogs. It was *his* fault my knees were scraped. It was *his* fault for... well, everything.

But he somehow grew on me. Not really sure how that one happened. I guess I started to admire his strong will, his free face, his... well, everything. Lobo was mine. He knew before I did. Despite all of his, erm, "faults" he clung to me like I was his sun. Yeah, Lobo definitely knew before I did. laugh out loud

Black dogs rock!
Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 3:02pm PST 
Bunny, hands downcloud 9 I feel in love with him the first time I saw him at 2 months old and he belonged to someone else. I *knew* he was supposed to be mine. I contented myself with dog sitting him, letting his owner know that if he ever needed a new home , I wanted him. A few months later I got that phone call. " Do you still want him?" "Oh, yes !" I love the way he looks into my eyes , the way he cocks his head when I talk to him, the way he jumps into my arms when I tell him to climb in, the way he flings himself onto his back to get his belly scratched, the way he totally trusts me cloud 9 I saw that someone else said their dogs give hugs. So does he, he puts his paws up on my shoulders and puts down his head on one of them. He is always right next to me. I love how he is totally focused on me, like I am the most important thing in the world. I even love his jealously if I pay attention to anyone or anything elselaugh out loud In spite of the fact that we are very bonded, he loves anyone who will pay attention to him as wellwink
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