new dog teaches old man a trick or two

Pozzo & Lucky

“All is dream or frenzy to the poet,” said D. H. Lawrence.

He was really thinking of my Tzuri, of course, who alternately twitches and moans from the depths of image-rich puppy sleep, or runs amuck like a shooting star in combustible fits of joy.


She’s twelve weeks now, the last four of which the two of us have been locked in rigorous mutual training sessions. I have learned that the orange dish towel is for tug-o’-war, and that when she “wins” she is to get a treat. The odd-shaped kong toy that bounces goofy when I throw it she will retrieve if I say “fetch” and give her a reward when she drops it at my feet. “Komm” and “Setz” are no problem as long as I also include hand signals because my German accent is nicht so gut. Food rewards mandatory after each performance, did I mention that?

Platz” she hasn’t learned me yet. “Nein” is optional.

tzuri with bone

Tzuri does dutifully piddle and poop in the yard . . . mostly – although I suspect she often squats and fakes it just for the tasty morsel I always give her.

[She pretends to be quite the grownup after a poop and tries to “mark” her territory by scratching with her back legs. Comically, when one leg leaves the ground she becomes like a three-legged stool and topples over.]

Leash training?

Animal behaviorists take note: Tzuri has decided that her leash is a live slithering thing with one end being the ‘head’ and the other a ‘tail’. She instinctively grabs it just behind the metal clip and shakes it violently back and forth to break its “neck.”

We don’t get very far on walks, needless to say.

It’s when her eyes light up like mushroom clouds that I know to take cover. In what I call her “mc2” mode she explodes in a demolition derby of figure-eights around the yard or the living room at suicide speed.

tzuri running

In such moments Tzuri has surrendered to primal urges, slipped into a zone where she is not consciously in control – operating from somewhere down in the Reticular Activating System (RAS) near the tiny amygdala or the red-hot hypothalamus, wherever – and thus she’s nearly impossible to reign in. Far too many times in such a state of hyperactivity I mistakenly thought it would be fun to roll and wrestle and play with her only to end up oozing blood.

[Interestingly, Tzuri tenderly licks the very scabs on my hands and arms and legs which she herself created.]

And just as quickly, she implodes. She can go half the day as well as most of the night recharging herself without a whimper or the need to go outside.

🙂 Which gives me time to lick MY wounds, too. 🙂

Look at this gal.

Is that confidence, a commanding presence, or what?

She knows who’s the alpha ’round here!

tzuri vom kirsys

After all, I’M tethered to the other end of the leash!

john and tzuri

A la Pozzo & Lucky, the two Samuel Beckett characters yoked together by a rope in “Waiting For Godot,” it is not entirely clear who is the master and who is the slave.

🙂 🙂 🙂

[To Be Continued…]

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