Pukhet: broken routines, books, dog’s psychology

August 2nd, 2022

It’s been raining non-strop since yesterday.  This morning only Woland signed for the run. I usually get up at 5:30, when he wakes up, walk him, feed him, prepare and drink coffee, do some work and go for a run at the beach. Once back I work a couple more hours before the family comes to life.  Then it’s breakfast/brunch time at home or somewhere in town. Eventually we go to beach or enjoy a relaxing afternoon with books or movies.  The family reunites around sunset and then either I cook, or we go out for dinner.  

But not today.  Not only it has been raining but we also didn’t have electricity, and therefore no WIFI.  I dropped the girls at a café where they spent most of the day. I had to be at home with Woland but was able to do some reading.  I have finished both of Webb Chiles’ open boat books which I highly recommend:

I am sure they were not written as self-help books, but the stories around the voyage (almost 20,000 miles in an open boat), love and relationships, and Saudi Arabia’s intelligence services, helped me put my own losses and vulnerabilities in perspective. 

It is not always easy to coexist with Woland.  As he gains confidence and asserts himself, he becomes more independent and challenges my leadership.  The puppy who once used to follow me around like my shadow, now goes off on his own.  He wants to play hard and even when I discipline him – without using force — he doesn’t stop.  Sometimes he barks in protest if I don’t let him get his way.  I knew he was going to go through this phase.   Two other books I recently read were written by the Monks of New SketeThe Art of Raising a Puppy and The Art of Training your Dog.  The monks breed German Sheppers, somewhere up in New York state, and train dogs.  The books are well written and provide useful insights, but like with sailing books, it is only when you try it on your own that you see the limitations of the theory.  According to the puppy evaluation test that they describe in the appendix of their book – believe or not there are specialists developing and testing instruments to assess a dog’s personality –, Woland is “dominant and self-assured.”  

He will keep me busy over the next few weeks but overall, he is doing well – including in terms of socialization.  At the beach, in addition to dogs, there are many roosters and hens and although he plays with them, he hasn’t tried to eat one for lunch.  

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