Athena & Zenzi testing puppy teeth
Many of you know me from a diversity of social media sites, so you probably know that I lost my 15-year Pomeranian, Koko. I’m over the loss now.
A year, or so, before she died of kidney failure, I bought Zenzi, a wolf-sable Pomeranian. She learned fast, and inherited all of Koko’s tricks and habits. That was a good thing. My wife is a great trainer and has a lot more patience than myself. (She’s married to me.)
Zenzi graduated… and has become the perfect companion. When Koko died, Zenzi became depressed and there was no way to explain death to a dog. I did, but those words were not in her vocabulary. She laid around a lot, and stared at me, wanting to know when I was going to go get Koko, or wondering what Koko did that made me so mad, to get rid of her. No way to explain. Zenzi was about a year old, and no longer in that puppy stage. After much thought, I decided that another puppy was the answer. Pomeranians aren’t happy when they are alone.
In my latest books, Louis Bautista had a Pomeranian in book 1 and 2.
I flew to North Carolina to buy a little black and tan Pom. I researched taking a dog on a plane, and… I think I can do it. (That story is on my blog), but the bottom line is that a weird bonding happened because of the airport experience. Now in Florida, Athena follows me everywhere. I haven’t been to the bathroom alone in months. Normally, my wife is the trainer, and I don’t interfere with her years of experience. Like I said, more patience than me.
Athena says otherwise. I… am her human, and she rejects the authority of my wife. She whines when I go to work, sleeps between my knees at night, and has learned that if she stares at me long enough, I will give her a dog-biscuit. So, I have been doing her training. I am on lockdown with this Corona 19 thing, so the timing is good. She’s a lot smarter than I thought. I have learned that it is not that she can’t learn, she just doesn’t want to learn. She is the most, strong-willed, dog I have ever owned. She is finally surrendering to STAY, DROP, and NO. She learned COME fast enough, but just doesn’t always feel like doing it. I teach my dogs hand signals as they learn the commands. I also teach them that belching and farting, gets rewards. My wife just shakes her head at me.
The leash is my biggest challenge now. She just lies down, like, drag me human! You can’t use a collar like a regular dog. Poms have a trachea issue, so you have to use a harness. She hates the harness as well. I have several different styles, and she prefers the old original nylon straps. Due to the Florida heat, I believe she wants as little body contact as possible. She’s making progress. Wait until she discovers that I bought seat belts for the car.
Once again, my patience is a bit less than a dog trainer, and often she frustrates me, and I feel like she’s beating me. I have failed. She’s going to hate me for all of the abuse I’m inflicting on her. Sometimes I get so frustrated that I consider giving her to someone more qualified.
Then… I finish my latest page for my website, save it for tomorrows posting, and shut down the three 24” monitors in front of me. The cooling fans whine to a stop, I close my schedule book, and roll my chair away from my desk. It stops against something and I look back in the floor. Athena pushed her dog bed across the room, and against my chair. There is a sudden flow of emotion. I reach down, pick up her limp three pound body, and hold her against my chest. “Come on girl, it’s bed time.”