Another “gotcha” day celebration

St. Patrick’s Day is the day Kipper came to stay with us full time.  I still remember him sitting in the kitchen watching me cook Corned Beef and Cabbage, learning  to be a “house dog.” Hard to believe it’s been 4 years. This year’s dinner guests actually comments on how much calmer Kipper is now. I remember when I couldn’t get his harness on him and the other day he actually ran over to the back door and looked up at where it hangs.  He’s still not as easy as Quincy and most times I still have to scoop him up and carry him to the harness while he makes various vocalizations that range from guttural to high pitched to a final silence by the time I plop him down and wrap it around him.

He is still the smartest dog I’ve ever had. About a month ago I bought a Nina Ottensen puzzles (one of the more difficult ones) to amuse the dogs during this snowy winter. Kipper figured it out in 30 seconds and wanted to play again. I have taken to adding the plastic bones that make it more of a challenge and the gleam in Kipper’s eye when he sees it is wonderful.  Quincy is still working on it and generally prefers the kong that you just have to push to get treats to fall out.

Last month, I had a trainer come to the house to help me brush up on my clicker skills, she pronounced him a “joy to work with.”  I think it’s his OCD that gives him such a great work ethic. Like those labradors who will chase a ball til they drop, Kipper is never bored when he is working or making up his own games. I do wish he would stop stealing the cloth napkins off the guest’s laps but maybe next year.

He’s clearly the poster child for giving a “difficult” dog some time, good food and a job. He will probably never be a dog for everyone but every day I am thankful he’s a dog for me.





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