It’s funny how you forget what it’s like to have a young dog when you’ve been living with a senior dog for so long. When Sunny joined our family we had not lived with a young dog for nearly a decade. Karlie was 14.5 when we said goodbye and had been an older dog for several years. Even before GOLPP, although she was full of energy, she was not the rambunctious puppy and young dog that she once had been.
Walking a Young Dog
I had forgotten how hard it is to teach leash walking skills. An older dog has less energy and generally does not pull you down the street. This gives you the false impression that it’s easy to teach your dog to walk with you. A young dog wants to check out the birds across the street, the person 5 houses down that entered their yard, the piece of paper on the street, and every other thing. Sunny is that dog. She is curious about EVERYTHING. But I had forgotten, until I re-read some old journals, how much Karlie was like that too. How much she pulled and how reactive she was to other dogs. She was not the perfect walker that she was in her last few years. Sunny and I are working on learning how to walk nicely with each other. We’re not perfect, especially when a bird is in a field or a leaf skitters across the road on a windy day, but we are working on it.
So Much Energy
I had forgotten how much energy young dogs have. I spend a lot of time thinking of things to keep Sunny busy and learning. We take walks, learn new tricks, explore empty fields, shred empty boxes, and have learning sessions. Of course we also lounge and snuggle, too. In Karlie’s last few years we took a lot of adventures, played fetch, and did indoor agility, but there was also a lot of naps because she was older. I had forgotten all the time I spent with her and Anna going to agility classes, throwing tennis balls in the backyard, taking them to the park or lake to explore, going for walks, spending time in the front of our yard learning not to be reactive to other dogs, and playing.
The Bond Doesn’t Last Long Enough
I had forgotten that all the time I spent with Karlie forged the inseparable bond that we had. I hope to one day have a similar relationship with Sunny. Until then, we keep learning together and about each other. It’s worth every minute because before I know it, it will be over.