The Teachers

Over the years I have come to realize how very important dogs are in my life. I love dogs! I especially love the Doberman breed of dog! I cannot put into words just why I am so entranced with this splendid creature but I just am and I love every minute of how it feels in my heart. Dogs give me focus. A long time ago I realized that I would always have one or more Dobie dogs in my life. I knew so little then. The problem was that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. The good news is that having Dobie dogs taught me a great deal about how the world works and what is and is not important in our lives. At this writing, I am in the empty space between Dobie dogs.

All dogs are our teachers and all breeds of dogs are love machines. When I was a full time RVer some time ago my Black Lab mix canine friend was with me the entire time. We ran together on the beach, camped in the forest, and loved every minute of it. She was a wonderful friend and now regretfully, she has gone on to that huge doggy park in the sky

Jake was my first Dobie and was born in 1999. He was a black and tan with a docked tail but with natural ears. He died in 2007 and I recall thinking that I loved him so much that I would be devastated if he ever left me. My sister, a retired animal professional, had told me in her matter-of-fact way that

“Oh, you got a Doberman? They’re good for just eight years!”

My thought at the time was, what an awful thing to say but I soon found out that she was simply stating a fact of life in dog world.

Sadly, I found out for myself just how true that statement was as I have played it back over and over in my mind. Raptor was my second Dobie dog. He was a Red Dobie with traditionally docked ears and tail appearance. He was a magnificent creature! His ears were perfect. Raptor was the most handsome Dobie I had ever seen and a great friend to me. While he and I were constant companions, I began to absorb more and more information about the world and Mother Nature.

Then, something strange started to occur. At first, I thought very little about it but bit by bit, I realized that I could have done better with Jake. I was learning from my teachers one by one… Eight years by eight years. So here I am now feeling like an empty soul without my buddy Raptor who taught me so very much about life and how to improve it. One side of me wants to rush out and get another brand new beautiful little Dobie pup, but the other side of me is telling me to sit back a while and digest all the new information I now have, thanks to Raptor… my King Dog!

I took some time in the first days after Raptor passed away to weigh out my life with or without dogs and in the end, there was absolutely no decision to be made! I would have my next teacher… my next Dobie dog, but when?

Somewhere out there is a Momma Dobie dog or even a mother-to-be Doberman who would carry my next little bouncing, puddling licking, and chewing teacher. I decided to set a goal. This time I would do it better than ever. I would gather within me the patience to train this little one to be the absolute best he can be and I would be the best I could be right alongside him and for him.

I have books on everything that interests me and searched through my bookshelves for guidance in thoughts of being the best I could be for my next dog friend. Amazingly, I found that I owned four books on dogs and had never finished reading any of them. I have “Be the Pack Leader” by Cesar Millan, “Guide To Owning A Doberman Pinscher” by Joseph P. Schau, “Training the Perfect Puppy” by Andrew De Prisco, and “Dog Talk” by John Ross & Barbara McKinney. I began with “Be the Pack Leader” and found that Cesar’s basic principle on dogs and humans was indeed quite similar to my new philosophy. Dogs are the teachers and us humans have much to learn.

I saw a YouTube video a while ago featuring a huge Red Dobie. His master was seated on the couch in the living room with him at his feet. Suddenly he said,

“Hey buddy, get me a beer!”

The big Dobie dog got up and calmly walked over to the fridge, stood up on his hind legs, cocked his head to the side, and grasped the refrigerator door handle to open the fridge.

He then dropped back down to all fours and again cocked his head to the side and gently picked up a can of beer that was located on the bottom shelf, walked a few paces towards his waiting master on the couch, and then reared up on his hind legs and danced the rest of the way doing a crossover sidestep that would make Paula Abdul smile!

When he reached his dad on the couch, he dropped back down and handed the beer can to his master, and assumed his former position at his master’s feet.

I am ready for the challenge and while I have really been diligently working on the “you only get eight years” thing, I am wondering why we couldn’t work on that too. Perhaps we should make our own doggy dinners this time. There must be something I can do to give us at least a little more time together. Doggy destiny dictates only 8 years but I want him forever.

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