Thursday, October 7, 2010

What a Day!

Today was a BIG BIG day for Reggie! I've been away at work since Monday afternoon and had plotted a Pit Bull Play Date with my friend Tori's dog Memphis when I got home this morning. First I walked Tucker to the dog park so he could have some one-on-one time with mom and feel important. And perhaps more importantly, Tori galloped Memphis with the bike to tire her out a bit.

As expected, Reggie and Memphis pretty much loved each other at first sight. They have similar play styles (rough-housing) and were thrilled to be allowed to play hard (with close adult supervision, of course). Tori is a pro, having adopted the highly energetic Memphis earlier in the summer, and arrived with a spray bottle, training treats, and an appropriate toy--a used bicycle inner tube.

After a long session of wrestling, occasionally interrupted by the adults when things started to get too rough, we forced a rest break. This is the first time I've seen Memphis on the "leave-me-alone" end of things. Reggie was panting, but unwilling to let go of so much fun.

Then Tori introduced the inner tube. Tug is a favorite game for Memphis, but Reggie didn't quite understand what to do until Tori gave a demonstration--then Reggie jumped in and started the longest game of Pit Bull Tug I've ever seen!

Finally it was time for Memphis to go home. Reggie was so disappointed! I'm pretty sure this was the most fun he's ever had and he probably thought that if he let her go it would never happen again (we already agreed to another play date tomorrow).

I was sure he would be tired once he took a break, so we went inside. He and Tucker have had some brief interactions before but we've mostly kept them separated due first to Reggie's kennel cough and later because growling always ensued. But when we came in, I left the gate open between the kitchen and living room and let the two dogs wander freely. Reggie has had over a week to observe Tucker and get that he's the Big Dog in the house. Being tired should settle him down a bit.

Well, the dogs have been getting along just fine ever since. Reggie is thrilled to be able to follow me every step and Tucker is annoyed that this other dog is taking over his house. Reggie shows submission by licking Tucker in the mouth before he steals his toys.

Another first: Reggie went down to the basement. He has access to the basement from the kitchen, but has never been down the stairs, preferring to watch from the top. Today when I went downstairs to get my bike for a ride, he seemed more curious than ever, especially when Tucker went down. But he would get his front paws as far as the third step before backing up quickly.

After I carried my bike up to the garage, I sat down at the top and said, "let's go together." I scooted down one step at a time as Reggie followed. But then he hesitated. Then Tucker barged through on his own way down--and Reggie followed! He checked the whole place out and now follows me if I go down there.

We also practiced some obedience training today. Along with the usual Sit, we worked on Stay, Let Go, Off, and (Lay) Down. He's quite stubborn when he doesn't want to sit. But today he grasped the concepts of Stay and Down for the first time! Tucker was instrumental in demonstrating--he hits the ground hard and fast, front legs splaying out to the side in his eagerness to earn a treat.

And both dogs sat quietly (but impatiently) while I stirred an egg into their supper kibble. Now he's snoring softly by my side.


  1. Don't forget another first for that sweet Reggie: Memphis taught him to roll on his back for belly rubs! The best lovin' there is.

  2. I forgot to put that in but remembered it later when he was on his back in my lap having his tummy rubbed!

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  4. It sounds like Reggie does what I call monkeying - meaning he watches and learns from what other dogs do! Great updates.