Sorry I have been away for a while 🙂
I come with exciting news: Yesterday was Kasper’s fourth ‘Gothca Day’ with us!!
We have had him for four years…!!! I can’t believe it 🙂
In some ways it feels like he has been with us forever, yet in others I can’t quite believe we have had him for so long! I still remember the day we first met him so clearly. He was the first dog we went to meet to see if we wanted to adopt him. Me and my partner talked about it on the way over; how we wouldn’t make any rash decisions, how – if we really liked the dog and knew it was the one for us – we would squeeze each other’s hands as a signal.
We arrived and Kasper, just 9 months old, was very energetic! He had been living mostly in the back garden, and so the excitement of being in the house, meeting knew people AND going for a walk was *very* overwhelming!! Looking back he was a little fearful of us, but being a total dog noob I didn’t recognise that, and took him lying down as being polite, “rub my belly please” behaviour.
We walked him to nearby park with his owner. Kasper pranced ahead, sliding onto his belly and acting all shy around other dogs. I looked at my partner, he looked at me, and we squeezed each other’s hands 🙂
Once we got back to Kasper’s old owners’ house, Kasper sprawled at our feet, totally comfortable with us. We fussed him, loved him and rough housed with him. We were there forever. At one point Kasper’s old owner called him to her for treats, and Kasper wouldn’t budge from our side!
A few days later, out of all the people who had visited in the hope of getting Kasper, they said that Kasper was ours!
We lived in a flat with no garden at the time, which is why we’d adopted a house trained dog because toilet training a puppy would be hard work! Kasper, being a Springer x Collie, was very energetic. We gave him four hours’ off-lead exercise everyday, and that calmed him down some 😉
Kasper is not an easy dog. When he came he had little obedience training, poor recall, was hugely over the top with other dogs, and scared of strangers (especially men); add to that a hefty dose of separation anxiety (to the point where he chewed halfway through the door of our rented flat!!) and a good dollop of resource guarding and we had our hands full 😀
We spent months crate training him, so that he had a safe place and could be left home alone. I read up on all things dog, learned that dominance in dogs was a load of crap and began learning about positive reinforcement. We worked on the resource guarding, the recall and the fear of men. Kasper became a happy, well adjusted dog.
Nobody has ever taught me as much as Kasper, and I like to think he is much changed from the scared 9 month old pup we adopted.
He still needs more exercise than Zoey, and he can still be a handful…but we love him. He’s a wonderful dog. I can’t imagine life without him, and I am so happy that me and my partner squeezed hands all those years ago!!
He’s welcomed his Staffy sister into the family, he LOVES to play with her. The initial intro was tricky, what with Kasper growling at her constantly, but now I can’t imagine one without the other!
Kasper loves hugs and kisses, he thinks training is so much fun (he knows over 25 tricks now!) and he adores his walks. He’s a very happy, loving dog.
Here’s to many, many more years together 🙂
And Kasper had a wonderful day yesterday!
He had a 45 minute walk in the morning, as he does everyday. Then we were out all day (boo!) and didn’t get back until the evening. We gave him a short walk in the dark, and promised him a better one today.
Once we were home it was time to crack out the treats and his new toys!
We’d bought in some Yorkshire cured ham which we stuffed into his new treat toys. Kasper had the best time trying to get it out 🙂
And, while he was busy with that, we made him a cake!
My partner did most of the work, I just made the icing from mashed potatoes and a little tomato juice! The letters on the ‘icing’ are cut from ham 😀
And today, as promised, we took Kasper on a suuuuper long hike! We had a really awesome time, and I took lots of photos which I will share with you tomorrow 🙂