Today had a really rough start.
My mood sucked, my anxiety was as high as it could be, we lost our house keys and Kasper was being his usual annoying self.
Do I love him? Of course. But I think many people would find him hard to love 😀 Although at this point I would count him as having no major behavioural issues…he is just an arse, and at times is infuriating even for us. We love him and he can be very sweet, but he has a horrible personality XD
Raiden on the other hand is the first dog who has helped me more than I have helped them…he is easy to own and easy to love.
Although he adores us he doesn’t need to be with us, touching us or playing with us 24/7. He’s ‘easy’ to walk, both on and off lead – he’s far, far easier than Kasper or Zoey – and he’s always happy. He has no nervousness like Kasper, and he’s never stressing over nothing like Zoey.
But alongside all that, he makes ME happy.
99 times out of 100 when I interact with him, my mood is significantly improved afterwards. And it’s not because he’s easier – he requires far more attention and training on walks than Kasper, more attention in the house *and* I worry exponentially that I haven’t done good enough with him – but his personality is amazing. He calms me, and I enjoy spending time with him so much.
Plus, he sits on my lap and cuddles into me, whilst giving kisses…nothing beats that, nothing!
(he loves that I’m bald now because he can lick my head!!)
I’ve never had this before. It’s always been me working to make them happy; it’s never felt so easy going.
With Raiden it’s different…bah, I can’t get the words right. I can’t accurately describe how it is.
But he’s amazing, and he can turn even the hardest day around 🙂
This morning we took him for a walk and the world threw so much shit at us, yet I enjoyed it so much because being out with Raiden is FUN and, most times, he can cope with a lot of distractions.
On our way to the beach today there were two dogs walking towards us; one was a small dog (Rat Terrier maybe?) that was growling low and lunging. We were about 15ft away and Raiden watched, responded when we called him away for treats, and then walked in the opposite direction.
The other was a Lab that we saw directly after this, and Raiden would stop and watch then, when we called “This way Rey, come on!” he would charge after us all excited – so frickin’ cute 😀
However the Lab’s owner was catching us fast, and we didn’t want Raiden to get to the point where he was straining and yapping at the dog, so we made the decision to pick him up. We called him to us, scooped him up, the dog passed and he was back on the ground within ten seconds.
Raiden didn’t even look back at the dog – he took a treat and then carried on!
We passed a few other people; the only one he was mildly interested in and pulling towards was an old woman with a bike next to her, eating on a bench. We were on the same narrow path; Rey moved in her direction, we called him to carry on, and he did 🙂
We ducked down onto the beach early, because we were trapped on the narrow path and the growly Rat Terrier was coming back our way, and then we let Raiden off lead.
He stays so close by when he’s off lead, and every time he runs past us (if we’ve moved ahead of him) he checks in and gets a treat 🙂
Raiden actually stays so close it’s really hard to practice recall, because he’s always there!!
And, if he decides we are better than the walk, he just walks by the side of us holding eye contact 🙂
When he is off running and sniffing, just watching how much he’s enjoying himself makes me feel better, and unlike when we walked Kasper off lead, my anxiety is so low because he stays nearby.
Finally, how can you not be cheered by that face?!
On the way back there was a cyclist coming towards us, on the narrow road with no pavements, so we tucked in to get out of their way.
The cyclist stopped ten feet from us and snapped “You’re not playing with my car, are you?”
Now both me and my partner were caught off guard – we hadn’t even realisesd we were near a car, we were focusing completely on Raiden! We both looked up at the guy; I think my partner said “I don’t know what you mean…?” and I said “what? no – what?” – we were SO confused!
I think then the cyclist realised he sounded like a dick, because he tried to make small talk, and all I could do was marvel at Raiden who was being so calm!
Little guy’s never managed to stay so focused as we’ve walked past someone who was actively talking to us; we were within six foot of the cyclist idiot and all Raiden did was walk to my side holding eye contact 🙂
When we got home we did some scratch board work to file those stubs down.
Then we did some stripping, and then we did some work with a shaver – I’ve semi-built this up in that when it’s turned on he’s been getting treats for the past few weeks, but that’s all.
Today I was able to shave some hair of his belly and back legs with zero issues 🙂
We are of course stripping him, but I want to get him used to being shaved for operations – when Kasper needed his leg shaving it really freaked him out, so it’s one less hurdle for vet visits if we can get Rey used to that 🙂
Thank you Raiden for being the dog you are! ❤