Dog Blog Musher: #2
The Day Everything Changed.
Growing up with a German Shorthair hunting dog, I learned well of the unconditional love of a dog. Later in life, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to witness our canine buddies in a completely different venue, “Dog Mushing.”
When you’ve spent years of running the dogs two to three thousand miles in a season, at some point you get to where you actually believe you are getting pretty good at it. You’ve had the wonderful opportunity to train, race, become friends with, love and be there for them on their last day with many a good dog. But one day, forever changed the way I would look at a dog again.
It was one of those August Dog Days and the temperature in the kennel topped at over 100 degrees. I had come home from a full day of felling trees, limbing and bucking them into logs for the logger to come in and take to the mill. As soon as I get home and drive through the kennel, the first thing in order was to water the dogs. At that time the kennel was around thirty dogs strong.
As I started to make the rounds with the bucket of fresh stream water, there were 4 or 5 dogs barking and barking. “OK, OK, I’ll get to you in a minute,” I tell them. When I get to the first dog that had been barking, I see that the bowl is dry. I fill it up and continue on. When I get to the next barking dog, sure enough, he is also standing over an empty bowl. Now I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I like to think that I can see a pattern here. Before I walk over to test my theory that only the barking dogs are out of water, I take a moment to listen to them. All the three dogs that are still barking, are producing the same sound. It has a WHAWHA sound. My Gosh are they trying to say water? When I water the dogs I am always asking them if they need water. “Water, water,” I would ask. They are trying to say water and can’t enunciate the t! They were. They are not only trying to communicate, but they are actually trying to talk!
Since then I have noticed that they definitely have a vocabulary. ARRAH, ARRAH, means hurry up. Do you think that it is coincidence that your dog nudges your hand after you feed it? Many of my dogs won’t take a bite of food without touching my hand with their noses. I believe that dog is actually thanking me for dinner, with sign language. I think that we should start taking more time to listen to our pet friends.
Who knows what your little canine buddy might be trying to tell you.