Daydreaming I left the 2 km track and wandered into the forest. I've never been there before. We followed one of the tracks. I took pictures and invited Miia to play with me. Miia is a fantastic old Lady. As one of the yet retired dogs she doesn't run anymore-She wouldn't be able to keep pace with the youngsters anymore. Nevertheless she still enjoys to move a little. So since I had a free day I took her to have a walk together after having trained the puppies. Miia is sweet, handsome, clever, for her age in perfect conditions and she has an astonishing orientation sense, unlike me. I got lost in the winter forest enjoying the sunlight and this beautiful landscape. Suddenly I recognized the silence, I couldn't hear the other dogs anymore. Their barking and howling have followed me into the woods even though soon I couldn't see them anymore.The trees covered with snow obscured my view. I looked around me and realized that the setting sun already coloured the white forest in shades of orange- Perkele, where the f...was I? Actually I don't not even know it now that I'm back home, but Miia knew. At first I told in English her to bring me home. I couldn't remember the right word for it in Finnish. My Finnish is still nearly not existent. So Miia just hold her head in a tilted positions and looked at me with a questioning expression in her cute dog face listening to my voice with perked ears-obviously her English was not that good. I had no cellphone, no map, no compass, no idea where I was... I started wondering about the traces a snowmobile left- according to my calculations it probably passed here yesterday. It did not snow over night and the traces did not look fresh...So how many time will pass until somebody passes here or starts wondering where I vanished...? :)
I started walking in a random direction. Miia seemed to be confused. So I just let her lead. I tried every word that came to my mind to make her understand where I wanted her to go..."ruoka" (food), "talo" (house), "koppi" (doghouse)...Miia was still confused. "koti" ('to' home)...That worked! She started pulling me through the woods and seemed to be so secure about where to turn and which trail to follow that I decided to trust in her. Even though she does not run the tracks anymore she knows her surroundings. Miia brought me home where her "ruoka" was waiting for her yet. Mr. Wolf was amused.
|my savior Miia|
I really like this litter (not just because of the name 'Tanssi pennut')-all of the puppies are cheerful, friendly and playful dogs. Until they are in their fences all of them come directly to greet you and invite you to play. But it is a totally different story if they have to leave their home. Actually it is not that easy to get them out there without a little help. They are scared and don't know how to react. Once they left the fences they react differently. Paso started jumping and fight against the collar. Salsa was just totally scared. Paso already got how it works, but he is so excited that he overreacts, jumps, runs tangling in his leash. He is a brave boy, not afraid to leave the track even though that means often that he vanishes in snowbanks. He likes to play in the snow. Salsa is a little spooky. She needs a lot of time to check everything carefully. She is always walking 2 steps behind you, watching you and seeking for protection if she gets to see something new. But in the same time she is really curious, she wants to know everything and highly attentive she discovers bit by bit every meter of the track. She follows every little trace with her nose dipping it deeply into the snow until the whole snout is covered. It looks so cute!
Both of them need a calm person, a lot of support and encouraging words, but in different ways. Paso needs to be calmed down and shown patiently what he is supposed to do, while salsa needs to be encouraged to go forward by herself and trust in herself. The aim is obviously to take away from them the fear of leaving their fences and fence mates giving them in a playful way a good memory connected to equipment, trainer and track. Sounds easy, but requires a lot of patience and time. That's why we can't do that with 11 puppies everyday.
Actually to get them the collar on and of wasn't a real problem. I just called them and invited them to stay with me. Cuddling them I calmed them down and after some minutes you can just put it over or take it away with a fast but unspectacular movement. Just do as a part of the game.The trick is not to make a big deal out of it.
|Lazy reindeers taking a sunbath|