Friend or Buddy?

Many of you have followed this little blog long enough to know about Ari the WonderDog, commonly known as my Guide Dog, who has been retired for the last 2 years. You may even remember a post or two about his ongoing behavior review and other training.

Well just to catch you up…we’ve doubled the fun! 2 trainers, and 2 toy pals

Here’s what I mean:

Every morning after breakfast, Ari’s and ours, J and I usually spend about half an hour playing with Ari. But since he’s retired now, Ari is able to receive not only treats, but also training from J.

So after I hide his favorite toy, and ask, “Ayfo Chaver (where’s friend),” a couple of times, J steps up and does his part. He calls from one of the rooms down the hall, “Ari come,” or “Ayfo Chaver” and Ari jumps into action.

And lately, Buddy has also gotten involved.

Buddy is another of Ari’s favorite toys, a rather bulbous thing with tentacle legs—I frankly don’t know what he’s supposed to be—but Ari loves carrying him around and actually introduced it to our games.

It has taken quite a few small steps to get us here, but now Ari usually differentiates between Chaver and Buddy. And he even knows how to bring the specified toy to a specified person.

So I say: Ayfo Chaver.
Ari brings him to me.
I say: Chaver Daddy.
Ari takes Chaver from me and gives him to J down the hall.
I say: Ayfo Buddy.
Ari scurries around looking for Buddy, and brings him to me. I say: Ayfo Chaver.
Ari finds Chaver and brings him to me. Now I have both toys. I stand before Ari with one toy in each hand, and say: Buddy Daddy. Ari chooses Buddy and takes him to J.
J says: Buddy Mama.
Ari brings Buddy back to me.

I must say, sometimes the commands fly so fast, back and forth, up and down the hall, it makes my head spin. But for being an elderdog, Ari does a pretty nice job…and gets a lot of mental exercise in the process.

**So I’m curious: How do you Dear Readers keep your older pets active and learning? Can’t wait to hear!

4 thoughts on “Friend or Buddy?

  1. I taught my beagle Rowdy who lived to be 15-years-old how to play hide and seek with one of his favorite balls.

    I’ve taught Campbell flat-out how to play hide and seek.

    He hides, and I tell you he lays so quiet and sometimes I walk right passed him and don’t know. This has been hard for him to learn because at first, he gave himself away by wagging his tail.

    The way I taught was at first to put him at rest and to go and hide.

    I would call from some room in a quiet voice that he could get up and even though I’d called to him he would run round hunting me.

    Then one day I came out of the bathroom and asked, “Where’s Bubba?” He did not answer. I called again, “Where’s Bubba?” Again he did not answer.

    Now, if I call him and say Come in a firm voice, he will break the game and come but he figured out to hide from me just like I hid from him and now we play every day.

    We also hide toys and play tag.

    Campbell still works but I believe that it is important for him to remain very mentally and physically active.

    He is what I call part-time retired. He works when he feels like it and he have no trouble telling me, “Mom, take the stick.”

    But, most of the time he likes to go. He enjoyed the mall very much today and when we got home and I was ready to drop he was still raring to go and played fetch and tug till I thought I’d fall over.

    Finally he is tired out and sleeping.

    I am glad for his energetic self.

    1. What a great story…and it’s obvious Campbell has always had a more energetic spirit than Ari. But then you and I are different that way, too, I think…and they are our perfect teammates! Blessings and love to you and Campbell!

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