By Liz Palika
February 22, 2011
It’s hard to believe, but Sisko is nine months old. In some respects it seems like we’ve had him for much longer; I guess because he’s fit into our household so well. On the other hand, where have the past few months gone?
Those months have been a huge learning experience for Sisko. He’s learning the basic obedience exercises and already able to demonstrate most of them in our classes. He loves agility and we’re doing some trick training. Although he’s too young to begin carting, he’s walked next to Bashir as he pulls his cart and wasn’t worried about it at all.
He’s been to the Oceanside Harbor, to the department store, the garden center, to my Mom’s house to play with her dog, Ginger, and to some friends’ homes. He’s been to the beach, the park, and downtown.
When he first left the mountains of Arizona to come to our household in Southern California, Sisko was worried about some of the new things he encountered. Sea lions barking was cause for concern, as was the noisy trash truck. A remote control plane flying overhead was really strange.
The first time he watched Paul ride his motorcycle into the garage was worrisome. But then, when this weird looking thing got off the bike and pulled its head off; well, that was just completely wrong in Sisko’s mind (Paul wears a complete safety suit and a full face helmet.) But once Paul took off the helmet and talked to him, Sisko calmed down. Sometimes I see him looking at Paul as if he’s waiting for Paul to take off his head again, though.
As he’s adapted I see that cautious side of his personality much less. Instead, a confident adolescent is emerging.Â But of course, that confident side of him brings its own issues.
Bashir has been a wonderful older brother and has been very patient. But as Sisko has gained confidence Bashir has also been a little less tolerant with him. Let’s just say there are times when Sisko spends some time on his back with Bashir, ummm, well, teaching him manners.Â For the most part, though, the two dogs get along wonderfully. Bashir is a awesome dog and Sisko couldn’t have a better teacher.
I tell my dog training students all the time a puppy is a promise of the future. It’s going to be fun to see what the future brings for Sisko.
Photo credit: Above: Sisko on his first day at home with us; Below: Five months later Sisko (on the right) with Bashir. Photos by Liz Palika