Wednesday, September 10, 2008



I’m The Writer, from “The Wandering Writer…and her dog,” a new blog, here on Blogger that I started writing 17 days ago. At that time, I didn’t have a dog. I had my husband’s dog, Willie, and my daughter’s dog, Black Jack, that she wanted to be with her in North Carolina very desperately. (We’re in the Catskill Mountains in New York.) I also had goldfish and, for the first time in 27 years, a very empty nest and a husband who is rapidly approaching retirement. In considering what we want to do when that long awaited day of retirement comes, I came up with the fact that we had always wanted to just go out and “wanderung,” a German word indicative of journeying with one’s family, friends and dog, kind of. Thus, without a dog of my own to “wanderung” with, I began a blog about the process of doing just that.

During the second week of blogging, we found the "dog of my dreams" at the local pound. He was the only dog there, had been there for two months and was due to be “put down” the week after Labor Day. We found him on Labor Day and, after transporting my daughter’s dog and furniture down to her in North Carolina, he came to live with us this past Saturday. I named him Bear, and today is his fifth day with us and the process of formal “socialization with people” training started for him today.

This morning, phaird from “Dog Parks” returned my visit and asked if I would be interested in writing up a post for his blog. It is my honor to do so, and as such, here is my humble entry on our first lesson in socialization with Bear:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

...and "socialization" with Bear has begun. I must confess, after thinking about the socialization issue last night, I called Frank-down-the-hill and set up a hot date for this morning. If we are going to be able to "wander all over the planet" with Bear and Willie, then they really need to be very well mannered dogs. The natural disposition with Bear, with some training, should be very amenable to that, however, Willie still seems to believe that the sole function of anyone who passes this house is to play ball with him. My thought is to get Bear trained to visit with manners first and then add William to the equation.

Today was our first day with it, so, at 7:30 this morning, Bear and I were out the door for our first "meeting." Frank-down-the-hill lives in the next house "down-the-hill" from us. He's maybe a quarter of a mile down from here and confessed to "spotting" me walking with a "new family member" when I spoke with him last night. I didn't tell him that I've seen him watching us with his face plastered against the window as we pass by, or that driving his new Matrix out to the field next to his house to watch us was a bit obvious, even though he did try to hide it by the tree line. He's getting on in years, isn't as steady as he used to be and the Matrix is quieter than the four-wheeler so is better for "covert operations" like spying on your neighbors.

People do still do this kind of thing here because, living in the Catskill State Park, there isn't a whole lot else to do but watch what everyone else is doing. Frank has been retired for years, is a widower and a wonderful friend so when any changes happen at our house, he's the first to know. Bear's first "official" visit couldn't be with anyone else.

When we got to the door, Bear was frightened about going into the basement that Frank converted to a living area when his wife died, so Frank came out to meet us at the door. It was cool this morning and damp enough that "older bones take on a chill," or so Frank insisted. After standing outside and having an initial meeting, Frank invited us in again and, with some coaxing, Bear came in. There was an ulterior motive for this entrance on Frank's part. He likes it when our dogs "come visiting" on their own because he likes to have dinner with them. Pizza night is a particular favorite and there have been many a night over the past two decades that dogs who have lived with us came back with anchovy and cheap beer breath. He teaches them about the "neighbor path" we have between the houses and after that, there's no stopping it.

He and my former dog Buddy, aka "Budman," were great friends in younger years.

I let Frank know that this one will not be "visiting" without me because he is going to have a job and that Willie was in training now too. Judging from the look he gave me, I think I am going to have to be extra vigilant about this as Frank is not above "sneaking" when there is a challenge involved. Between him and farmer Phil, who is still oogling my dog, I've got my hands full in preventing these guys from turning Bear into a delinquent or worse...

Thankfully, I do have the complete cooperation of the neighborhood ladies, two of whom we met and Bear slobbered all over, while they were out having a healthy morning walk on "the hill." They saw that we had been visiting Frank and will be keeping an eye on things as well!

Happy wanderings and best wishes to all at Dog Parks this week!

The Writer...and her dog, Bear


patpat said...

I just started reading your blog and Bear looks so lovable! Your neighbors seem really great too!!!

Michael Knight Rambo said...

I just saw your blog on blogs of note.
The best part of my day is walking my dogs.

Extra Virgin said...

A year ago I adopted a pup. At the rescue centre I was shown adorable fluffy puppies - but noticed this one being kept apart from the rest. A scruffy little thing that gave me no choice but to pick her up and take her home. She took to us like a house on fire, regardless of some seriously peeved cats (who rule). I named her Bella (what sort of name is Cafe Ole anyway?). She is beautiful, has a long line of noble ancestors of uncertain orgins, a darling, wild and changed our outlook on the psyche of dogs completely. Well done Bella!

- Paul Hastings said...

Very nice pictures. ;D

Zrcadlo said...

Great blog.

Varun---India said...

Hey...ur blog was on the blog of note's absolutely brilliant..especially some of the pictures...keep up the good work

Michelle Kafka said...

Awesome pics, info., and links. Dogs and wolves are my favs. It is a shame when they're due to be put down. AWWW. Good for you for rescuing him!

Therra Cathryn said...

I love this blog! I became a "wandering" dog owner with my 3 rescued dogs after Hurricane Katrina devastated my life. There's a lot on this blog to keep our collective tails wagging. Keep up the good work!

Edward said...

I love dogs! Wow!
This is a really cool blog. I will be visiting here.
My puppy is somewhat stupid and smart.

Well bye!

Beth said...

Great blog! I will be back! I have a Golden Retriever that I found at the county shelter 4 1/2 years ago. She and my Himalayan cat are the loves of my life! They keep me going, too.

Right now, I'm in a skilled nursing facility because of a staph infection, but my Golden, Kasey Kay, will be coming tomorrow night so that she can spend all day with me on Sunday.

She visits all the other patients and seeing the smiles on their faces just makes me feel so good that we can brighten their lives for a little while.

I'm looking for a way to get her trained and certified as my assistance dog, so if anyone has any information, please stop by my blog.

Keep up the good work!


qashif said...

Nice work man very useful information about dogs. I think this is published first time in the history of internet. How many people agree with me???????

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Radagast said...


Good blog. I like the way you make (relatively) ordinary things seem exceptional.

Anyway, I've received a Brilliant Blogger Award:

courtesy of my good friend at Soulful Sepulcher. It's a pyramid thing, and I've to "pay it on" to 7 others. Feature the badge, or not, as you see fit.


Radagast said...

PS What is bear (aside from a dog, that is)? I couldn't tell from the pictures.


Velu said...

It must be great fun to have dog parks. Back home they just have parks where dogs poop.


sue said...

I just saw your blog. Adorable.
you mentioned Catskills, are you saying Upstate NY?
I sure miss where we are from in NY. we were from closer to the Adirondecks.
I as well have two dogs. one is 2 years old, Sophie who is a austrialian shepard, border collie, husky mix. (a lot of energy) and Wally is a Black lab mix. (still a lot of energy).
where we live is in W. Tn. and it has been so hot out, it is hard to go for a walk with these two. Sophie is okay with it and willing to go the extra mile, where as Wally, if it is 75 out, a large block is his limit before he decides he is going to lay down. I do take water for them but that is not the problem I guess. anyway, they to need socialization. but it is hard to do that in this heat. there is a area we can go to but it is about 1/2 hour away, the dogs get car sick. when Sophie and Wally see another dog, they want to go play and they go nuts almost. Usually it is shortly after we head out so their energy level is still high and sophie is a very excitable dog. If I have just one of them they are easier to handle but both of them, Wally does not like sophie giving her attention to someone else. Something I have to work on.
sue, sophie and wally

KULDEEP said...


This is very nice photo. I am feeling very happy to see your dog loves.



Franh said...

Nice blog! As the owner of two golden retriever, Holly and Rosie, I'm always looking to read more about these wonderful companions. My two love the Soldan Dog Park in Lansing, Michigan. 17 acres of trail around a large swimming pond.

Dog'sLove said...

Bear looks very nice and lovely. How old is he?

Lickety-Split at Mountain Laurel Inn B&B said...

Just saw your blog on blog of notes. Thought you might enjoy my entry today that has a quote from Max Lucado about Dog diaries. We are fun and happy, aren't we! Dogs rule.

RookieRuggerLSU said...

It's great to see another person find love with a rescued animal - we have two rescues ourselves and I could not imagine our lives without them. I hope more people can learn about the animals who need our love and a good home from your blog and others like them.

Mrs. Tomacina Wuthrich said...

Good Idea. More people should be more humane.

lerisvisppi said...

no entiendo el ingles pero quiero decirte algo que para el amor a los animales no hay idiomas lo unico que importa es ver las imagenes hermosas y cariñosas que poenes en tu pagina

Anonymous said...

your blog reminded me of my childhood days,and my pet silky, oh just the name brings back so many loving memories!she was the most beautiful and loving white pomerian with kohl lined eyes. i still dont know how she chose me to be her best buddy out of six siblings.our friendship grew day by day during her 11 years of stay with us.still her memories are as fresh as ever, i have not kept any new pet since then, just not to give her special place in my heart to somebody else

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My family, some dog, he dies of illness, my unusual sadness