Being her own Dog

Golden Retriever at the lake FennCIMG3721
I’m writing this while watching Anna trying to catch mosquitos at the lake. The rain and the insects are forming ripples on the water’s surface, causing her tail to wag in excitement.
You know, when I take a right turn at the gate, Anna will start to speed up. She is obviously impatient, running a few meters ahead and then back to me. She knows that soon after, there is another right turn following and then she can hardly be stopped. It’s the way to the lake. It’s her favorite place on the whole planet. Why? No, not because she is a retriever and likes to retrieve sticks or toys from water. In fact only yesterday I lost an expensive buoy because she didn’t think it was necessary to retrieve it. No, the mosquitos won! They move! Everything that moves is awesome and usually has an interesting taste. But those Mosquitos are a mystery to Anna. She can’t seem to catch them!
Occasionally she will turn in surprise because her tail splashes water around her from excitement. Wondering what that was, she looks at me: Mosquitos?
I have been wondering if I should make her retrieve. She could do it very well a few months ago. She is a retriever, isn’t that what she is supposed to do??
But watching her having such fun chasing insects, I see no point in takingthe fun away!
Watching her further I notice how alert she is. Her reactions are so quick, I can hardly follow them with my eyes.
Those ripples could be anything. Sometimes a fish throws a fin out, splashing some water, and Anna will leap out, putting her paddling feet in 5th gear trying to catch it.
She was bred to retrieve. But being her own dog – she only likes moving things with an interesting smell and taste!
May she do whatever makes her happy! I just love watching her be herself.

Estrogen has taken over

Up until today there wasn’t a single time when my dog didn’t come when I called her.
Anna is now 8.5 months old and on Friday I noticed some blood on the tiles in the house – she is in heat for the first time. I knew it was coming soon and I often wondered if her silly behavior around other dogs was a precursor for her upcoming estrogen explosion. But actually she’s always been yodeling to Hachiko, the male Akita, rolling herself on her back in front of him while he looked away in disgust at her youthful foolishness.
So today, after a swim in the lake, I let Anna walk ahead of me, as I often do. Back at the street I realize there is a man walking his white boxer on a leash and a woman dressed in a black security west with white dogs printed on the front and back, and a walky talky in her hand. I called Anna and to my surprise she didn’t listen. She stopped but then kept walking towards the big white dog. A little uncertain but curious she kept moving towards him – until the woman got her by the collar. “Thank you for grabbing her” I said to her but I thought: ‘Great! A (security-) dog trainer is in town and Anna doesn’t listen to me! She must be thinking I’m incapable of training my dog!’
I was a bit annoyed with myself for being a bit too carefree with my estrogen driven pup! From then on I put her on leash and only let her off leash in the forest when no-one else was around. After a moment of sudden wild boar tracking fits and running in zigzags, I was relieved to see that my dog was still very well behaved, came when called and heeled like a soldier when asked.

For the next two weeks I will have to be particularly careful: Supervise her in the garden, and keep her on leash when we go for walks. By next weekend she will probably be pretty eager to have some fun and the chances of her running away are growing each day.
I’ve heard of “the pill for dogs”, an injection with hormones, but upon doing some research found out it’s actually increasing the chances of cancer by 100%, so this is not an alternative at all. I’m still unsure whether I should spay Anna or just let her stay intact. Does spaying really improve a dog’s health and lifespan?

The bleeding itself hasn’t been bad at all. There’s only the occasional little drop on the floor but she keeps herself really clean. I still couldn’t help it but had a crack up about the variations of dog nappies available.

I can’t close my legs!

And if you want to be really fancy:


May has been a very warm month so far I’ve taken Anna swimming a lot. She loves water in any form but most of all she loves flowing water in little streams or out of the water hose. The nozzle fully open and a hard water jet shooting out, Anna will catch and stop it by holding her mouth over the nozzle. I bet this is cleaning her mouth and teeth very well. She likes to stick her nose into buckets full of water and blow bubbles. She also loves to fetch sticks from the lake and dripping wet, roll herself in leaves, grass or dust.

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Sometimes we find really cool things. This time it was a roe deer’s jaw. We took it home and I gave it to Anna for a little while to smell and nibble on it.

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Ohhhh sooooo happy!
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She also likes to make herself comfortable on the sun lounger with me.
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During her early “teenage” months (3-6 months) Anna seemed to have a super long nose but now her profile developed into that of a very beautiful Golden Retriever girl.