As an only puppy in the house, Spanky has the benefit of my undivided attention, but he also misses out on some of the advantages of modeling behavior after an older, trained dog. I have no doubt Diesel would have shown him the ropes around here. Not the least of which, would have been how not to scare off the cats at every opportunity!
Fortunately, Jaybear lives close by and he is Spanky’s older brother (and also Diesel’s nephew). It couldn’t be any better! Jaybear is a sweet, calm and wonderful mastiff who has so much to teach Spanky. I sure hope some of Jaybear’s demeanor is genetic.
We went for a visit to Jaybear’s house and Spanky didn’t hesitate to follow his big brother right inside. He copied everything Jaybear did. So cute! He even followed Jaybear when he called “time out” for a drink of water. We poured some in a bowl on the floor for Spanky, but as soon as he noticed Jaybear drinking from his elevated bowl, Spanky stood up on his tippy toes and lifted his head over the edge to drink “just like Jaybear.” Too bad I missed the shot, but here are the boys about 10 seconds prior.
For a dog who is literally 4-5 times Spanky’s size, Jaybear is incredibly gentle and tolerant of my bouncing puppy.
We went to the Maydale Nature Center and Spanky followed Jaybear all through the trail. He trotted right behind him and I actually got to go for a walk that didn’t entail stooping down to pick pine cones or branches out of Spanky’s mouth every 20 seconds.
Unlike Diesel who had to be coaxed into the creek the first time he saw it, Spanky walked right in and I actually held him back. I think he would have gone much further if it had been warm out and I let him off leash.
But the Piece de Resistance of the day was when Pat taught Spanky how to go down the slide! I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical about the whole affair and didn’t think Spanky would want to do this AT ALL. Boy, was I wrong! Not only did Pat get him to climb all the way up to the top of the slide platform, but once she showed him how to do it the first time, he did it twice more!
And then the following day, since he liked it so much, I took Spanky to the little tot lot in our development and showed him the baby slide. Well, once he figured out that this was just a smaller version of the fun he had the day before (and that he could do this one on his own) I couldn’t get him off of it!