Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Dog's Life




Whoever said “It’s a dog’s life” didn’t know Cider. His enthusiasm for all things gets him in a heap of trouble sometimes. Baby animals are there to be licked, loved on and flea bitten until they fall over, start screaming or someone comes to their rescue.

 All things able to be carried in a mouth are to be delivered for throwing so the process can be repeated over and over, ad nauseum. If you don't partake, he will give you either the 'magnum stare' or a very sad, pitiful face.




















All bodies of water, no matter how big or small, are to be laid in, played in and enjoyed. 




Cider was a Christmas gift from my youngest son and a friend, and has been with me for 10 or 11 years now. He has been my therapy against the devastating condition of empty nest and is the Prince of the house.

He is my 24/7, faithful, constant, bosom buddy. No matter how crabby I am, how scary I look, or how bad I screw up, he still loves me with his whole being.
When he was a pup, I did some clicker training with him. The accompanying book warned to only work a dog about 15 minutes a day, to prevent burnout. Well. Cider didn’t burn out. He has ADHD and all he wanted to do all day was play with the clicker. So he learned to crawl on his belly, turn around in the direction my hand indicates, back up, bring me items I request and put his toys away in the toy basket. Most of this was in 2 days time, as he is very smart for a dumb dog.
I used cheese as a reward. Unfortunately, the day after our incredible sessions, he was really sick. He laid on his pillow refusing to get up. Normally he is at my heels everywhere I go. I suddenly realized I had not vaccinated him yet for that year and I panicked that he might have distemper. The lethargy sure did suggest it. I called the vet whose receptionist said there was NO way he could see him until the following day. I told her it was important, I wanted him in first thing in the morning because he was VERY sick and VERY lethargic, which is NOT like Cider.
The next morning, as I was getting ready to take him to the vet, he drug himself out to the back yard and took a 10 pound poop. He suddenly felt worlds better! That’s when I thought about the cheese...I took him anyway, as he had a chipped tooth I wanted looked at. 
We entered the vets office, Cider’s tail wagging like the rotors on a helicopter, as he skidded around the tile floor. The receptionist checked her chart and with a puzzled look over the counter said,
“He’s lethargic??”
To which I replied,
“You should see him when he's feeling GOOD!”
Live and learn. Now he gets cookies for treats at least half of the time.

He still puts his toys away, and if I ask him to bring me a pillow and blanket to the couch where I am sitting, he will promptly bring me the tv changer, a checkbook, random tools, coins and sometimes a candy wrapper. That is to 'prime me'. Then he chooses which toy he wants me to throw. Once I accept the toy, he brings my pillow and blanket and I throw it for him. Yup. That clicker method is really something. It worked great  on  for me.

Empty nest syndrome is the best way to ruin a perfectly good dog. Cider has his own chair at the dinner table.





 He used to sleep on the bed, until a grumpy Randyman kicked him off, so now he has a bed of his own. 




We wound up buying a crew cab truck so he had his own seat. 




He has a basket of toys. He's very good about sharing them, but he lives in fear of every dog on the ranch stealing and gutting his toys. They are obsessed with taking the stuffing out. Otherwise, they last him years.





His favorites are stuffed animals, but he's not averse to the real thing either.





Which brings to mind the night we slept with the back doors open and he invited a skunk into the house. We even locked his doggy door after that.

Like most Golden Retrievers, he is a great family dog, and loves kids. He's a great babysitter.






















Even the Maremma's know Cider is the Prince. They sometimes even pretend to be afraid when he tries to be tough. Most of the time, Cider wants to best Cletus. Cletus is willing to engage him playfully, but Bruno always sneaks up behind and jerks Cletus' legs out from under him, thus protecting Cider without injuring him or his pride.




Cider doesn’t know he is adopted, but he does know he loves water. I had a beautifully landscaped yard when we lived in California. Nothing was sacred. Not the koi pond, not the horse troughs, not mud puddles, not the whiskey barrel waterfall. He thought that had been placed there for his enjoyment, as his own personal spa.



Our surroundings have changed a bit, but not Cider.
He has spent his summers here enjoying his various personalities as the Alvord Alligator, River Rat and Wildly Wet Whiskey Barrel Bad Boy.


Yesterday was the most pitiful thing I have ever seen him do. The waterfall is dry.
Cider climbed in, all ready for a refreshing spa experience but it was still dry. He waited patiently for someone to fill it, to no avail.

He waited patiently.


He was certain help would come.


He tried so hard to believe.


Doesn't ANYONE on this ranch with opposable thumbs have a hose??


As you can see, it’s tough being a dog.








 Good boy Cider.









22 comments:

  1. Aw! Cider, you are something else. You make life on the Ranch a happier place for your humans.
    Keep up the good work.
    Wonderful post...

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    1. I will pass the word along to him. He appreciates when someone appreciates him. :)

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  2. I am in love.... with Cider. What a fun loving and good friend. I have always liked Goldens. (I really think our next dog should be a Golden.) DH has a German Hunting Dog, A Duetcher Wachtelhund. (sp?) He is pretty much a BIG BABY. Crys and whines when left outside and he knows Daddy is in the house. IS a 60# lap dog. (Stinky, too) His favorite pastime is looking for someting smelly and rolling in it.
    Big Hugs for you and Cider.

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    1. That's an interesting breed. I never heard of before. Cider has tried to sit on my shoulder like a parrot before, and he weighs 80!

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing. This warmed my heart! What a personality Cider has. That face just gets you and even if they are in trouble, you can't stay mad for long. They remind you how much they love you even when you are in trouble! Have a great day petey! Staci, Stubborn Hill Farm

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    1. He is a ton of fun, always has been. When he is mad at me, he fleabites my arm til I scream! He is a harsh taskmaster LOL

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  4. Goldens are just the most loving dogs - and Cider proves this out. Did anyone fill up his spa in the end? What a lovely dog.

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    1. No, it's still empty, waiting on Randyman to fix the pump so its not a mosquitoe pool :)

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  5. I love Anatole France's quote ... "Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened". Your soul is awake and bright enjoying the love that only an animal can bring.

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    1. That is a fabulous quote, and I agree 100% with it. I am one of the extremely blessed and fortunate folk.

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  6. The best post ever!!!!! I have told you before that if our Golden was a bit darker that I would have named him Cider because of your Cider. But, Tucker, is more blonde. Those are some great pictures. I have formed such a strong bond with my Tucker in the year we have had him, I can't imagine what 10 years will bring us. I just love this post about Cider so much. Thanks for sharing. (My mom had to put down her Golden last week. Duncan was 10 years old and developed sudden kidney failure. R.I.P Duncan. You will never be forgotten.)

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  7. So sorry for your mom. They are really great dogs. One of my very favorite breeds because of their amazing personalities

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  8. What a great post! Cider sounds like a truly amazing member of the family! You put a smile on my face this morning! :)

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  9. What a beauty. I see you have your humans trained very well. Good boy Cider. :)

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    1. and he never even read the book!

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  10. I was just thinking about Cider the other day, I haven't seen him in your recent posts and wondered if he was in the dog house ;). We keep dogs so that we always have something to laugh about. They sure are indispensable.
    I like Ciders sense of humor, laying in his dry spa - ha!
    Is that Scotty in the background? Maybe you could get Randyman to write a post about his adventures. But if he's anything like my husband he might only be able to wring a sentence out. A short sentence! I'm the verbose one in the family.
    Loved the pictures of your buddy!
    Kristi

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  11. Yes, that is Scotty, the delinquent. Randyman never speaks, nor writes. Any info you want on Scotty will have to come by telepathy

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  12. Hail to the prince! Man, does that dog look happy. Amy says dad had a retriever when they were younger but it wasn't golden but more like, Where the Red Fern Grows type. I think all canines are expressive and its why we love them even if they make us sneeze and wheeze. Dan-el says they read our moods and expressions as well. Of course with him his horses do that. We read and saw a old movie called Goodbye, My Lady and was about a basenji and it made weird noises and washed like a cat. It's fiction so take it with a lump of sugar. Journey is gaining weight so all's well that whatever. We just got in and are dirty and tired. x-boy

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  13. I'm glad Journey is doing better! Do you have a dog allergy? Glad to see you back from kick butt camp. Hope you had a great time! Rest up and tell D I said "Howdy"

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  14. hi dear petra lady. yes he has major league alergies and they kick off asthmatic attacks. he likes kuma in the room with him but bc is banned and the hands built a screen door for his room. I put journey back in the field, today. cider is incredibly...photogenic. kind of like me cept i preen a little more than he does. how u been. I know ur animals keep u happy and give u love. dad said dX wasn't the only one crying at that talent show...i think thats why he said that about karate. sometimes the toughest guys r the most gentle and tender. not sure its the same with women. just wanted to see how u were...god bless u..d

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    1. That's a drag about the allergies. I am deathly allergic to cats, but I am not a cat person so it doesn't bother me. Being allergic to dogs would be a disaster! I am glad Journey worked through that without needing any intervention. Cider is not much on preening...he likes the natural and windblown look, much like me. I'm not sure about women either...even being one I am afraid to make a blanket statement about them. ha!
      It's good to hear from you, I miss chatting with ya. Abby and Cody should be here in a day or two, along with Mister so I am looking forward to their visit. After that though, i will see if I can locate anyone in the evenings

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