My family and I came home from Maine this summer with a puppy. She’s a little German Shepherd dreamboat and we’re working hard to hone her manners and socialization skills. At home in the city, life is something like a page out of Richard Scarry’s “Busytown” books. Tabby has been introduced to all kinds of people like friendly telephone pole workers, bus drivers, delivery men, people wearing hats, people riding scooters, teachers and lots of children (none of them have cat faces like in Scarry’s books, but, you get the picture).
Today I took Tabby to the barn for the first time. This was her first meeting with everything from horses to hay bales and dark barn aisles to dandy brushes. With a little help from patient horses and an experienced barn dog named Chloe, Tabby’s transition from city dog to barn dog went something like this:
1. Insane barking while I picked pears for the horses to nibble on. “I am a big dog going to eat you!”
2. Excessive panting and agitation while the horses and I ignored her. “Aaaack! Are those huge things going to eat me?”
3. I let her get a little closer once she relaxed. “If you don’t eat me, and I don’t eat you, can we be friends?”
4. Something wonderful about calm horses. Sniff, poke, sniff.
5. Back in the barn Tabby took a breather in the shade.
6. A little off-leash reward for a job well done. Transition complete: “I am barn dog. Hear me roar!”
Back to Over the Fence