Well, I don’t know whether to write about all the dogs I’ve ever had, or tell you about one dog at a time. To tell you about all of them (Jock, Jesse, Fayth and TJ) would probably take a few pages, so we’ll stick with Peanut for now.
I’m not sure why I call him Peanut. It’s just my nickname for him to refer to him without realising that I’m talking about him. Plus he does behave a little silly sometimes and anyone behaving silly, I tend to say, “You peanut!”
As I’ve mentioned in some of my “Catching up” entries last month, we used to rent a place in Midrand. It was basically 2 smaller cottages and a main house all on one property. We had the back cottage, with a small enclosed garden, a cop rented the front cottage and the landlady stayed in the main house. After a while, she moved out and rented the main house as well.
It was an Indian family that moved in and brought their gorgeous little bundle of energy with them. From the moment he saw us, he began to prefer visiting us than staying with his own family. They tried everything to stop him – pulling the gate to our yard closed if we left it open, building an enclosure in the passage between our two houses, to keep him penned. No matter what, given the slightest opportunity, he was at our place in a heartbeat. He even crawled through a tiny hole in a fence at the back of the house once, scraping his nose in the process. It became slightly infected and he still bears the scar.
He was always a handful and the family had trouble with discipline. When their youngest daughter came home, he would run into the house and defecate. He also loved to steal socks. Plus, he had trouble with recall, a problem we still have today.
In December of 2005, the family suddenly had to leave and asked if we would like to adopt him. They were going to live with their parents, due to financial constraints and he would not get along with the dogs already there. Marc did not have much say in the matter, because I jumped at the opportunity. Fayth loved him and we were talking about getting her a pal to keep her company at home when she stopped going to work with me.
At first, Marc cursed the day we got him, since was a law unto his own. He was a sensitive dog and discipline was a problem. Shouting and spanking him when we found a mess in the house did not work. I discovered that shaming him did. That and tying him up at night so that he was forced to wake us when he needed to go out. It took a few months, but he got it right.
Puppy training at 6 months old did not work. He was more interested in what Marc and Fayth were up to. As he has gotten older, he has become more willing to learn. He actually understands me quite well sometimes. I can point to a bone that he’s brought into the house and tell him in a very conversational tone of voice to pick it up and take it outside.
I have not taken him back for more training, instead doing a little here and there, just to remind him of his manners. Also, it’s amazing what a Rogz check-chain has done to curb his habit of pulling on a leash. Taking him for a walk with the leash attached to his harness was a nightmare! He’s a small dog, but amazingly strong. Sometimes, I was concerned he’d seriously hurt me, or even pull me out of my chair. Not with the new chain. We can go for a brisk walk and he makes very sure to check where I’m going.
At almost 2 years old, TJ has developed into a wonderful little dog. I love him to bits and don’t want anything ever happening to him. I will certainly keep you updated with his progress further.