Breaking All The Rules

October 4, 2013 | By More


Stella is a thirteen year old Akita who’s been my sweet little girl since she was eight weeks old.  She’s moving much slower these days and I know that, being a large breed, her life is nearing the end.  I want to make sure that she enjoys every minute of the time we have left together.  So after many years of loyal obedience, Stella gets a pass in her old age.

I’ve loosened up the rules of the house quite a bit. I don’t complain when she slobbers all over me after taking a drink.  I actually think it’s funny to watch her lift her nose to see what’s on the table…really.  She gets a little more than her fair share of leftover meat from dinner (and, sometimes right from the table).  Note folks, don’t try this at home!

Stella, like a lot of dogs, would rather sniff her way from tree to tree instead of joining me for a brisk walk around the hood. I have to remind her “this is a walk…not a sniff” and she will dutifully return to my side. But recently, our walks have taken a different turn. I put a long line on her and we walk or sniff, wherever Stella chooses. Actually, without having a planned route in mind, it’s kind of fun following her. She moves in different directions, circling around tracking little critters, reading pee-mail, siting on the grass while watching people pass by, throwing herself on the ground and rolling on her back.  Her walks seem to have no specific purpose.  She’s got nowhere in particular she wants to go, nothing in particular she wants to do, and all the time in the world to do it.

I take her to the beach, to allow her some freedom to run along the shore to chase the birds, splash in the water, dig the soft sand, etc.  But instead, Stella heads for the public bathrooms and sniffs the trash cans and litter around the “less desirable” areas of the beach.  That’s her idea of a good time.

Lately, Stella always seems to be on the wrong side of the door when she’s at home.  She wants to be outside when she’s inside, and she wants to come inside when she’s outside.  I dutifully oblige.

She’s always been a fussy eater, but now it’s like a circus act getting her to eat her meals.  Sitting next to her on the floor pretending to want to eat her food, clapping and hootin’ and holarin’ after each reluctant bite, filling her dish with the most scrumptious (and expensive) food on the market, only to have her turn her nose and walk away.

So now she’s taking life one step at a time cautiously moving through the grass and the weeds, taking time to smell the roses and the poop, leisurely dancing to the beat of her own drummer.   And I’ll be at her side, dancing with her.  But I won’t be leading anymore.


Category: All Posts, Behavior, Canine Health, General Interest, Obedience

Comments (3)

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  1. My old puppy Flip seems to be uncomfortable doing a sit, so he gets a pass on that. I forget all the time, of course, and cue it out of habit, but he patiently just stares me down and I go “Oh right”. Who knows, maybe he’s just playing me. Whatever. He’ll be 15 in January. We are NOT feeding him from the table but he still gets away with a lot he didn’t used to!

  2. Anna Bettina says:

    I absolutely love hearing about old dogs breaking the rules! I hope that every old dog gets the chance to do what they want every now and again. Love & Hugs to Stella.

    • Naveen says:

      that dogs need to start be trained at birth .especially soaczliied and taught the basics. He claims by NOT doing so you are doing the dog an injustice. Thoughts? I think 6-8 weeks is the ideal age to get a dog. Id love to adopt a dog that in homeless but I also want to train one from birth tough callI think dogs understand more than; sit, stay etc. but my friend thinks his dogs understand things im going to the store I will be back in 20 mins that overboard