Friday, September 11, 2009

"Back to School" is for the Dog(s)

Happy 30th Fatherhood Friday!

Continuing this weeks theme over at DAD-BLOGS!

Since our little one is not of school age, I thought, how could I think of a post for back to school. Other than my own memories of my years yawning in class...or being rebellious...or thinking I knew it all, when I didn't...but, I did...sort of.

We have two dogs, Italian Greyhounds; Scuzi (means excuse in Italian), and Spago (A single strand of spaghetti, also Italian). They are both getting up there in years, Scuzi being 10 and Spago going on 15 now. Scuzi is still puppy like and oh so stubborn the Alpha Male, while Spago is the passive one, (and has been since I became their step-father almost 8 years ago), quite loving.



Spago is old. No way around it. He is overweight, almost completely deaf, and his eyes are chalk full of cataracts...but he remains, the dedicated, sweet old man.

So, back to school?

I have found, that since Spago is now deaf, he needs additional attention. Teaching in fact. You know the old saying "Cant teach an old dog new tricks"...well..I think you can! You may not see the exact results you would expect raising and teaching a child, but, the signs are there. Speaking of signs, this is where the teaching comes in.

Since he is about 95% deaf, I can no longer yell at him when he trips me by wiggling through my legs, under my feet. Oh, I still yell, but obviously he doesn't hear have to use sign language. My own version, thank you very much:

When tripping me: Wave the hands frantically, scaring him into moving.

Dinner Time: Cup the hands, flicking the fingers up, (directly in his face) to summon him to the dinner bowl.

Running Towards Me in a Delirious State (We call it DELIRIUM): Sticking my right foot, up in the air, signaling that if he continues to come forward, he will smack my foot. Has happened a few times and no, I do not kick him.

Potty Time (we actually call it "Peeps and Poops", but he cant hear it anymore - remember?): Waving the arms and hands wildly, towards the open door, leading out to the yard.

When Following me Relentlessly Around The House: I stop abruptly, turn around, stomp, yell loudly, wave my arms and legs in frustration. (OK OK, not the best use of sign language, but I sure feel better afterwards...and he "gets it"...temporally).

And my personal favorite:

Daddy needs some love: Down on my knees, open arms as if to embrace, and fingers flicking....(He loves this as he crawls into my lap and I scratch his back... - I swear I have heard him purr).

Patience is the key. I may not have as much as I used to, being a stay at home dad, having a toddler and two dogs, but I try my best...gonna try and make these last years for our dogs some of the best!

I guess life is all about learning...from the day we are born, humans and animals alike, till the day we are gone.

11 BellaBuddies left comments! Ya know ya wanna!!:

Mrs.Lemon said...

Love this post. I can literally imagine you doing all of these things. I have personally witnessed the - "I stop abruptly, turn around, stomp, yell loudly, wave my arms and legs in frustration." However, I think when I saw it, it wasn't at Spago. hee hee. Somthing to do with our old job I am sure. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Diana of Diana Rambles said...

We used to have an IG! Such a funny little dog!

Divine Chaos said...

you are a lovely man for wanting to make the puppies' last years the best. (I call all dogs puppies lol) .. but I tell ya, I would almost pay to see you waving your arms AND legs at the dog. That has got to take some kind of talent *grins*

Christina said...

too funny! I just wanted to update you....I had my hCG done today (2 days early, I couldn't wait any longer) and it is 79! I am officially pregnant!

Out-Numbered said...

Deaf Dogs... Oh man.

Unknown said...

I cracked up at the first example of sign language. Love how you and Spago are both adapting. Beautiful post.

Pam said...

love the dogs and i can just tell how affectionate you all are and how much you care about them. especially to make their lives the best.

i'm laughing to myself trying to 'visualize' your sign language lol i have no fatherhood friday up yet & maybe won't have one until tomorrow if they don't look me out of the clubhouse hehe :)

Keith Wilcox said...

HAHA. A lot of these involve waving your arms around for communication! I can just see it. The neighbors walking by, like bewitched, peering in the window at a guy waving his arms around at the dog -- but not talking. It's witchcraft I tell you! Nice...

Miranda said...

Aww very cute, I love their names. My dog is 15 this month too, deaf, a bit blind and very arthritic....I found the only thing works to get her attention is loud pitch whistles.

Melisa Wells said...

haha: I say "peeps" and "poops" when telling my beagle to "go potty". (She does know all three words/phrases. So cool that dogs can be taught like that!)

Your dogs are magnificent. I love how dogs can become so responsive to whatever way we communicate with them.

SurprisedMom said...

Your dogs photos made me go awwwwwe!So does your willingness to use all that energetic sign language to communicate with Spago. I can imagine him giving you love and the contentment both of you feel. You are wonderful to make both of your dogs last years so great.

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