As Gentle as a Bulldozer

If Charlotte could have one fault, it would be that she is too exuberantly happy.  She thinks all dogs and people are her friends.  She has many faults, don’t get me wrong, but most of them are just puppy-related quirks, and I suppose this one is, too.

When Charlotte sees another dog on the trail, she wants to play.  And her play is not gentle.  It’s:  “chase me, catch me, run from me, tackle me, I tackle you!”  I’m hoping she grows out of this, and I’m sure she will.  She actually can be a very gentle dog (when she wants to, or when she is tired) but for the most part, she wants to play and she wants to play hard.  Many dogs are caught off-guard by her exuberance.  They turn around, startled, like “What just flew past me?!?”

Charlotte is a whirlwind.  She is built like a brick-shithouse, and she is a lover of life.  She wants all dogs to be her friend and play with her.  Likewise, she thinks all people want to say hello to her.  Who wouldn’t?  She is cute!

Every so often another dog will nip at her as she tags them, telling them “You’re it!” and the other dog snaps and seems to say, “I’m not it!  I don’t even want to play this game!”  She is persistent, and typically tags a couple more times.  But in all honesty, she lets the other dog win and play-bows to him or her.  When the other dog appears not interested, she runs up and down the hillside to burn off her nervous energy.

She does jump up, and we are trying to break her of that habit, but thankfully she has stopped jumping hard enough to knock someone over.  She usually jumps up just enough to touch with her paws and really “let the person know” that she is there.  How could you not notice her?  She is about as gentle as a bulldozer:  full steam ahead!

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Mocha & Charlotte on the trail together

Charlotte and Mocha have really hit things off over the past month.  Charlotte follows Mocha around, and vice versa.  Maybe Mocha can teach Charlotte a thing or two about just letting the world go by and letting things happen around her, without having to constantly check things out.

The funny thing is, that Charlotte isn’t so exuberant around Mocha.  She’s quite gentle with her and nudges and checks in with her every once in a while, but does not try and get Mocha to chase or play with her.  Charlotte seems quite respectful of Mocha and is interested in what she is doing, but also gives her some space.

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Sweet girls having a rest together

To give an example of how the two have bonded, I’ll recount a situation that happened early this morning, around 3am.  Charlotte has a small bell attached to the back doorknob with a string.  When she wants to go out, she rings the bell so that I can be alerted to open the door for her (she has me well trained).  Usually, during the day, I have the dog door open but I close it at night so that Mimi-cat will stay in at night.

So, it was about 3am and I am sound asleep but woke up to the sound of the dog doorbell.  I got up and switched on the light, to find Charlotte standing with Mocha at the backdoor.  Mocha doesn’t know to use the dog doorbell, and apparently Charlotte got up with Mocha to ring it so that Mocha could go out.

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Besties!  Mocha, Watson, and Charlotte on the trail

I love that they are looking out for one another.  I love watching them on the trail together and on leashes together.  They are both about the same size (48 pounds each) and are such a cute little pair walking next to each other.

I’m looking forward to watching them learn and grow from one another.  Charlotte is teaching Mocha how to be a good trail dog (and stay with the group, instead of wandering off which she did for the first couple of weeks) and Mocha is (hopefully) helping Charlotte to be a little more gentle, and a little less like a bulldozer.

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Charlotte, Franklin, and Mocha on the trail

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