June 29, 2005

Kids and puppies

As a result of some strategic planning on my part, Dusty doesn't come across too many children, and I think it is important for her to experience them during this socialisation stage. I live in the inner city in a narrow one way street, most people have benches out on the footpath and sit in the street to catch the sun or the sea breeze. And three three kids in the street are luckily also regularly out and about.

Oscar loves Thommo. He was walking at ten months and spent all his energy trying to get down to Thommo, to throw the ball for him. Much to his mother's consternation, who is a little nervous around dogs. Now fourteen months, he and Dusty are a little wary of each other - but Dusty watches him toddling around and is getting used to jerky movements and baby toys.

Jack is three. He always stops at the screen door to say 'Hi' to Thommo on his way past with his mother. I have a box of dog biscuits near the door so that he can give one to Dusty each day on his way to day-care.

Isaac is early teens, with mates, music and skateboards. When they started skating in the street the other day Dusty had a real panic, wetting herself with fear. I asked them if they would stop for a moment and say hi, then I took her out the back to where the sound was muffled. I must admit when several of them drop their boards to the ground and take off, I leap out of my skin.

I'll also take any opportunity that presents itself in the park or on the beach. The kids don't have to interact with Dusty. She can be near them while they do their thing, and get accustomed to the running and yelling.

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