I know that many people look a little sideways when I mention that my dogs get gifts at Christmas (Ari knew and loved how to unwrap her own presents - and sometimes 'helped' with mine) but the raised eyebrows really come out when I mention that I have Easter egg hunts for my dogs. I suppose people think it's odd to do something for dogs that they can't really understand and when I was younger I think I did it more because I didn't have children. Now though it just seems natural, my stepchildren are 13 and 16, far too old to hunt for eggs but just right to hide them; and as for the dogs, it is instinct for them to 'hunt' for food - especially Luna.
It was the first hunt for all three of our dogs and I didn’t quite know what to expect. I knew Luna would be game; she had even been practicing balancing the plastic eggs on her nose the week before and was already treating them like a (supervised) toy. Once she could smell the treats inside she would be all over the yard hunting. Ella’s always up for just about any game, although I worried that even if she found the eggs her mouth would be too small to open them. As for Boots, well her eyesight isn’t what it used to be and she stopped playing with toys a while ago.
In the end all three of them took to the idea on one level or another. I was right about Luna, with little effort or encouragement from us (after the first egg) she was on her own and certainly found the most. Ella went crazy and would run around the yard with one in her mouth until it popped open and then run around some more (I’m still not sure if she even bothered to eat the treats). Boots needed help ‘finding’ the eggs, but once one was in front of her she opened it without a problem. The kids had fun too – and I got some amazing pictures!
Here’s some helpful tips if you want to host your own hunt next year:
I have been away for too long. Not just here, but everywhere online that is dog related, including Worldly Dogs. I found that after losing Ari and then Miley I needed a break from stories and photos of dogs. It was too easy for the tears to fall, on some days it still is, but now it is past time to start a new chapter and return.
Luna is doing great, if still Loony (she wouldn't be Luna otherwise). Together we have completed intermediate obedience three times now, still trying to obtain her Canine Good Citizen (CGC). She has become a very obedient dog in the last 11 months; she just cannot manage me leaving her with a stranger for three minutes - or even one. It’s frustrating, but I know it isn't everything. Luna is amazing on a leash and her stays are almost unbreakable, she does so well that despite the CGC mishap we enrolled in Rally two weeks ago. Of course, that was also due to me being unable to have two dogs in class at the same. It became two because apparently my life is a little empty without three dogs.
This time I really wasn't looking for another dog (unlike when I told myself I wasn't with Luna). My husband and I had decided we would look for a third dog after our next family trip sometime this year and I already felt like my hands were full training Luna. Then the photo of "Binkie" found its way onto my Facebook feed. She was an adorable four month old wiry Jack Russell mix and somehow I knew right away that she was the missing dog in our pack.
I was a little worried that being a Jack Russell mix she would remind me too much of Ari, but when we arrived at Best Friends I was shocked to find that aside from a different coat color she was very much a "Miley-dog". She sat up on her hind legs in those first few moments and for a moment I thought my heart would break. How on earth could I bring home a dog that looked so much like my old girl? Luckily I gave her the chance to be her own dog - because in personality she is a dog all her own!
I had been slightly worried about trying to introduce a new family member to Luna, but the two of them bonded as soon as we got home and the newly renamed Ella and her have become inseparable ever since. They love to roughhouse, Ella thinking she's one of the big dogs while Luna still thinks she should be allowed on laps.
Life is good again. My pack is complete.
Lisa (and Luna)