The day started out like any other. The sun rose, the sky was a clear blue. Breakfast was enjoyed by all. According to the woofers of the house, it was W-A-L-K time.
Bodies dressed, we piled into the car and drove to a remote location. Weekends are for exploring new areas, if only we knew what was to come...
Wilson saw something in the long grass. Ears up with alarm, his muscles became tense as he vocalised his emotions. Had lowered and forward, weight on his powerful back legs, front legs stiff and close to the ground, creeping, creeping.
Heart pounding, forward to attack or backwards to flee? It would take less than a moment for his nervous system to release the reservoir of white blood cells and deliver that lifesaving burst of energy.
What was causing such a reaction? CALVATIA GIGANTEA
A puff-ball mushroom.
Ok it was a big one, but crikey dickens Wilson poodle! Thankfully, the rest of the W-A-L-K passed without excitement and there were no hangovers from the mushroom incident.
Never have I ever tortured or abused this poodle with anything, let alone a puff ball mushroom. This is the first ever puff ball mushroom he has ever seen. The point is, while I found it quite amusing, Wilson perceived this round pale fungi as foreign, alien, and strange.
The first few months of life is a critical time for canines. You could use it teaching them to "sit" but consider this: there is more to life than putting your butt on the ground. While you may not be able to introduce them to every single little (or big) thing life can throw at them, you have the chance to gift them the ability to cope, to build resilience, so if they do encounter "aliens" they will either not be bothered or they have the skills to recover. When your new bundle of joy arrives, put the time and effort in. If it means you miss happy hour at the pub for a few weeks to attend a puppy class, or you sacrifice a section of your house to set up a puppy pen, or you have a few nights broken sleep - those few hours you put in now - your dog will pay you back ten fold over the next 10-15+ years, I promise. PS despite the saying, you can teach an old dog new tricks, but we'd do it in a slightly different way. If you are experiencing difficulties, reach out for help before it escalates. Chances are, I’ve been there!