Monday, March 8, 2010

Dog Sitting

We are currently living in Eureka, California, with our friends Keith and Bethany. They are in Burkina Faso for the next week and a half, and we are watching their dog, Hagen. Hagen is an incredibly handsome red Doberman. He is obedient, attentive, and affectionate; pretty much everything you'd want in a dog. Bryan keeps saying if Keith and Bethany die in/move to Africa, we will take Hagen. Not that we wish bad things on our friends. But their dog is pretty awesome.

The only negative about Hagen (or Haggity, or Hag-sters) is that he requires a LOT of exercise. Keith left specific instructions that Hagen is his best when he receives Exercise, Discipline, and Affection, in that order. This dog NEEDS exercise. We took him out for a nice run on Saturday, which seems to have been pretty good. He wore his saddle bags when we ran with him, so he was carrying extra weight (mainly his food bowl, some water, a Frisbee, and some snacks for us). When we got home he was definitely tired but still wanted to play Frisbee later that night! Yesterday Bryan took him for a walk in the morning and for a bike ride in the afternoon, and he STILL wanted to go outside and play Frisbee two times after that! This dog is just absolutely full of energy!

He is super well disciplined, which is awesome. Keith is quite strict with him, and always lets Hagen know that he's not the alpha dog. Bryan and I try to be strict with him as well, so he doesn't grow lazy or disobedient. Yesterday I put some peanut butter in one of his toys, told him to sit, and put it in front of his nose. Then I walked away for 5 minutes. When I came back into the room, he was sitting in the same place, and hadn't touched the peanut butter. I said "release!" and he went for it. I wish the dogs we had growing up were so well trained!

Keith and Bethany rent the house they live in from another couple in their late 20's. It's a really cool old house; I believe it's about 100 years old. The backyard is HUGE, which is great, since Hagen loves to run. They have a huge shed in the back of their house that I really think is beautiful! We have a lot of our stuff stored there are the moment.

Isn't that huge??

It's hard to see the front of their house from the street, as there is a big hedge that surrounds the front of it to offer a bit of privacy. This is the back of the house, to give an idea of the size.

It's a nice sized house! There are two bedrooms which are quite large, and a older kitchen and bathroom. The bathroom has an old claw-foot tub, which I took a not-great picture of, so I will not post here. The house definitely has a lot of charm and feels lived-in and loved.

Like I said, the backyard is HUGE. There's a grove of trees in one corner.

And a nice bench to sit on.

And a hammock if you feel like resting and relaxing.

With sweet puppy eyes like this, you can see why we like spending time outside playing Frisbee with this pup. It's a gorgeous yard, and this boy can go and go and go!

It's different having a dog around after not living with one in two and a half years. Last night we went to church and were going to go right over to a comedy show when Bryan told me that we hadn't fed Hagen. I had to drive the 20 minutes back to Eureka to feed Haggity and let him out. I would have been annoyed if he weren't so darn cute and lovable. I find it hard to remember Discipline before Affection... he's just too sweet!


  1. too cute! he looks adorable :D

  2. I want a dog. I want a dog. I want a dog.

    We have a back yard now, so we can think about dogs. We're thinking Stafordshire Terrier (that's the fancy name for Pit Bull). My boss thinks we should get a doberman. That exercise part freaks me out, but they do seem like amazing dongs. I will walk the dog before work, around 7:00, and Sean will walk it after work around 3:30-4:00. I hope to run with our dog, assuming I keep up this habit. I think that's pretty good, but I don't know if that's enough for a doberman.

    I like pit bulls, because they're BEAUTIFUL and intimidating looking, short haired, and incredibly loyal. They used to be called "nanny dogs" in the 1920s, becuase families would get them to play with and protect kids. They only become aggressive because they're so loyal. They'd practically run through fire for their owners.

    Oh, and Sean got attacked by a doberman, so that's the only dog he has problems with. Sad.

    I like the mantra of discipline before affection. Love it, actually. I'm going to gear up and read obedience books before we get a dog. And Sean is going to be all about training and nothing else for the first two months we have the dog, at least.

  3. Mmm I do not like pit bulls. They're everywhere here in Humboldt because a lot of the growers get them to protect their marijuana, and they don't get them fixed. If you go to any of the animal shelters in the area (like... within a few hours of us), all the dogs are pit bull mixes.

    That's not to say that they can't be well trained, but if you don't know what kind of home they originally came from (even if they're really young) you don't know what they've been exposed to at an early age. And you have to be very stern and disciplined. So that freaks me out.

    Plus, I got bit by a dog when I was little, so I tend not to love dogs that are known for their agression/loyalty as much. I tend to like mutts or 'dumb' breeds just because I feel a bit more comfortable around them. It's sad, because I know it's not the dog, it's the owner... but once you've been bitten, it's hard to trust a lot of dogs.