**Lots of links in this post.**
I think we have Dog Fever (again).
I checked out a book called The Dog Bible from the library last week and it was like finding the owner's manual to Lazlo. Wolf pack mentality is something that doesn't come naturally to humans and Keith and I have basically treated Lazlo like a fur-covered person since we got him. But dogs don't respond to the idea of democracy and they actually like to be told what to do! Amazing! So we started doing a few of the things suggested in the book and it's already making a difference in his behavior. He's probably thinking, "Way to go guys. Two years into this and you're finally getting it." We also checked out the dog whisperer website and he basically teaches the same principles: "in order to properly fulfill both our dogs and ourselves, we need to become our canine's calm, assertive pack leaders." Okay, we are totally on board. I can't believe it took us this long.
Yesterday afternoon we went to our first pit bull meet up at a state park south of here. There are about 30 members in the group, but 7 showed up. A manageable group. It was good meeting other pits and other pit owners. One lady showed up at the end and she was a breeder. So I wasn't too excited to have her in the group, but I don't have a say in that so... But she was bragging about having litters, etc. (And, yes, we bought Lazlo, so that sounds hypocritical.) And another guy with his family walked by while all of us were standing near a trail with our dogs on leash of course. He says, "I'm skittish of pit bulls." We all say, "Well, they're good dogs..." etc and he says "Except the ones that eat children." It's so frustrating to hear people say that. I can't be nice to people that make ignorant comments like that. He wasn't joking, either. He was being nasty. People who've haven't been around pit bulls (including us pre-Lazlo) get their prejudices from mainstream news that feeds on the sensationalism of pit bull attacks (which I won't get into regarding how dogs are classified, etc....). But people rarely read/hear/see the good press that pit bulls receive. Other than that, it was a great afternoon and we all said we wanted a chance for the dogs to run off-leash at our next meet up in a couple weeks.
This morning we took Lazlo to another dog park--Gabriel Park. We've been trying out some that aren't too far from us. Driving, but still close. Lazlo played with a pit mix puppy named Malcolm and burned off a lot of energy. Then we played tug-of-war for a while. It's a good workout for me, too. Quads! Lazlo's flying squirrel sustained heavy collateral damage and had to be put down. So we got him a new frisbee-like toy that is rumored to be near-indestructible. We'll see.
Then to wrap up the weekend, this afternoon I finally made Lazlo his dog bed that I've been promising him since we found the material at The Bins.
And in non-dog news, last night the Portland State Viking football team got whupped by UM Grizzlies. !! Not that we were ever big Griz fans. But it was exciting to see them here. We saw a few people walking around PGE Park before the game (4 hours early!) and we asked them if they knew how many people from Missoula were coming over; they estimated 4,000-5,000. I don't know if that many showed up or not, but there were a lot. We walked around outside and tried to see if we could recognize anyone, but we didn't. Oh well. It was a rowdy bunch, though.