Gracie is now 13 years old!

For nine years she's eaten REAL, HOMEMADE FOOD, NOT commercial dog food. This blog shows how easy it is to be a DOGGIE CHEF and how healthy a home-fed dog can be.

July 6, 2010

Peaceful Coexistence

When a friend asked me to babysit her pet parakeet I worried about Gracie's reaction to the house guest. Especially since this parakeet needs to fly around every day and Gracie often chases birds in the backyard.

I planned to carefully introduce my dog to the parakeet (while it was IN it's cage!) so she could become familiar with the bird's scent. Then I figured I'd have to pull her away from the cage and separate her and the bird the whole time the bird stayed with us.

Well, I was wrong. And my dog has, once again, shown me how wonderfully loyal dogs can be. When I showed Gracie the parakeet I actually told her we'd be taking care of the bird for a little while and she had to be very careful with this bird while it stayed with us. I realize my dog doesn't speak English but I believe she understood the feelings my voice conveyed. She seemed to realize this bird would be "one of us" for a while and we had to protect and care for it, not chase or eat it!

Even when the parakeet flew around the house Gracie pretty much ignored it. Only when the parakeet scuttled around on the floor did Gracie seem to notice it. I was glad to see the parakeet wasn't afraid of Gracie but I didn't think it was a good idea (for the parakeet's sake) to let it think dogs were perfectly okay to chum around with. When the parakeet was out of its cage I made an effort to keep it away from Gracie but one time it landed on my dog's back (while she was eating!!!) and one time on her head (while she laying down, resting). Both times Gracie quickly shrugged it off --- yet she did it slowly and gently; as if to say, "Get this bird off me please."

Gracie was a wonderful host to our visitor. Even so, I remained extremely vigilant while the parakeet stayed with us. No matter how obedient and well behaved my dog is, I try to respect what I call, "her culture (meaning: her instinctive behaviors)."

Too many dog owners expect their pets to have unreasonable control of their instincts. They expect their dogs to behave like humans and they end up getting mad when their dogs behave like dogs.

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