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Update on Odin the hero and kitten-daddy


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It's been a while since I posted here but was happy to come back and see many new avatars and many familiar ones.

 

Odin is almost 8 years old but continues to act like a 2 year old. His shoulder reconstruction from when he had OCD as a pup has held up really well and he is the perfect combo of extremely active but also has his great off switch for at home and at work.

 

We moved to the country a couple years ago and he very much enjoys that we can go on long hikes in the redwoods without driving anywhere. We live on a river. He refuses to swim, though I know he knows how, but he loves getting in the river and running around!

 

A few months ago he really helped me out. I was followed and ran off the road and partially blocked by a car with two teenage boys that I think were high on meth or something. I rolled down my window to talk to them because at first I thought they were maybe just terrible drivers and needed directions or something. Odin was in the backseat as normal, with his window down. The driver started yelling obscenities and threats at me; at first I was just like "what is going on here?" but as he quickly got more aggressive I started really worrying what was going to happen. The passenger started coming out of their vehicle and grabbed at my door handle as I tried to roll up my window, but before he could get a good grip on the handle Odin lunged out of the back window and sounded like a totally ferocious dog, teeth snapping very close to this kid's face - but not on it. I have never seen him do anything like this or make those sounds in all our years together. The kid screamed and jumped back in the car and then they drove away in a screech of tires, unblocking me. Odin paced in the backseat, chuffing, and then got up in the front seat with me to lick my face. I would never knowingly put him in a position to protect me rather than the other way around, but this happened so quick and I was so confused until I just got scared. My husband was so proud of him I caught him giving Odin a whole raw steak that night and telling him what a good dog he is. :wub:

 

Our cat Benway died last year, who was about 17 years old and had "raised" Odin from a puppy. His last 2 years he really slept most of the time, so it had been a while since Odin had really been around a cat. We wanted to get a kitten this year and I was really worried how Odin would react - would he be jealous? Fixated? As it's turned out he is 100% in love with the kitten and after her initial fright she is with him as well. They play - interactively, not fixatedly - all the time. They also will curl up together for a nap and sleep in our bedroom together with no problems. She loves to get into water - for example she'll climb into the tub with my daughter - and Odin will help groom her when she gets out. Odin is happier at home now that she is there.

 

Finally he enjoys my daughter much more now that she is definitely not a toddler. He likes her friends too and is a big hit with the kids, as of course he'll fetch anything and will do tricks on command. I'm glad he's happier with kids because it was clear that though he loved my daughter he is 100% not a fan of toddlers.

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Wonderful news. Happy to hear all the changes in your family's lives are going well.

 

I have never had my own dogs protect me (which is fine), mainly because I don't think I have been in a situation where it was necessary. I did have a foster dog offer some protective barking when my neighbor came walking out of the dusk towards my car to talk to me. It felt sort of good.

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A few months ago he really helped me out. I was followed and ran off the road and partially blocked by a car with two teenage boys that I think were high on meth or something. I rolled down my window to talk to them because at first I thought they were maybe just terrible drivers and needed directions or something. Odin was in the backseat as normal, with his window down. The driver started yelling obscenities and threats at me; at first I was just like "what is going on here?" but as he quickly got more aggressive I started really worrying what was going to happen. The passenger started coming out of their vehicle and grabbed at my door handle as I tried to roll up my window, but before he could get a good grip on the handle Odin lunged out of the back window and sounded like a totally ferocious dog, teeth snapping very close to this kid's face - but not on it. I have never seen him do anything like this or make those sounds in all our years together. The kid screamed and jumped back in the car and then they drove away in a screech of tires, unblocking me. Odin paced in the backseat, chuffing, and then got up in the front seat with me to lick my face. I would never knowingly put him in a position to protect me rather than the other way around, but this happened so quick and I was so confused until I just got scared. My husband was so proud of him I caught him giving Odin a whole raw steak that night and telling him what a good dog he is. :wub:

Good Dog! That's what they're for, ain't it?

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Thanks for the update! And good boy, Odin. These dogs surprise us sometimes, don't they? Their hearts are bigger, they are more tightly bonded to us, and they are more aware of their environment than we would be reminded of in a normal day.

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Aw, thanks guys! It's so nice to read updates on all of your dogs as well, both new and old. Here is a picture I took yesterday of them, "sharing" Odin's bed. He doesn't mind, right before I took the picture they were nuzzling together and taking turns grooming one another. Of course Odin refuses to be candid when I point my phone at him :D

 

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Here is a picture of the kitten soaking in a bucket, one of her favorite things to do.

 

21955197174_0b8ebf0c44_c.jpg

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What an awesome update. It is amazing how well he figured out what was going on and reacted. We never want our dogs to have to protect us but for me it would give me great comfort to know Jade would if the situation arose. I love the pictures from yesterday. Sometimes cats don't really know they are cats and supposed to hate the water. Thank you for posting!

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Yes, our cat is really weird! I have had cats all my life and never one like this. She seems to have no issue getting completely soaked and will literally climb in my daughter's bathtub and sort of walk/swim around in it. We have a leak upstairs that we'll have to remove an entire wall to fix, so my short term solution has been to collect the leak in that bucket and then take it out to my garden to water. So she probably gets into a full bucket like that at least every week. I figure cats are so bad at drinking water hopefully this will be good for her because she drinks some when she's hanging out in the bucket or other wet places and then her and Odin lick all the water out of her fur after. I'll try to get a picture of that next. Also it is nice because her fur is always very clean and soft! :D I haven't yet seen her submerge her head or really swim, and I don't know if I really ever will since she is a full indoor cat.

 

To address Odin protecting me, it was scary and I am so glad he didn't have to bite the kid to get them away from us, but it was an amazing thing to witness. The interesting thing is that I'm not sure he read the actual situation as much as he read me and my mood/anxiety. He was silent during most of the exchange, while I was irritated, confused, and weirded out. But I only got actually scared when the one boy started to try and open my door. I went from confused to legitimately terrified in about a second when that happened and that was exactly when he reacted. It was also nice for us both to be able to calm each other down after because I had to pick up my daughter from preschool after that.

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Joey might try to protect me. He doesn't like strangers. I have to put him up when someone visits. He gets scared and growls and barks.

 

I doubt very much that Zeke or Tommy would do anything but who knows? We've never been in a situation like that. If they picked up that I was terrified they might do something.

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I think a lot of what is perceived as "protecting" behavior is simply a dog becoming aggressive to something that seems dangerous to them in general. The boys in the OP's post were behaving in loud and aggressive ways. The dog could have felt personally threatened - it was "cornered" in a car, or could have seen it as an egregious trespass onto it's territory - the car - or it may have seen it as a threat to the OP. It's hard to know.

 

Also, humans don't have anal glands to blow, but when we experience a rush of adrenaline, especially a threat-caused adrenaline rush, it will undoubtedly be popping out of your pores. Even an un-protection-trained pet will get that scent message writ large, and respond. My dog Sugarfoot twitches her nostrils and takes note of anxiety-based changes in my scent when I have a panic attack. She no longer thinks that it is a signal of something dangerous coming down. She just settles in beside me, being sympathetic, and waits for the panic-attack to subside.

 

However, if someone comes and rings the doorbell or knocks on my door when I'm spewing adrenaline fumes in the air, her normal, single notification bark will be much louder and there may be circling near the door and growling involved. Partly, no doubt, because the ringing/knocking will usually give me another spike of adrenaline.

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