Our dog, Zip, has been full of challenges. Most of them come from his previous life as a puppy companion to an older woman. He ended up in the shelter when the woman could no longer stay in her home and family could not keep her dear pets.
Read between the lines, and you know what things Zip never learned. Zip’s main purpose in life was to sit on her owner’s lap and be the center of her world. We suspect his owner wasn’t very mobile and because of that he wasn’t house trained until he learned it here. He had never experienced grass before us. To this day he likes to walk and lay in lush Iowa green grass and hates prickly cured Montana dry grasses. He isn’t crazy about snow and absolutely hates rain. He can hold it for hours rather than go outside in even a light drizzle. We have learned that we just pick him up and carry him out to a spot because he likely will never choose to go outside instead he will explode. He will go on walks, but he is the first dog that we have had that is not passionate about them. He is not a dog who loves to train with me or gets me out when I don’t want to go. We don’t tell him this out loud, but we think he is a pansy dog.
Today he fooled us. His terrier instinct kicked in and he was on the hunt for some ground burrowing animal that has turned up in our yard. We have not see what is making all these holes, but Zip was out there in the hottest sun of the day digging for all he was worth. He was dirty from digging with his front feet and tossing with his rear feet. His feet were digging through not only soil but also rocks and roots. Some how I imagine that was harder on his feet than the dry grass. His head was down in the hole, snorting in a highly unimaginable fashion before today. His nose was mud caked from sniffing out his imagined prey. It was fun to see him having fun doing something outside.
So we now ask ourselves nature or nurture? When does it kick in?