This time it’s to a very young, happy and energetic three-month old Doberman puppy called Zhar.
Not only do his first two names Dobe Ace say it all about the latest canine member to join the family of my four service and therapy dog team, but the cuddly black-and-rust coloured pooch comes from a crème de la crème lineage of winners who are his parents, grandparents and great grandparents.
Zhar was given to me by Dr S R Dev, one of the most significant and well-known Doberman breeders in the country.
Having bred and owned as many as 50 top-class champion Dobes internationally and locally with no less than 80 prestigious breed show titles for nearly three decades, Dr Dev has also been a general practitioner in Kuala Lumpur for almost 20 years.
So it was no surprise really how and why our friendship hit off instantly when we first met at a canine meeting last October.
With our shared passion for dogs, my long-time personal experience of handicap and his profession as a health care expert, we decided to work together as a team and explore the aptitude of a Doberman to see how well the breed would perform as a service, therapy and companion dog for the disabled and the elderly.
After all, despite the bad reputation that Dobermans suffer from some people who are ignorant and prejudiced about the breed, they really are second to none especially with their jobs as assistance dogs to the handicapped in overseas countries.
Dr Dev fully agrees with the popular quote by Dobe experts:
“Anything any other dog can do – the Doberman can also do – except that it often does it better!”
It’s been a week since Zhar came to live with me. The results so far have been absolutely encouraging.
Here are some of the extraordinary extracts from the diary that I’ve been keeping since:
- Dobes and Driving: My biggest worry was how to transport a feisty puppy to my home. Would he allow me to do the driving or would he somehow end up behind the steering wheel?
The answer was to put him in a pet carrier at the back seat to limit his mobility. He didn’t like it one bit but it did the trick.
He protested several times by whining but I kept talking to him constantly in a calm voice. He immediately settled down.
Certainly a big plus point in communication skills and a great way to get acquainted. Negative side: He threw up in his crate at the end of the journey despite how carefully and slowly I drove.
- Next: How would a soon-to-be giant-sized Dobie relate with his newfound equally large furry mates?
Soo my 12-year-old Golden Retriever was absolutely delighted and greeted Zhar as if the pup was his long-lost pal.
Biman the 8-year German Shepherd Dog (GSD) was less enthusiastic initially about sharing his home with another dog. He, however, has now changed his mind fully after realising that the young Dobe is a great source of daily entertainment for all of us with his clownish antics.
He’s a riot when he dashes off with some of the items in my room such as my toothbrush, or sarong and even my wallet (clever dog!) with me in hot pursuit on all four wheels! On the positive side, picking up such diverse objects makes him an excellent candidate to retrieve important objects for the wheelchair-bound.
Reba the Sheltie who daily helps me check my paralysed body parts for surprise sores had no objections whatsoever because she had found the perfect barking partner in him though he sometimes plays a bit too rough with her. Last but not least, the youngest at 3-years old is perhaps the most gracious of all. Not minding that Zhar had grabbed the “puppy” status that he has been holding until the appearance of the Dobe, Zeus the GSD actually helps me watch over the newcomer.
The GSD would run over to check what is wrong at Zhar’s slightest whimper or whine; making it easier for me without having to rush over to the Dobe each time in my wheelchair.
- Winner in the making: In just seven days, I have observed some amazing characteristics in Zhar that indicate that he’s the stuff that dreams are made of when it comes to being an indispensible companion for a disabled or elderly person.
He’s delightfully playful but at the same time as focused as a rock on getting what he wants. There are literally no obstacles before him: he will stand on his hind legs to get to hard to reach places, pick up virtually any object and even get around any barrier to get to his destination.
But no matter what he does – and even during his meal time – there is always time to get generous licks from a canine who will be king one day.
The EndPET+BLOGSPOT is the ONLINE BLOG of the Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association or Petpositive. Our stories are CURRENT, ACCURATE and RELIABLE. We offer both local and foreign news on animals, disability and the elderly. PET+BLOGSPOT was first established in October 2007. Our hits since then are now 100,000 and ever increasing! PET+BLOGSPOT is updated daily. Kindly note that views expressed in this PET+BLOGSPOT are not necessarily those of PETPOSITIVE. You may also visit our Webpage by browsing: www.petpositive.com.my You can also find us in Facebook under PETPOSITIVE EMPOWERMENT. Please sign up as a FOLLOWER of this Blog if you haven't done so already in order to show us your kind support for our work. Thank you!