Autumn Fun

It’s autumn, perhaps my favorite season, and I’m keeping an eye on the Dober-thermometer (the tightness of a Doberman’s sleeping curl indicates the overall temperature). So far it’s been mild and lovely, but I expect to see tighter sleeps in the coming week. First snow might be Wednesday. I’ll have to stock up on firewood.

Laev is NOT LOOKING at the caramel apples off the right side of the picture.

Laev is NOT LOOKING at the caramel apples off the right side of the picture.

We took a trip to a local orchard, just for fun. Laev was walking happily beside me until we got the caramel apples. Then she sniffed the goodie-laden air, got excited, and promptly flattened herself to the ground. “Look at me! Look at how not-pushy I’m being around the yummies! Do I get one?”

She got a few cheese treats for that, and then I gave her a bit of apple scrap after I’d finished mine. Sorry, honey, but chemo patients don’t get extra sugars. She was pretty happy with the treats, though.

Then we went for a hike in the state forest. Usually I go without a canine, so I can see more wildlife, but this time I took the husband and Laev. She had a blast, and utterly wore herself out.


Please don’t mind the demon eyes. Laev was a little buzzed.


Hiking up the creek bedrock.

We got off the trail at one point (missed a blaze somewhere) and had to cut west until we happened across where we knew it should be. But the scariest part of the day happened earlier at the orchard, when Laev and I were approached by two toddlers who wanted to greet the dog. Be cautious about viewing this next photo — it’s a graphic illustration of what can occur when a dangerous, media-hyped breed meets children.

Laev lies on her back, twin toddlers rubbing her bellyThe girls’ mother took the picture. I’m not sure how she was able to hold herself back while everyone was having such a dangerous happy time.

Laev put herself in that position. It’s a trick, “Dead Bug,” and she knows it never fails to draw human attention. If she’d been worried about the toddlers, either trying to protect herself or trying to appease so the threat would go away, I’d have intervened, but she was quite happy.

I’m told she used this same trick last week at her chemo appointment, when she started getting a bit nervous and interrupted herself and then promptly offered Dead Bug to the staff. What a great way to turn nerves — “this is a weird situation” — into comfort — “Ha! I can make you all stop whatever you’re doing and rub my belly! I win!” Clever girl.

We don’t fear what we can control, and we can control it in a variety of ways. Even by playing like a dead bug.

Happy autumn, everyone!


About Laura VanArendonk Baugh CPDT-KA KPACTP

Laura was born at a very young age and started playing with animals immediately after. She never grew out of it, and it looks to be incurable. She is the author of the bestselling FIRED UP, FRANTIC, AND FREAKED OUT. She owns Canines In Action, Inc. in Indianapolis, speaks at workshops and seminars, and is also a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member.
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