Friday, February 9, 2024

Teaching this old dog a new trick

Good times at our neighborhood pet store. Tomlinson's Feed Lakeway always has something fun going on. They have been wholehearted Reunion Rescue supporters for years. We recently got a new pup Wally from Modesto, California. 

You know Reunion and our sister rescue for non-pit bulls Animals First Rescue saves dogs from both California and Texas. Wally is an Animals First dog .. why? Because he is a lot of things, but pit bull ain't one of 'em. The shelter had labeled this narrow boy with skinny legs a 'pit bull' but to me, he looked more like a Lakeway deer yearling than a pit bull. I'm pretty good at breed detection and see Australian Kelpie with maybe a dash of Ibizan Hound and Jack Russell in there.

Whatever Wally is, he's got a lot of energy. With other dogs to keep exercised and maintained, I didn't have the time for a daily Lakeway nature hike in the greenbelt and two or three ball or Frisbee sessions. What to do?

Enter Denise and Brad at Tomlinson's. I thought I'd heard of everything, but Brad had a surprise for me and
for Wally. He walked me over to the toy section and pulled out this big rubber looking blue cup thing called a Toppl by West Paw. Brad informed me to substitute Wally's dinner by freezing a portion in this funny looking toy. He told me - as advertised on the item - it took the place of an hour's romp in the park. I was up for anything and added it to my purchase.

Even though we feed raw, I loaded up on some kibble and canned to try out on the Toppl. It was Cricket's turn for a nature walk yesterday and I placed the toy in Wally's crate with a dog food mixture. He went to work on it immediately. Usually when another dog and I make our exit, it sets off Wally's barking, but this time, pure silence. He was intent on that toy. After loading Cricket, I went back into the house at the risk of setting him off. It was still quiet and when we returned, the whole house was calm.

It was close to feeding time, but Wally got an extra ball session as a reward. He has the makings of a real Frisbee champ and we're already practicing jump and catch. I really want to thank Brad and Denise at Tomlinson's Feed in Lakeway for teaching this old dog a new trick.

So for those of you not lucky enough to hava a Tomlinson's Feed in your radar - that delivers by the way - you can order the Toppl from West Paw or Amazon. Luckily Reunion had some credits from our Amazon Wish List and I was able to get a couple back ups. Thank you Brad and Denise for keeping us on our toes!