Very Different Energy

15-month-old golden puppy Orly curls up on a large bed, with her head on the pillow
Orly loves to curl up on my bed

Life with (only) Orly has settled into a new routine. Her energy is very different from Cali’s — or Cali-and-Orly’s together.

Cali was the world’s best alarm clock. She was extremely accurate, for one thing. And her way of greeting the morning was to grab a toy and do a happy morning dance.

Not Orly. Orly sleeps on my bed (whether I want her to or not … she’ll just wait until I am asleep and jump on up). When I decide it’s time to get up, I have to nudge her awake and encourage her to get off the bed to go outside. She then frequently greets the morning, and the neighbors, by barking. I promptly bring her back inside. Where she often goes back to bed.

The rest of our morning routine isn’t so different from life with Cali: Exercises, breakfast/coffee, walk.

The walks are different, though. Cali had several spots where we all stopped each day so she could sniff and catch up on the news. Orly is not a newshound, I guess. She hardly ever stops to sniff or even do her own business. And her pace is a lot faster than Cali’s. Like Cali though, Orly has definite opinions on where we should walk.

She’s less inclined to hang out in my office while I’m working, unless I am in a meeting. She seems to really like Zoom meetings, especially if she can find one of her two favorite toys (the ones with the loudest squeakers).

Some days, she heads out mid-morning for a hike with her dog friends; other days, we take a walk together at lunchtime. Most workdays are rounded out with treat toys, snuffle mat, chewing on an antler, or sighing noisily to indicate how boring she finds me. Or all of the above.

She often paces and nudges me to let her out, only to want to come back in a few minutes later. Or she’ll go out and start barking at any movement — a car in the alley, neighbors doing what neighbors do, a squirrel taunting her. The restlessness and pent-up energy are typical of any young golden retriever, but the barking is a relatively new, and very unwelcome, development.

Two golden retrievers rest, their heads nestled against one another.Weekends we try to get out for a longer walk, often picking up Spirit so the girls can play as they hike. The girls are always delighted to see one another.

Orly is definitely more social (with dogs) than Cali ever was. Cali had her few close friends, but as she aged, she pretty much would play actively only with Orly.

Orly wants, and seems to need, frequent high-energy play. With the dogs in her hiking group, with Spirit, with neighbors’ dogs. (Fortunately, we are surrounded by puppies and adolescent dogs of all sizes and types.) I’m trying to get her together with her buddies often, but she’s at that age where there are simply never enough playmates and activities to truly tire her out.

Like Cali, Orly loves human visitors, though she seems to have forgotten Cali’s trick of always greeting people with a toy in her mouth. Rather than the squeal and dance Cali greeted loved humans with, Orly is more likely to try to give visitors a little kiss on the cheek … which means she sometimes forgets to keep all four paws on the floor. She might instead gently take the visitor’s hand in her mouth.

Despite her boundless energy, she does have an ‘off’ switch, and she’s able to keep herself occupied in between adventures. She rarely indulges in destructive behavior, though she’s destroyed a few toys, and she is a menace to anything growing in the back yard — a trait she shares with her littermates. She seems (thankfully) to lack her siblings’ genetic tp addiction, though.

Having a young, energetic dog is getting me out for more frequent, longer, and faster-paced walks, all very beneficial. I’m thinking ahead to spring and summer, and wondering whether agility would appeal to Orly. I bet she’d excel at nosework, too. Obedience … not so much.

4 thoughts on “Very Different Energy

  1. I have sure noticed that Jesse is a different dog since Jake’s passing as well. She is beginning (after 6 weeks) to look a little less lost. Her leader was Jake and he set the pace. I will be getting a puppy at some point and HOPE I can live thru the “puppy stage” once again! lol….Hopefully she will be her happier self again!

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  2. My new dog, Mia, has to “talk” in the morning – a behavior I haven’t seen since I had a Samoyed mix who liked to sing each morning. Mia’s talking includes a lot of sounds I don’t normally hear. Some people have claimed that she sounds like she is being tortured, but the talking generally ends when she is let out of her crate. (Which we use to keep her off of our bed.)

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