My Constant Companion: Kismet Update Fall 2011

It's been a while since I featured my Bouvier des Flandres Kismet on the blog, so today I present a random assortment of photos taken over the past few months of my beautiful girl who is now 3 years old!

I get quizzical looks at times from people when I refer to my dog as my love but that is how I feel; she is my constant companion and my preferred company throughout the day and I love having her right by my side.

She is my alarm clock, my motivator to get up and out, to go walking and she is huge source of humour and joy in my daily life. My girl is not without her faults nor Diva attitude but like any other relationship you take the good with the bad.

Kismet with my mother Genevieve and brother Michael in
Goderich, Ontario four days before a Tornado ripped through the town. 

It still amazes me how she just knows the days when I am not 100% and will just pull back on her normal level of energy and enthusiasm which I notice when we are out for our walks. She is so attuned to my overall well being that she knows when Daddy just doesn't have the energy. 

And then there are the times when the prey-drive takes over and she's like a bat out of hell after either a Squirrel or Racoon in the vicinity. I will tell you that Kismet has done wonders for my upper body strength and toning, having to hold onto and restrain this 85lb. power house who, as most large dog breed owners will tell you, are capable of ripping your arm out of it's socket if you are not holding onto their leash tight enough!

Kismet's housemate and best friend is Charlie, our Maltese/Poodle cross who is 1/3 her size and who adores his big sister to bits!  Kismet is so good with Charlie and will play with him and let him burn off all his pint sized energy. The dogs are very set in their ways and routines now and while it was tough at first getting up everyday at 5 to feed them, this is now my normal routine and I am happy to oblige.

Kismet continues to do well with training for basic vocal commands both on leash and off. This is especially important for off-leash parks when you want her to stop and return to your side. Does it work 100% of the time? No. As I wrote, if Kismet is tracking prey she gets very focused on the target and she can run very fast for a large breed dog so I like to know the lay of the land and what boundaries and hazards exist when I do take her out. Just because a field looks beautiful and green with room to run does not mean there are not hidden holes for feet to slip into a possibly cause a sprain or fracture. 

Kismet is in great health and her coat is a nice, manageable length, now grown out from her summer cut, which this year was not as drastic compared to last summer when I first started grooming her! 

The grooming process is done pretty much daily and includes brushing her top coat with a slicker brush to smooth out and align all the larger hairs of her coarser, thicker outer coat. I then repeat with a second groom with a fine tooth comb to get down to her undercoat, which removes any matting and twists to the hair close to her skin. This is especially important along her belly and around her Vulva. 

Kismet's weight is a steady 85lbs. and her digestion is spot on and I remain very strict about no treats other than those given at bedtime. Kismet get's plenty of exercise in the form of walks throughout our neighbourhood on leash, as well as one visit to an off-leash area daily, where she can move at her own pace and track prey. This is in addition to the constant patrols of our enclosed back yard which is a good length, perfect for chasing squirrels and racoons.

Kismet is gregarious with other dogs but prefers her own company and to walk and explore, which is just fine with me. I am not one to go to a park and sit. 

We are very lucky to have several off-leash parks not too far from where we live and that is convenient, especially a smaller park in the winter months for it's proximity and for Charlie, so he can socialize with smaller dogs his size.

I've found though that the dogs do not enjoy going there in the warmer weather as they find it boring and not engaging. If there is snow on the ground that is one thing but there is really nothing to do, especially if we are the only ones there and after about 10 minutes they are bored and lay down. I feel the same. We go there on occasion but Kismet much prefers the hills and trails and streams of other parks in Toronto in which to get her exercise, rain or shine. And Miss Kismet LOVES her daily bathe in the creek. 

I don't always feel up to it but once you set out you get into the beauty of being outdoors and lack of stamina becomes secondary. So I mix it up for the dogs and for myself. 

I hope you enjoyed the photos. Be well and get outside to enjoy some of the beautiful fall weather!



Cynthia said...

Lovely post Patrick. I agree that sometimes a dog's companionship is better than any a human can provide. She is a special girl.

Kiwi James said...

She's gorgeous and you both look beautiful together!

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