Posted by Peta Dowle on Thursday, September 2, 2010
August Featured Vallhund
Pedigree Name: Barahwolfe Mistletoe Tonka
Mrs. Peta Dowle
Tonka is the very happy young dog that lives with a family made up of people and a 14 year old cat 'Smellie'. Almost 8 months of age now, Tonka started off in his new home by heading away to puppy preschool. His mum Morag says that Tonka loves other dogs and this was apparent early with him very friendly with even the most stand offish dogs. At preschool there was one Malamute x Alaskan Huskey that was decidedly unsure about interacting with other dogs, but by course end the bigger dog was play bowing and and being a quite a goon with Tonka. Tonka likes to 'talk' a lot and has much to say for all his youth. To the point of almost embarrassingly so on the first puppy preschool evening, although this 'showing off' settled by the next lesson fotunately.
OUT AND ABOUT
Tonka loves kids and is especially fond of little girls. His breeder had young daughters so perhaps this conditioning set the preference. He recognises girl children and is eager to dash off and meet youngsters in the hope of play and pats. Tonka regularly gets to walk at the Forester Dog Park in north Dunedin and also along the wild urban grassed areas near the Opoho Rugby field. He dances and dashes and rolls in the grass off leash. This little Swedish Vallhund boy also enjoys a stroll on the beach, not afraid of the water and waves. On one occasion Tonka was knocked off his little short legs by a decent wave and had to be scooped out of the water.
Tonka, while desexed has had his eye on the poodle cross that lives a few doors up. He would very much like to meet his neighbour but has not yet had the chance. Morag thinks they may get to meet someday soon..... Meanwhile though Tonka is never short of company. There is usually someone at home and in between there is Smellie for company, even if it is to be had at a distance. Smellie was named for his habit of 'sniffing' the air when a kitten, and Smellie has still to be convinced that getting a dog was a such a brilliant idea.
Tonka likes Smellie but not as much as he loves Squeak the soft dog toy (pictured top left with Tonka on the decking). Squeak is the most favouritest of toys. Squeak (who used to have a 'squeak' inside) has followed a line of previous toys that started with Fish. Fish progressively became flatter and flatter as he lost his insides. Fish was followed by 'Frog'. Frog also originally had a 'sqeaky' inside and as is the case with many dog toys which eventually get hammered into non functioning, frog sadly lost his noise. Tonka also enjoys chew bones made of dried rawhide and for a while liked toys made up of tennis ball and rope, but these are too quickly disassembled to be replaced.
Morag says that Tonka really enjoys special cuddle times where he is invited up onto the 'brown chair'. This is quiet time and he has learned that if he sits quietly pressed gently against Morag (or another family member) he may stay and enjoy pats and cuddles. Should he decide that he is going to be boisterous and silly he is quickly sent away. It is not just Tonka's quiet time, it is Morag's too. Even as a youngster these guys learn pretty quickly rules and expectations.
Tonka sleeps inside at night, in a good sized show styled crate with a door. This is his own space and has proved quite invaluable. He has always slept nights in a crate and knows it is his space and time to settle. At 8 months he is now reliable with being house trained and is developing into a handsome boy with lots of good behaviours and learning. Most of all he is the very special loved companion dog to his mum and two teenagers who think he is simply lovely.