An Open Invitation

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Marking Our Territory, Chicago, Montrose Dog Beach, Adventure, Instagram

The internet, and social media in particular, is taking it on the chin in the news these days. We’re told it’s responsible for intellectual-bubbles, divisiveness, and all sorts of digital tribalism.  With lines in the sand, guns drawn, and enemies on all sides, who can you trust? In my experience? Pretty much everyone with a dog.

My favorite part of this blog and my instagram account has been connecting with people from around the world. Sharing moments of joy and grief, building friendships and community, and growing together along the way. I love whenever we have the opportunity to meet the faces (both human and dog) behind the screen names and accounts we know so well. Last summer we got to meet Atlas (the handsome puppy above), Jess and Scott. Not surprisingly, Penny immediately crashed into Atlas to welcome the gangly pup to the neighborhood. The crew was back in town last weekend so we were fortunate enough to meet again on a chilly Sunday afternoon.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Marking Our Territory, Chicago, Montrose Dog Beach, Adventure, Instagram

Atlas the goofy puppy had transformed into Atlas the powerful dog! Our handsome pal came galloping over towards Penny, ready to rumble. This time with the scales tipped in his favor. Or so we thought.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Marking Our Territory, Chicago, Montrose Dog Beach, Adventure, Instagram

“Hey, Atlas, I know you are twice my size but I have a secret…”

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Marking Our Territory, Chicago, Montrose Dog Beach, Adventure, Instagram

“I’M STILL CRAZY!”

Jess, Scott and I watched our brawlers duke it out along the shore. Atlas is such a sweetheart and he divided his time equally between the good natured battle and looking at us like, “Which one of you brought a Tasmanian Devil to the dog beach?”

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Marking Our Territory, Chicago, Montrose Dog Beach, Adventure, Instagram

It gives me such joy to see Penny running and rumbling with another Ridgeback. She and I are always happier when she’s part of a pair.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Marking Our Territory, Chicago, Montrose Dog Beach, Adventure, Instagram

Don’t worry, Atlas, it’s not permanent!

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Marking Our Territory, Chicago, Montrose Dog Beach, Adventure, Instagram

It gives me solace to know that even other Ridgebacks think Penny isn’t quite right in the head

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Marking Our Territory, Chicago, Montrose Dog Beach, Adventure, Instagram

The face you make when you realize your “Fight or Flight” instinct is useless because Penny wants you to do both!

I’ve said it before, but since we had such a great time with Jess, Scott and Atlas that I wanted to extend an open invitation once again. If you and your pup ever find yourselves in Chicago, drop us a line if you’d like to meet up at the dog beach. We always love to meet new people and new dogs. Plus, there are few guarantees in life, and we can guarantee one play date with Penny will give your pup the best night of sleep of their life!

41 Comments

Thanks for the lovely post and as always, fantastic photos! Seeing you and Penny was one of the highlights of our trip — it truly is something else seeing these dogs play together in real life! I hope we can inspire more real-life meetups!
–Atlas, Jess, and Scott

I have a strange question for you. In your travels have you come across any ways to encourage play language in your guys? My boys were not really socialized properly as pups. Sam is relatively friendly, though he has some fearful behaviours. He’s cute and cuddly and less like to bite. And he does play bow beautifully. Dean on the other hand is my Tasmania Devil ( with the hideous roar and everything) We go to play group and he usually ok–if he knows who is playing. We are working on his fearful behaviour. It’s really frustrating to have a wonderful dog who can be scary.
Hope to see you on the beach!’
Much love, Jo, Sam and Dean

Oh yes, I have plenty of frustrating stories about socializing Penny properly. In her case though it was because she’s so headstrong and eager. A behaviorist is better suited to answer specific questions, but I can definitely say you’re not alone. My only advice would be try leaving when you’re ahead. If Dean happens to have a great day, leave before any trouble happens and give him lots of praise. Hopefully that will help build his confidence.

I’ve spent Dean’s college tuition on a wonderful behaviorist, who said, “Do the work and suck up the rest.” He’s made some improvements, but I would never trust him. He’s a frat boy instigator whose brother jumps into back him up— instead of doggie diffusing. Somebody’s gotta love the gangsters I guess. All he can say is Mama tried!

That open invitation extends both ways. If you ever find yourselves in Penticton, BC, Canada send us a note! We could stage a Royal Rumble for any local dogs wanting to partake. Of course, it would likely be Maiden and Penny left at the end – what a match that would be!

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