Happy Hounds - Happy Homes: Flash

Flash is an absolutely amazing dog. We could not be more pleased with him. He is a gem!!

This past winter was the worst winter we have ever seen. The temperatures and wind chills were unbelievably cold. We had days where the temperatures never got above -25C (-13F) and the wind chills were -30C (-22F) or colder. The coldest day was -42C (-44F) with a wind chill of -46C (-51F). On those days, Flash could only be out for a maximum of 5 minutes and we would have to keep a close watch on the time. I attached a couple of pictures of Flash dressed for the cold. The hat he wore is actually Byron's hat but I put it on Flash for a joke. I never thought Flash would actually wear the hat but he loved it. He would not go outside in the bitter cold without the hat on. You will notice that Flash's nose has snow on it because he was always sticking his nose in the snow. We had so much snow that we had to dig pathways out for Flash to walk around. Flash had so much fun running around the pathways like it was a maze or obstacle course. The snow piles were over 5 feet high and we would not be able to see him sometimes. Flash loved the snow and would run through the snow piles to chase the rabbits and squirrels.

Flash lies and waits for the animals to come into the yard so he can chase them. He loves to be outside and chase everything that moves. Flash will also spend most of his day looking out the window in the backyard. We say he is watching tv for dogs because there is always something moving to keep his attention. He has been successful in catching a few things (squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, a mouse, frogs, and a butterfly). Everyday there is something for him to chase. We have to watch him if the raccoons are out but they don't like him so that helps. He also chased a hawk out of the yard which thankfully he never caught. He is so fast that we are surprised that he hasn't caught more animals.

Flash does have a few quirks. He likes ice cubes and will actually take them out of a glass. He has never knocked over the glass but has sloshed most of the liquid out of the glass. He has never taken anything off the counter, except for his stuff (kong, bone, toy). Flash also is a kisser! He will kiss you for everything - to get out of trouble, to get what he wants, to wake you up, or just because. You can even ask him for a kiss and he will give you a kiss! Flash also wants to be a lap dog. He will sit on me whenever he can. I was once reading in a chair, he jumped up, sat on my lap, and then started to steal ice cubes out of my water glass! He also does not like me wearing anything on my arms (i.e. gloves, bracelets, watches, and even long sleeves) and tries to chew them off - weird!! Flash also likes to blow bubbles in his water dish (does it quite often).

Flash love to play hide and seek. We will hide and then yell OK and he will hunt until he finds us. Usually someone has to hold him so we can hide. We have never given him a treat for finding us, just a head rub, but he loves to hunt. Flash is not so good with stuffed toys. All he wants to do is pull the stuffing out of the toy. However he loves his rubber chickens and you have to be careful around him with them. He will shake and swing the chicken around and has whacked me in the head several times when I was not watching. He will usually give you a kiss after he whacks you and then start shaking the chicken again. He will also throw the chicken at you if he wants you to play with him and you are not paying attention to him. The other day, Flash was shaking the chicken and let go. In that one throw, he hit Byron, a lamp, knocked over a cola bottle, knocked over the phone, and almost landed in his water dish. In this house, you have to beware of flying rubber chickens!!!!

Flash is also a good watch dog. If someone rings the doorbell, he will bark and run to the door. If it is someone he knows, he will make the most pathetic crying noise I have ever heard. If he doesn't know the person he will just stare at them. The only problem with him barking at the doorbell is a swifter commercial on tv has the same sounding doorbell so every time the doorbell rings on the commercial he runs to the front door - barking.

Flash loves the water but not waves so he will only go in the water if it is calm. On hot days, he has even tried (unsuccessfully) to get in the shower with me so it is really easy to give him a bath. We have taken him to the lakes an few times and he loves to get in the water. Next summer, if it is warmer than this summer, I will see if he can swim. Usually we just walk into the water.

Flash is also friends with the little dog (Juno) next door. If Juno is out next door, he will bark trying to get Flash to go out. They usually bump noses through the fence and run along the fence together. Flash even taught him to run laps. It is the funniest thing - Flash will run a lap, then go back to the fence, bark once, and then Juno will run a few laps, then come back to the fence, bark once, and Flash is off running a lap, back to the fence, bark... It will continue for a few laps each.

Last fall, Flash decided that he was no longer going to sleep on his bed in our bedroom. He decided that he was going to sleep on the double bed in the spare bedroom. Since that bedroom is right beside ours and he can see anyone walking up or down the stairs, I guess he wanted more room to stretch out and a mattress. He sleeps there all the time and even takes a nap on his bed. We now refer to that room as Flash's bedroom. He is happy there and sleeps well there so it is fine with us.

Flash has changed so much since we got him. He is so much better than we could have imagined he would be. Flash is amazing!!