Am.Ch. Towzie Tyke Galloway ME. CD. OA. AD. NAJ. FDCh.


October 14, 1992 - June 26, 2007

"The Look" - you don't have to be brash to get your way - just smart

This is how Gally would look at me whenever he wanted something. He could maintain that stare for a long long time. It was very unnerving. He would just keep following me and staring at me until he got the attention he wanted. With other dogs, they did something. You could say "No". How in the world can you tell a dog to stop pestering you, when all he's doing is looking at you? :)

Gally's Game - a tribute to a great dog whose quiet presence is sorely missed

I've been thinking about my older guys lately. Harry has always come to mind as far as memorable things he's done and Gally has always been the mild, well-behaved, more boring of the two, but Gally did have a great game he made up himself that we played together.

When Gally was a puppy two of the first things I taught him was basic obedience (stand, sit, down, stay, and come) and not to walk on one side of a tree/pole while I'm walking on the other side. I would intersperse the obedience throughout the day, but one of the more common things we did, starting at 12 weeks, was suddenly during a walk for me to tell him to sit, stay, and then walk away from him and tell him to come and he would get a treat. To work on the tree thing I would stop the flexi-lead or pull in the leash just as he was going on the opposite side of a tree from where I was. By four months he had the tree thing down cold and could back up and get back to my side quickly and he knew the obedience commands pretty well. Then he decided to be creative.

Starting at about four months old Gally started his game. We would be walking along and suddenly the leash would get taunt. I would look back and Gally would be sitting solidly on the path. Confused I would tell him to come and he'd run forward and I'd give him a treat for his recall. This went on for about a week before I caught on that he was doing it just to get me to give him the "Come" command, so that he could get his treat. Sometimes I'm not too quick on the uptake. Saying things like "come on Gally", "hurry up", "what are you doing", or "Gally" in an exasperated voice would not make him move an inch. He wanted the "Come" that always got him the treat. Finally I started to give him a tug on the leash, just enough force to drag him about a quarter of an inch and that would get him up and coming with me. Then his creativity increased.

On one one of his walks at about five months, the leash suddenly grew taunt again and I turned and Gally was on one side of a tree and I on the other. Tugging on the leash achieved nothing but him leaning forward resisting it. Again, anything but the "Come" command was ignored. He would immediately respond to "Come" and I would always treat "Come". Pretty soon I just accepted that this was part of our walks. Sometime during a long walk Gally was likely to put himself in a position where I had to call him or get him. Since it never got more often than that, and I usually had treats on me, and I thought it was cute, we just kept it up for years. It was a private game between Gally and I.

Only one time were we ever observed. I was walking Gally and Harry around the local library. Both dogs were on 26' flexi-leads. The next thing I know Gally has gone on the wrong side of a large light pole in the middle of the library grass. I was about 20 feet from the pole and Gally was about 5 feet from the pole (15 feet from me) with the leash wrapped around it. I said "Gally" in exasperation and was surprised by a woman, just to the side of us, saying "You're going to have to go back and get him". Since we had an audience I admit I made the most of it. I pled with him to come to me and he whined and pulled on the leash showing how much he would love to come if the pole wasn't holding him back. I didn't realize what a good actor he was whimpering and periodically tugging forward, obvious to all watching that he wanted so much to come, but could not. He had done it before, but I hadn't seen it through someone else's eyes before. Finally when I thought the woman was going to yell at me to tell me to rescue my dog, I slumped my shoulders and said "Gally you win, Come!". He spun in place, raced around the pole and sat in front of me. The woman stood there with her mouth open. It was really funny.

The thing I really liked about the whole thing was that none of this was something someone taught him. It was his own game, including all the acting stuff. Just something we both played together.


Goodnight sweet Galloway ....
Your presence was quiet and reassuring, your absence is unfathomable
.... Hunt hard, sleep well my friend.

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