Howdy, Howdy!

I will explain the joke from the title for those who are not from the Southern part of the US. Howdy is a traditional greeting from that place, associated especially with the cowboys. Of cours, it comes from “How do you do?”. Interesting fact, it’s also the official greeting of WordPress, which I also use to write this blog. Below a scene fromĀ Toy Story.

 

 

Besides, Howdy is my dog’s name.

Thinkin about my journey through Ecuador on a horse I felt I needed a dog. For the security, company and as a heater in cold Andean nights. Of course, big enough to run after the horse. I was told it would be better to get a small barking one which I could put in the saddle with me but it didn’t fit my vision.

I was looking for it, asking. I had an offer to adopt a bitch but I felt I preferred a male – because of practical reason and because of the narration. And I found him! I was passing on a horse by a house and I saw the courtyard full of puppies. I went there to ask. We set a meeting, we rescheduled it few times, but finally I went there. A dog I would adopt was so afraid of me that I wasn’t able to touch him. Furthermore, he was nine months old and had obvious lacks in training that would be difficult to overcome.

I was strolling through Vilcabamba feeling a bit blue as I was really looking forward to adopt a dog. And I remembered that a mechanic had some nice looking puppies in his courtyard. I went there. There was one left. He came to me with curiosity, licked my hand. He let me pet him. Half German shepherd, half something else – according to the mechanic’s description “a big black dog” [after beginning of writing this text I spoke to the vet who, it turned out, knows Howdy’s father – a half pitbull, half unidentified mix. I have, then, a half German shepherd, a quarter pitbull and a hundred of other genes]. I finished eating my ice cream, I paid for the vaccines and deworming and with the cart of vaccinations in a pocket and the dog in my arms I went home.

 

Howdy. The first photo in new home.
He got used pretty quickly. And tired. On his nose a wound from a battle with a chicken. It looks far better now, everything has healed already.

 

I had the name invented for a long time already. Howdy. The first day he learned to sit down on command. We are currently working on walking next to my leg, eating only when allowed, getting back a ball ad giving a paw. Then getting back to his place and lying down and the basics will have been over. Oh, yeah, andĀ stay.

The important question from the beginning was to make him used to horses. I didn’t wait too long. In the morning I was waken up by horses. I opened door, Howdy wanted to get out. And there was a horse head. Of course he started barking, so I sat next to the horse and tried to convince him to come closer to eat treats from my hand. I made it.

 

The first encounter with horses. A historical moment.
He keeps the safe distance but tolerates horses. The horses, though, seem to not see dogs unless they jump out of a gate barking.

 

The same day I had to go with Sol to another pasture, at one American’s place, who has too much grass growing in the courtyard. I thought it was a good occasion to see how Howdy feels on the horseback. I bought him a harness (the medium size, but still too big) to be able to drag him up on the horse using the leash and to have something to hold while riding without suffocating him.

 

I put some treats on this stone, so Howdy came closer to Sol for me to take a photo. And I attached the horse to a tree. Animals don’t get posing.
Two days after taking this photo I was walking with Howdy in the center of Vilcabamba. A woman told to her children: “Oh, look. That’s the dog that rides horses”. Everyone knows us, already.

 

Howdy is a very friendly dog. He loves children and lets them do everything with him (recently we got attacked in the street by two brats wanting to play with a puppy – even I wanted to defend myself because they were pulling my trousers). He likes other dogs too but doesn’t run after them. For the first few days he had a female friend, a little abandoned dog I called Sheep because of curly hair. I don’t have her on the photos. She disappeared after few days the same way she had appeared. Howdy has an older friend, Jose Luis’ dog Toby. Toby doesn’t like to play but sometimes he go out for walks with us. Howdy gets calmer when Toby is around – he gives him a good example.

 

Toby

 

I’m still waiting to do some paperwork before I can go for my travel but I know that our trio will soon be wandering Ecuador. I hope that Howdy when he grows up will follow the horse and won’t want to ride because in view of his size I would have to buy him own horse. On the other hand, it could become viral. “About the dog that rides horses”.

 

Our strange pack. Almost like from the Ice Age. Although, if Sol is like Manny the mammoth because we can ride him, Howdy like Diego, the tiger – he’s a predator, there is only Sid the sloth left for me.

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