Friday, January 20, 2006


Mark gave me the Nintendogs Dachsund and Friends! That game includes several breeds I like: Siberian Husky of course, Beagle, Pug, Golden Retriever and so on. The only one I don't really fancy is the Shih Tzu. I think they are quite annoying and noisy but, to be frank, I am not a big fan of lap dogs. I prefer medium to large sized dogs. And I love a mutt!

I "bought" a Husky then. There were three Huskies in the Pet Shop, 2 females and one male. This time I opted for the male. He was described as a shy, tender dog, while the females were more stubborn and independent (a bit like my Cookie used to be!). His name is Kiko. When I call him, he barks and comes running. In real life Huskies don't actually bark. They howl mostly. They can bark alright, but it's not frequent and doesn't seem very natural to them.

I used to "communicate" a lot with Cookie this way! Sounds silly, but yes, it's true. She did not like having baths. I used to carry her (literally) to my bath-shower box, stuff some cotton balls in her ears and give her a good scrub under the shower. Then, a blow-dry! After it was all over I used to tell her, in a rewarding tone: "Acabou o banho, Cookie!" ("The bath is over, Cookie!"). Then, she would rest on one of the armchairs in the living room, sigh, and start howling: "wooooooooo...". Every time I said the magic words "Acabou o banho..." she would start howling. Then, I would howl as well and she would look very pleased! And relieved, of course. She liked a lot when I behaved like a dog myself. As I tell Mark, for her the Master was my Mom. I was just a peer, a sister, pretty much like another dog for her.

But my virtual Kiko doesn't howl. He barks. And he is very, very realistic for a virtual pet! I started playing the game yesterday, and only taught him one trick: to sit. It is not that easy to train them though (real or virtual, I should add). I think it's an amazing game, and very addictive. I cannot say it replaces a real, warm puppy (of course not), but it makes you closer to have a real dog again somehow. You need to pet it, play with it, give it water and food. It's really cool and cute. I am looking forward to teach him more tricks and buy him little treats. It's superb, highly recommended indeed.

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