Flipflop is my Bahamian Potcake, and you don’t need to know me very well to know he is the apple of my eye.
I’ve shared his adoption story many times, on a single photo I saw at 4:30 am on an October morning, I messaged my friend and Flipflop’s soon to be Canadian foster mom, Sarah, that I wanted Dupont to meet this dog. Sarah knew immediately what that meant………..
Arrangements were made when Flipflop (then Smokey) arrived in Canada for Dupont and I to do meet and greet. This was done to make sure Dupont didn’t despise the pup, and arrangements were made for me to adopt Flipflop within a couple of days.
This sweet pup, found under a broken-down home in a pile of trash, was to test me in ways I never know a dog could!
As a puppy, Flipflop had bounds of energy! I didn’t realize it at the time, but he had a lot of Jack Russell in him, and with JR Terriers comes a lot of energy. I couldn’t tire this dog out, no matter how much I tried, no amount of exercise would do the trick. I would be in tears some days, as I was beside myself on what more I could do for this puppy to make him content enough to sleep. I exercised him daily, for at least 2 hours, I had a dog walker to walk him twice during the day while I was at work. And he would still have energy to spare!
Dupont’s previous dog walker had posted an ad on social media for a place called Dogtopia, a dog daycare, opening soon. As I drove to work a few days later I saw the sign for Dogtopia. It was opening up down the street from me! I called the number I found online and was told there was an open house that weekend and dogs were invited.
That Saturday, Flipflop and I went to the open house and we enrolled!! Finally, a way to help this young dog burn off energy. That daycare was a blessing! At first, Flipflop went 3 days a week (sometimes more), and he would play and run so much. The daycare attendants had to force him to rest, as he would be so stimulated he wouldn’t stop. He didn’t earn his Instagram id “Flipflop_the_pup_who_wont_stop” for no reason! (https://www.instagram.com/flipflop_the_pup_who_wont_stop/?hl=en)
It was in daycare, Flipflop started showing signs of the funny dog he was going to grow into. He was six months old when he started Dogtopia and quickly made some friends. A sign of things to come in the future, the daycare staff told me, that Flipflop would only play with his circle of friends and if new dogs came he shied away from them. To this day, Flipflop has a handful of dog friends (fortunately in BC he’s met some too), and he will only engage those dogs in play. All other dogs, he stays away from, he will go behind me, if on leash, or run away from the other dogs, if he’s off his leash.
As his confidence grew and he aged, he started acting as the Daycare “go to guy”. He would greet any dogs that were new to the daycare, and “show them around”. When the new dog seemed to relax and get in the groove of the playroom, Flipflop would leave them to fend for themselves and return to his pack. The staff loved watching him show new dogs the ropes, he’d greet them and take them around the room and show them how to climb the ramps and run through the tunnels. I was a proud momma!
Every morning, when I would drop him off at day care, he wouldn’t go to the playrooms until he hugged me goodbye. If there was a new person who didn’t know our routine, he would refuse to walk with them, I would explain he needed to hug me goodbye. They would look at me like I was crazy, until they would see me go down on my knees and he would run over to me jumping up to wrap his two front paws around my neck. I would hug him back and tell him to have a good day and I would see him after work, and only then, he would go to the playroom without resisting.
One day a room attendant had to get after Flipflop and a couple of other dogs, as their play was getting a bit heated. The attendant broke up the play. The other two dogs simply calmed down and continued their day. Not, Flipflop! He calmed down, but then climbed up on one of the toy ramps and sat there for two hours, and refused to even look at any of the room attendants, or play with the other dogs, he was MAD! Everyone at the daycare laughed at his behaviour, even his favourite employee went in the room to try and get him to play and he would have nothing to do with her!
As Flipflop aged, his energy level stayed pretty consistent, although he did slow down slightly. He eventually needed only 1 day of Daycare a week to get his crazy out. And eventually, at 4, he stopped going all together. He was no longer interested in playing with other dogs, we were fostering at this time and had adopted Dahlia, he had all the friends he needed in his own home.
When Flipflop was 4-1/2, I moved to BC. It was here, I found Flipflop’s true way of life. As stated in previous blogs, he was meant to be in the mountains, I finally found a way to tire him out! And when my best friend visited us in the fall, the first thing she noticed was how much more content Flipflop was. He no longer had excess energy that he couldn’t get out as a city dog.
At 5 years old, Flipflop still has decent energy but he is now content with just 1-2 hours of good exercise a day! I was worried he was sick when he started coming back to me after only 20 minutes of running! He still loves to run the mountains, and unfortunately, still looks for any form of wildlife to chase. But I no longer find myself in tears that he won’t stop!
He has taught me so much about loving life and being in the moment. And although he still misbehaves, just not as often, when he knows he’s been naughty, he will come to me with his ears back, tail between his legs and head down. He will stay that way, until I hug him to make up. It’s the funniest thing. He is the craziest dog I have ever loved. He wears his heart on his sleeve and lives each moment to the fullest.
I’m so glad he gets to enjoy the next several years of his life in the BC mountains with me, enjoying the freedom and exercise he needs to stay healthy and happy.