Here we go again. Go ahead, give up on us. Wow, this must have looked so good. Thanks universe, I didn’t think we can get any lower. You continue to amaze me. Houston we have hit bottom as hard as possible without breaking anything… Everyone, please put on your imagination caps, if you do it right this should be pretty entertaining.
Wednesday, we arrived at herding. I brought him in the gated area. We were a pretty good distance from the other dogs. I asked him to down, that gives his brain something else to think about, BESIDES reacting to the dogs that are about 30 feet away. I partially block his view, to help him calm down. I stood on his leash, so he wouldn’t pull me around if he happened to lose it. I didn’t give him much extra leash. I leaned down and did some loud lip smacking. He looked at me and responded back, smacking his lips. Yes, I am the crazy dog lady, I know. He settled in nicely.
The herding instructor just finished working her dog and they came into the gated area. Her dog decided he wanted to go for a swim…in the pool…the pool that Jedi and I happened to be standing a few feet behind. He came straight at us. When he got close, Jedi charged him. It all happened to fast. Jedi lifted me straight up in to the air, as if I was launched from a trampoline. I looked forward and said “Hi feet, fancy meeting you here, right in front of my face”.
Wham! There I was on the ground. I am not small, I am almost 5’10’’. I don’t carry allot of extra weight, but come on. He is super-canine! I always hold my leash in both hands with it wrapped around each hand. That way I can keep my arms relaxed, but still have time to grab the leash if he starts to pull. He didn’t go anywhere. He isn’t interested in fighting. He just wants his space. I called him back next to me and put in him a down. We shook it off, he laid so nicely at my feet. WHERE WE BOTH SHOULD HAVE STAYED!!
In hindsight, I should have thrown some treats on the ground or got his eyes on me. Oh damn you hindsight!!! Why do you taunt me soooooooo!
That was it, the instructor had had enough of us. She asked again what happened to him. I reminded her he was attacked pretty bad at 10 months. You know, right during the second fear stage. She saw it. She said he is having an emotional response to the dogs around him. He is not reading their body language. He is stuck. He only sees that they are coming to get him and he has to respond with a huge defensive move. She hasn’t seen any improvement in the few times we have been up there, so she is done with us. She said what she would do, is teach him a German Stay. He is not to move, NO MATTER WHAT.
She asked if I had ever considered just making him a house dog. I told her I had, but I wanted to say F-you. Give up on us, we won’t stop.
That would not be accepting the gift that she has given me. Which is think about what is best for Jedi. Yes, I did think about it. There were allot of gifts given to me at that moment.
Jedi: You did it mom, you remained calm and now see I need some emotional help…and you definitely hit bottom. JEDI, you are not funny.
Instructor: Do what is best for your dog
Universe: No anxiety – and I mean feakin NONE!! I could have never imagined I could let it go so completely. I still cannot believe this is really me. Self, congratulations.
I got a free chiropractic adjustment and a don’t let the gate hit you in the a$$ on the way out.
Yup, give up on us. I seem to work better that way. I am resourceful, with no pressure I can be more creative, unstoppable. I gathered up Jedi and got in the car. Universe: Gift 2 – I didn’t cry. I am too strong for that now. Instead I made our next plan. I looked forward without feeling abandoned or humiliated. I am not weak, I am not stuck in the emotion of what happened. I have choices. The universe has created A GIRL ON FIRE! I see my path, I will take it. I will take all of the gifts no matter how difficult. In the past I would leave those situations with my head spinning. This is such a weird feeling.
I just want to tell you people at the herding place, even though you gave us your smug looks and hardly wanted to talk to me…I would help you if I could in any way. Maybe there is something wrong with me, but I would. Maybe I am a dumb girl on fire. I refuse to cast aside my broken things…I fix them. I help others fix them. We all have broken parts, I hope you were not cast aside because of them.
There is nowhere for us, we live in the spaces between doggie society. If I see you out there, other reactive dog people, I will wave at you. I know what it is like. We work so hard and all we get are nasty looks from the world on both sides. I won’t talk to you though…please don’t talk to me. At the moment, that would get my dog to excited. LOL! Oh Jedi. We only got to herd twice.
So, here is my thing. She said, maybe if I continue to work on our relationship, I can get him settled enough down the road, in the future. This is a very tricky thing. He has a fear phobia all entwined in there. If he is chasing squirrels, bunnies or deer, I can call him off of them. He comes right back to me. That seems like it would be more difficult than walking past another dog. He works hard for me. We are working on our relationship, but emotions are a funny thing.
When I left to go teach class last night, Jedi watched me leave. He laid in an unusual spot with his head down and just watched the door. Poor dude doesn’t know, that if we can get him past this, he would be my demo dog. My husband worked him a bit, Jedi just looked so pitiful. I wish I could tell him, he would be right at my side where he belongs. If we could just not give crap about anything else. I hate bringing this back to feeling like it is my fault. I get my part, I need to hold the calm for us, slow it down for him. We will put our heads down and continue on this long journey.
Although, I feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. I have a wad of cash, I will pay real money to work my dog somewhere!!!!!! No I am not rich, but I want to work my dog. No one will help me and there is no hotel manager to call.
I swear, I am going to open some sort of training center for Reactive dogs. Just because he is reactive, doesn’t mean he cannot work for me!!!!!!!!!!!!! How is that for relationship building. Getting to work your dog. I want to build a facility, where each team gets their own door, their own sitting area. It would be like a hockey rink/arena. This is a yucky term, but it makes it easier to visualize, each team gets a penalty box. There is a sliding panel, that you can completely block the arena or open it to view through plexiglass. When your dog improves, you can let them see more and more. Either one way view through the plexi type material or enough distance so the dog in the arena won’t react.
We could do Rally, Agility, Nosework, even herding in there!!!!!!!!!!! I just need to buy a hockey rink…anyone know of one for sale!! Oh…and want to finance me?!?!?! I have a few professional trainers that work with reactive dogs. They have professional titles, I would teach the activity and help you work on your relationship. The reactive instructor would come around, one by one and help each team with the reactivity training. I NEED TO WIN THE LOTTERY!! Maybe I should start a Go Fund Me account? Holy crap, I think I will.
Well, what is my plan. I have a few calls into some Vet Behaviorists. I am going to get him on some meds. Hope that giving him some rose colored glasses, combine with the CARE program, we can make some progress. I win either way.
Universe: Gift 3 – Always be prepared to do a back flip if you are flung into the air, you can land more graceful. Thanks universe, I will practice that.
If that doesn’t help him, then he will be a house dog. I won’t lie, he is the perfect house dog. He follows me where ever I go. When I stop he will cozy up to my side. He comes when I call him. If he is digging and I tell him to stop, he does. He has been out of his kennel since he was 1 year old. He only chewed a tiny piece of an old outdoor slipper, destroyed nothing else. Nothing! If he is chasing anything, I call him back, he comes. He can heel backwards and gives the best on command kisses. He makes me laugh. He loves staring deep into your eyes. He loves his Kiska and his papa. He does love his life, he is a happy dog. Every single morning, when I wake up, he jumps around the room. No matter how early or how unenthusiastic you are. He cannot wait to see what the day holds for us. Plus, he would give his life for me, I know that. I would do the same for you Jedi boy.