20 Jun 2012

I wouldn't believe if either

After you have read this post you will probably decide that I am a nut job, to quote my cousin and will never read this blog again. Actually he called me that after yesterday's post but I assured him that it was nothing compared to todays.

My friend Jakie is still dealing with the issue of her dogs. She has bought in a professional trainer, her vet, and a myriad of other helpers but so far not much has changed. Right now both dogs are still separated at all times but they are walked together, on leashes and if they try anything they are immediately reined in. And that, after a week, is as far as things have moved.

Jakie is going nuts, she loves her dogs and  I love  like her dogs  I have one client in particular who is really great with dogs. Her dogs are therapy dogs at the local childrens hospital so I rang her and asked her for advice. "Tell her to call Cindy" was her immediate response. To see who Cindy is click here. Did you click there, you have to, go now! Jakie and I had talked about her before as I have seen the results of her work on this other clients dog.

Yeah yeah yeah, I know you think I am mad and it is a bunch of poppycock but I have to tell you it was amazing stuff. Today at 3pm, Jakie, her daughter Caro and myself had our meeting, oh and of course Gypsy and Julia were there too. I was there because I witnessed the ordeal and for support.  Oh and just to make it all a little more whacko it is done over the phone. You can fly Cindy in but really who has the extra cash at the moment?

I can't remember a lot of what was said but I do remember being told that the dogs don't really "get why we are all acting to strange and why we are all so tense? Julia is completely at a loss as to what she has done wrong. You would really have to know this dog to see how that statement is such a Julia statement. They want things back the way they were. They started to fight over something so absurd. Gypsy was trying to do her job, walk me to the door but Julia was getting in the way so Gyp's snarled at her and then Julia didn't understand why so she didn't move out of the way. When she didn't move Gypsy got really mad. The rest, as they say, is history. Cindy asked why Julia got so mad and attacked so badly and she said, I don't know, but apparently she was shocked that she had done it. Cindy then described alot of what went on that morning and she had no way of knowing it.

Now Cindy asks a few preliminary questions before she starts a session but some of the stuff she says it is impossible for her to know. My other client said to be sure to ask a question that only we would know ie, what is there favourite toy. Hah, there is no, one answer fits all, reply to that one!

Look I said it was weird. I know I sound like a fruit loop but it was honestly amazing. Cindy was working towards resolution, (obviously) but she didn't get it. Normally she does. They want everything back to normal but they skirted the issue. I must say that they were incredibly calm while she was "talking" to them. We talked about other issues with the dogs and other stuff.  I wish I had the notes here with me but Jakie has them. The next step is a behavioural therapist. A regular trainer can not do what is needed here. When you are working with 2 potentially aggressive dogs, (those words actually made me shake and Caro made fun of me) you have to have someone who is truly experienced and can visually size up the body language between them. Jakie has to stay out of the equation from this point on as she is to upset by it all and the dogs are feeling her anxiety and it is making things worse. I make things 100 times worse. Cindy picked up on the anxiety within minutes (snort) When she told me to keep Rosie away from Gypsy I nearly feinted.....bet the anxiety hit a record high then! Sorry that word aggressive freaked me out and I lost my train of thought, where was I? Oh, APDT dog trainers are specifically trained to handle this and handle it with positive reinforcement not with aggression. Most trainers suggest, pincher collars, shock collars etc. which a bit like fighting fire with fire. Cindy went on to tell the dogs what is going to happen next and how the dogs have to behave. All in all they were very receptive and just want things back to normal. I learnt something today which really surprised me: there doesn't have to be an alpha dog. In a house pet or in this situation with 2 house pets there shouldn't be an alpha pet, both dogs should be the same even if one tries to be the boss it shouldn't be encouraged cos YOU are the boss.

Yeck I couldn't even boss around a hamster let alone a dog. I suck.

I am a wimp
I am a wimp
I am a wimp
Ha ha ha, at least I know it.

Oh and today I took on a new client and shortly after dinner I panicked and realised I hadn't asked if she had a dog so I rang her back. Yes, she said, a German Shepherd. I didn't hear anything else cos my head hit the tile floor when I passed out. I'm kidding, she said she would put it in another room. I was going to ask her if it knows how to open doors but then I thought she might hang up on me so with a shrill voice I said, Okay thank you, I'll see you tomorrow. I don't think she understood a word I said cos I was shrieking like a shrew.

this whole thing is so exhausting.......or maybe it is just the thought of being dog chow tomorrow, either way I'm off to bed.


Pam said...

LOL is all I can say right now- because that is exactly what I am doing! Good luck tomorrow!

Johnny said...

I had to read this twice. So if I understand this correctly.......your friend consulted a dog psychic over the phone?

dawn said...

Johnny, she did. but I swear it's not as ridiculous as it sounds. don't give up on me now.

Vivian M said...

It is true that dogs feed off the emotions of the people around them....Pookie always looks at us before he chooses how to react to a stranger. If we are calm, he is friendly. If we are nervous, scared, angry, etc...he puts on his vicious snarl growl and fangs on display. So the owner MUST be the alpha in charge (dogs will always try to dominate until they learn who is boss).

Anonymous said...

Dogs absolutely feed off of emotions. That's what makes them wonderful. They can sense when you are ill, sad, etc. and can be an incredible comfort. That's why dogs are used for therapy.

Dogs will go for people who are anxious, afraid, nervous, etc. When I say "go for," I don't mean attack, I just mean they will walk up to that person and greet that person first and sometimes may have a hard time leaving that person alone. My dogs (all large), particularly my German Shepherd, always zeros in on people who either don't like dogs or who are afraid of dogs. It is because he can sense the tension and anxiety and does not understand it.


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