Month: April 2014

Salma and rabbits

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Yesterday morning I had a bit more time and I decided to take Salma to our park. Normally we don’t go there because she is too crazy about rabbits. But I do want to start working with her and I thought it might be a good opportunity. She was ok for the first half of the walk. Excited but still managing to walk on a leash without pulling. She did respond to me and was still sober. But then a rabbit run right in front of her. Stupid furry thing! And then she was gone. Not physically as she was on leash but mentally. She was flying on the other en of the lead. We’ve been though this before so I just composed myself kept on breathing calmly and continued (as we had to walk out of the park). She got better on the parking where there is less rabbits and I guess less rabbit smell. She did start to pay attention to me again and managed to walk calmly. We need to start working on the parking and parts where there is less rabbits. But I don’t think that there will be a time when Salma can go to the dog part of the park of leash.

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Salma and Chili walking together

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Today we took the opportunity of an extra free day and took both girls for a walk together. It is isn’t as much a strategic challenge as it used to be. They can walk completely fine together though occasionally Chili barks at other dogs when Salma is around. But it is manageable as we can ask them to sit and wait when we see another dog. Today we went to a park where Salma goes nuts for rabbits. She was on a long line and Chili was off leash. Before it was not possible to let Chili of leash because she was almost continuously “attacking” Salma. Trying to activate her. Today Jochem had Salma on the leash and I was throwing a ball to Chili. Salma was so focused on finding rabbits she barely knew we are there and Chili running after a ball didn’t make any difference. Unfortunately on our way back we were on a small path and without possibility of turning back when we run into a dog. It wasn’t a very confident dog. She had a quick exchange of growling and snapping with Chili (I told Jochem just before we got to the dog to let Salma off the leash in case something happened so she can protect Chili. But Salma didn’t really care about their “discussion”). I am unhappy this happened but I’m not too worried. It was a situation that was uncomfortable for both dogs. I should have hold Chili behind me and not try to pass. And another important lesson I should not question myself when I have a bad feeling about a dog. Not because I’m never wrong  but because It is better to be safe than sorry. This was just one situation, we did pass by three different dogs barking on balconies and even though Chili was a bit cautious she didn’t react in any way and continued walking next to me and looking at me. We also saw a bulldog that was growling at us and Chili was ok with sitting and waiting till they pass. But in those both situations the distance was big enough and Salma didn’t react. Chili pays enormous attention to everything Salma does when we are outside. Overall today’s walk was a success. Chili was behaving very well around Salma.
Salma on the other hand will need a lot of work when it comes to her emotions. Once I settle my life back in right balance (and hopefully it will happen within few months) I’m starting project Salma.

Today for the first time Chili peed on a spot where Salma did and later the opposite happened (during a different walk). As they never did this before I think this might mean their relationship is changing.

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Phone call…

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I got a phone call I tonight that I used to dread every time I was out of the house last year. We went out for dinner to our neighborhood restaurant and while we were walking back home I got called by our downstairs neighbor. He asked if we were at home because one of our dogs is making noise for 30 minutes. He did express surprise that is happened because he didn’t hear them bark in months. I froze. I don’t understand. Chili use to have major separation anxiety problem and last year I was happy if I managed to take a shower or run to a grocery store. We went through a lot trying to help her get used to staying alone/with Salma. And for last 9 months there were no problems. Till tonight. She didn’t stay alone longer than usual. She had a good walk in the afternoon. We were gone for two hours. She didn’t seem more anxious before or after we left. The only difference I can think about it’s the fact that our neighbors from upstairs have visitors and they were walking up and down the stairs.
Now I will be worried that she won’t be able to stay alone again. It was a very serious problem for the first few months after we adopted her and I really don’t want it to he back. 😦

Salma’s cuddles

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This morning Salma walked up to me and lay down on my lap, covering most of me with her fur. I ate my breakfast using her a my little table.
I’m not feeling so good and I want to believe that Salma knows. She is always so attuned to emotions. I really lie that fact that both of my dogs initiate close physical contact. Of course if they didn’t like it I would accept it and they do have their moment when they need space. But all that said I like very touchy feely dogs.

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I’m grateful

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I just read a post of an abusing husband beating his ex-wife’s dog. It was deeply saddening. I still feel shaken up. I can’t imagine someone (especially someone who was/is your parter) hurting my dogs. I know it happens often. I know few people who came from abusive homes and whether is is a dog or a child or spouse that is abused it always leave a life lasting mark.
I am so grateful that my partner loves my dogs as much as me. I do take charge when it comes to their training and so forth but everyday I see how much he loves them. When I go to sleep he asks me if I said good night to them, he always shares his breakfast with them. When one of them is sick at night he never complains and takes then out. I think he would kill anyone who would hurt them.
I could never be with someone who doesn’t love dogs.

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Some people make me so angry

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One of the reasons I stopped working at the shelter were people. And not even the once that abuse dogs and get rid if them because they were not in the picture. But owners that we went to to help with their dogs behavioral problems. I’ve met a lot of people mostly men that treated their dogs badly. They had this stupid need to dominate their dog, show it who is the boss, get the respect blah blah blah. And I’ve seen many dogs that didn’t have real problems with behavior or wouldn’t have if people they depended on would give them any right to be an individual live creature. There are so many expectations that people have towards their dogs but unfortunately very rarely they stop to think what need the dog has or that you have to teach them first. So many times I’ve heard that dog doesn’t do this or that but ask them if they ever tried to teach it or does the dog know what they expect and answer often is no. I don’t even want to write this post right now or maybe ever. But anger towards people it’s growing inside me again. Yesterday during evening walk with the girls I wanted to push one guy into the canal. He had a small (less than 10kg) dog that apparently has a problem with other dogs. Dog was sitting and looking and my dogs and the guy was simulating kicking the dog to scary it from going towards us! Seriously?! If you have to intimidate time dog into submission I have no respect for you just disgust. And secondly if your dog ha a problem with other dogs why not just keep him on the leash? So simple.
And today again I got very angry. On my way from work I was walking behind a lady with a very happy old dog. I was actually enjoy seeing them together. And then at the end of the bridge they passed by pit bull mix. Older dog changed his posture a bit, tail and head up but the owner nicely took bigger distance and from their side nothing happened. Pit bull on the other hand was terrified. He dropped to the ground and didn’t want to move. He look as if he got hit. And I think he did many times before. I can’t stand people mistreating their dogs. They have no say in where and how they live and for so many people dog doesn’t have any rights.
Ok, I’m done 😦