I have nothing witty or insightful to write.
I’m just tired.
Good Days and Bad Days
Everyone who has ever worked with dogs will tell you progress isn’t linear. You have growth. You have setbacks.
And yet every setback is a surprise.
After several days of being less fearful on her walk, Chérie, our foster dog, had a bad day yesterday. She was so tense that she could not take a treat from my hand the entire walk.
I was relying on that walk to loosen up her digestive system so I could relax my watchfulness over her in the house. Her house training is incomplete—not bad, but not perfect. And the crazy thing is that although I’m working vigilantly to decrease Chérie’s fear, it’s the house training that might be a bigger threat to her future.
Let me explain.
It’s Hard to Miss Pee on the Carpet
Chérie has settled in nicely around the house. She places beautifully with Honey. She comforts herself by chewing on bones and toys. And she is affectionate and seems to enjoy being here.
If she’s adopted by a family with a quiet life in the country who don’t get many visitors or deliveries, no one would think too much about her fearfulness. With no strangers to disturb her comfort, she’s just a perfectly sweet dog to have around the house.
But most people don’t react so calmly when a dog who just came in from outside pees on the kitchen floor, twice in one day.
Which is why I get hardly any work done.
I’m trying to discover her cues that she may need to go out. I’m working to keep a consistent schedule, even though Chérie does not. And I’m giving her time in her crate throughout the day to make her more comfortable being in it when everyone else is doing other things.
Oh, and I’m trying to make walks a relaxing time to receive and send p-mail. If only her fear didn’t get in the way.
Take a Break and Move On
Today I won’t take Chérie on any walks. We’re going to give her the most stress-free day possible.
For exercise, we’re going to do one of her favorite things: play on the agility equipment we’ve been training Honey with.
Chérie is fearless with wobble boards, teeters, ramps, and even bicycle carts. She just loves climbing around on stuff. And Honey hates seeing Chérie getting treats for something she could be doing so it steps up her game too.
Today is family day. No strangers invited. And maybe we’ll be ready to move forward again tomorrow.
How do you cope with setbacks? Do you remember to celebrate your successes as much as you lament your disappointments?
Don’t Wait; Less Than One Week Left To Win
This little pup, the new SureFlap dog mascot, still needs a name.
You can give it to him and have a chance to win great prizes, including a custom dog portrait by artist John Payne.
Or click the link in the sidebar.
But don’t wait. The contest ends this Friday at 3 p.m. GMT.
When you enter, visit Something Wagging on Facebook and tell us about the dog who inspires you. We could use an encouraging story.