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Heather Dignam

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About Heather Dignam

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  1. Thank you for your understanding. 

    I was taught at school, many years ago, as I am 70 years old, to keep  very brief when writing letters otherwise people get bored and don’t bother reading the details. This is why I kept to the basic facts. Also because I am aware that it would sound cranky if I stated that my dog is influenced by the phases of the moon.

    A couple of years ago when I took her for her annual vaccinations my local vet commented on her good condition and calm nature. I said that she tends to be unpredictable when there is a full moon, expecting him to be cynical or incredulous. However he said it’s not uncommon, he had come across several animals who were erratic when the moon is full, likewise humans. 

    I am normally very observant as, from experience, I have learned to keep a watchful eye on it. However since just before Christmas I have suffered from bronchitis and a throat infection which made me feel really ill. But my animals are my priority and I managed to walk Bindi twice daily although on a couple of days cane back to bed after the morning walk. Because the sky has been overcast I hadn’t realised there was a full moon, when I always exercise extra caution.

    But I have kept her on her lead except when on the common which is also a golf course and I have a good view of any dogs in the distance. We don’t have such a thing as a “dog park “ Likewise on the beach, I have been very vigilant and kept her away from any dog she doesn’t know. She has never drawn blood on another dog, so possibly the use of the word attack made the situation more aggressive than it was. Nevertheless it is never pleasant to witness and I really was looking for a reason if anyone had any suggestions.

    A person who considered himself to be an expert behaviourist advised me to be more strict with her a couple of years ago. I confess she sleeps on my bed and on the settee and I did deny her those privileges for a month, which he recommended but it didn’t make any difference. This was to remedy her not being reliable for recall. She is very confident but nevertheless very lovable. I suppose none of us is perfect and this applies to dogs too!

    But thank you for your more understanding attitude, having been at a low ebb due to this virus I have had it is much appreciated 

  2. To Gentle Lake. The copying of my previous post was unintentional. Obviously, I would have thought! I have not stated that I have allowed my dog off lead since the post but expressed a desire to get to the root of the problem. It is obvious that you have come to the conclusion that I am reckless and unfit to own a dog which is not the case otherwise I would not have sought advice. So apologies for your time you believe I have wasted, I won’t trouble you further.
  3. I really wish you could experience my dogs attitude to food. She can smell anything edible or inedible from a long way off. It could be bread, dead rabbit , bones or seaweed. It is not always possible to be aware of these temptations before she finds them. Believe me, I do try to control these situations and, at home, can tell her to leave treats but she is well aware that I can’t catch her in the open. Although the recall situation is trying and frustrating, mainly because of her ingesting harmful things, I am rather more worried about her aggression. I will take her for a checkup and hope that this will give an indication of something that is treatable. Believe me, I do love my dog and do my best to give her a good life and at the same time be a responsible owner.
  4. Thank you all, I am trying to find out how to contact a lady I spoke to a couple of months ago with a dog with similar problems. The dog is also a cross and is identical to mine in appearance, they are so alike. This dog had a go at mine a while ago but although it looked nasty, as any disagreement does, no harm was done. The lady was planning to take her dog to a behavioural specialist as she was concerned that he was very aggressive (much worse than mine). I am hoping to see her and consult the expert if she has had good results. Unfortunately a lot of behaviourists are pretty ineffective. I am a responsible owner and want to understand the cause of the problem rather than depriving her of the opportunity to run. She is fine with dogs she has met previously unless they have attacked her, which has happened six times in total. She particularly detests border terriers, I suspect because that was the first one to attack her soon after I adopted her. But again, thank you for the advice and I will update when I have a positive outcome
  5. I really wish you could experience my dogs attitude to food. She can smell anything edible or inedible from a long way off. It could be bread, dead rabbit , bones or seaweed. It is not always possible to be aware of these temptations before she finds them. Believe me, I do try to control these situations and, at home, can tell her to leave treats but she is well aware that I can’t catch her in the open. Although the recall situation is trying and frustrating, mainly because of her ingesting harmful things, I am rather more worried about her aggression. I will take her for a checkup and hope that this will give an indication of something that is treatable. Believe me, I do love my dog and do my best to give her a good life and at the same time be a responsible owner.
  6. I really wish you could experience my dogs attitude to food. She can smell anything edible or inedible from a long way off. It could be bread, dead rabbit , bones or seaweed. It is not always possible to be aware of these temptations before she finds them. Believe me, I do try to control these situations and, at home, can tell her to leave treats but she is well aware that I can’t catch her in the open. Although the recall situation is trying and frustrating, mainly because of her ingesting harmful things, I am rather more worried about her aggression. I will take her for a checkup and hope that this will give an indication of something that is treatable. Believe me, I do love my dog and do my best to give her a good life and at the same time be a responsible owner.
  7. Thank you for the advice, I will make an appointment at my vet to give her a health check. Possibly my use of the words stubborn and defiant have led you to believe we have a poor relationship. The truth is that she is very smart and will follow various commands for rewards. The problems arise when she is motivated by other influences, ie food. Unfortunately some well meaning people discard bread etc for the birds at various places we walk. Yesterday someone had thrown a packet of Weetabix which she saw before I could reach her and she gobbled six of them. Recall is ineffective with her where food is concerned, otherwise she’s reasonably good. This led to problems getting her back. She is well fed and very fit and energetic but will eat anything she can scavenge, whether it be bread or a rabbit carcass. I hope the vet examination will reveal thyroid problem as it is treatable! Apart from her couple of problems she is a perfect dog
  8. Hi everyone, I am desperate for advice please. I have a four and a half year old border collie cross who I have adopted at about four months. She has always been lovable but stubborn and defiant, with recall problems until the last six months or so. However she has recently been unpredictable when she sees other dogs and has attacked two this week. Keeping her on a leash would not allow her the exercise she needs and muzzling would prevent from chase her ball. I don’t understand the cause of the aggression and would be grateful for any suggestions and how to deal with it. Many thanks.7
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