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mbc1963

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Everything posted by mbc1963

  1. mbc1963

    ThunderBolt

    So sorry for your loss. Lovely tribute.
  2. My old dog was terrified of thunderstorms and fireworks from the time I brought him home. He would bark, loudly, as long as the noises were happening. The only thing that would quiet him would be for me to sit and have my hands on him. (He was still scared, but would settle that way.) I gave up, and let him come into bed with me on thunderstorm or fireworks nights, and he would sleep as long as I was touching him. Eventually, when he'd hear the noises, he'd just go up to the bed of his own accord, jump on it, and settle - whether I was there or not. I figured he'd learned that the bed was a safe spot during scary times. I was happy to let him have it - this method of comforting himself was much better than his not having any way of coping. I'm all for comforting and giving respite. I hate that your dog has to live near horrible people who predictably act like that.
  3. My trainer's main point on things like this is to teach the dog that she doesn't get the rewad she's seeking when she does the inappropriate behavior. The trainer leashes the dog to a doorknob (tree, whatever), and starts to approach to give the dog attention (the reward). As long as the dog is sitting, he continues approaching. As soon as the butt comes off the floor to begin the jumping up, he turns around and walks away. Repeat, repeat, repeat. I've seen this trainer consistenly stop puppies from jumping up to greet - have them waiting patientily with butts on the ground - after five minutes. The trick is to do it consistently and not let strangers or other family members reward the dog by praising and petting when the dog jumps up. If the reward comes from the behavior, the dog learns that he behavior is OK. My new little dog had a period where she was barking at me to demand play and attention about 4:00 every day. Obnoxious! It got to the point that I had to take myself away and shut myself in the bathroom so she would learn that her barking made me disappear. Took a couple weeks, but she got the message.
  4. Hi, http://deafdogsrock.com This group does a lot for deaf dogs, has a network of people who know a lot about them, and also keeps a very active Facebook presence. They might know of some resources or foster homes for the deaf ones until permanent homes can be found.
  5. I had a BC who was fearful but was also the "fun police." Like other dogs described here, he could NOT allow rough play from other dogs. If two dogs got rambunctious, he tried to break it up immediately. Doggie day care would have been his worst nightmare: lots of strange dogs PLAYING ROUGH! AIIEE! Reading stories about how poorly some daycare owners read dog behavior always makes me reluctant to think about it.
  6. Thanks for the replies! I spoke to the vet on the phone; they're prone to think this is a matter of the glands expressing too quickly/easily rather than being impacted, but I'll keep my eyes open for scooting or chewing. I'll also work on adding fiber; her poop is largish but has never been particularly firm. Yes, it's very unpleasant. She's an utter delight but this is a black mark on her perfect record.
  7. My new dog came up from the south on a transport; one thing I noticed was that she smelled disgusting! Gave her a bath the first morning she was with me, because I couldn't bear the smell. Since then, I've seen at least three incidents where her anal glands just suddenly squirt fluid. Once, two neighbor dogs (big) charged us, and I picked her up, and when we got home I realized she had expressed her glands on ME. Two other times, she's been lying on the couch and bed, and acted rather surprised and started licking her butt... and the stuff was on my blankets. (So disgusting in the middle of the night!!) It could be related to fear or nervousness, but the most recent events didn't seem to happen at scary times. I've never had a dog whose glands just squirted before. Any previous problems have been related to NOT being able to express the glands. I've never seen evidence of the fluid before - just took the dogs to the vet to have the glands expressed. I've seen her scoot on my father's rug once or twice, which might mean she's uncomfortable. But in general, she seems fine. Any info in similar experiences? Products that help with this? Such a disgusting problem!
  8. And on a side note: My new, 20-lb dog came out of a hoarding case. In the first few weeks, she was overwhelmed and scared of this entire new world. She literally shook for 2 days; I thought she might have Parkinson's. Big dogs charging at us at the park is an issue. And I came off 10 years of having Buddy, and my behavioral and emotional responses to the world are shaped by his "normal," which was very different from real "normal." But! My new girl? After four months, she's learning to love greeting other dogs. Plays rough with the 85-lb labrador up the street. Greets friendly Great Danes. Went up and down my street during trick-or-treat the other night: not a yip or bark or withdrawal. (Talked to a man with a giant pumpkin on his head. Casually watched the guy on the 12-foot-tall unicycle riding around.) This dog's resilience has shaped my internal landscape. When I see a stranger or in-control dog approaching now, I fully expect the interaction to be happy and exciting. My leftover wariness of the world from my old dog doesn't seem to have touched my new dog's adjustment. She's gonna be the feisty, happy dog she's wired to be, despite a bad start and despite my being initially far more cautious than I needed to be.
  9. I am another person who owned a fearful and reactive dog and had NO emotional reaction or lead-in that might have caused uneasiness in the dog until after I'd seen a few (naively allowed) bad interactions that could have gotten extremely bad. I blithely took my old boy Buddy out into the world expecting him to act normal. Upon the first visit to my sister's house, he nearly bit my brother-in-law. Upon the first visit to my father's house, he nearly bit my father. Upon meeting several dogs over the first weeks, he flew into reactive mode (reacting to a bounding young dog as if the dog had attacked him). After that? Yes, I'll be happy to report that I grew uneasy when strangers with bouncy dogs approached us, and especially when they allowed their dogs to charge at mine. But I will categorically deny that I caused my dog's reactivity. MY reactivity was a direct response to his behavior, which was well established when I brought him home from the shelter. I learned over many months that I needed to train Buddy to look to ME to see how to respond in situations. So, I taught him to step off the road and do a 'lie down' or 'sit' in situations where previously he would have gone forward, defensively growling, as other dogs approached. I'm very proud that after a few years, people told me how good I'd been with Buddy - how much a changed dog he was, happy in the world and apparently normal to outsiders. The trainer who had worked with me early on met me at a park years later and told me that Buddy was one of those "miracle cases." I feel a strong implication here that people with dogs who are fearful are the CAUSE of the dog's fear, and while this may be very occasionally true, I don't think it's true for many of us on these boards. Those of us who are so annoyed by the rude behavior of others' dogs are annoyed because we are working SO VERY HARD to bring our fearful and reactive dogs to a better place in the world - and because our efforts can be so easily derailed by the ignorance of another dog owner. With a fearful and reactive dog, generalizing that the world is safe takes a very long time. Dogs aren't good generalizers, from what I understand. So, for my dog to start to believe he was safe meeting other dogs - after coming to me believing otherwise - could take hundreds and hundreds of safe meetings. A single bad meeting could reset the reactivity button, retrigger the original fear. And one thing I learned so very well: it's one step forward, two steps back. My trainer had owned challenging dogs. He told me once, "Until you've owned a dog like Buddy, you can't understand what it's like to own a dog like him." His point was that other people had no clue the difficult situation they put you in when they let their young lab charge at you. I'm willing to give people the pass on the basis of ignorance. OK: if you've never been in my shoes, you can't understand how I feel. But here are numerous people with reactive dogs describing their remarkably similar experiences, and these experiences are valid, and I hope they are not being dismissed.
  10. That's a fanatastic update! I'd love to see some photos of Odin and his kitten.
  11. Having previously owned a reactive dog, dog parks aren't something I could even consider. (And by dog parks, I mean the small, enclosed area for dogs to run and chase - not the beautiful parks with hiking trails where you might let your dog off leash.) My new dog is getting to be kind of dog-friendly, and LOVES to play run-and-chase with other dogs. She'll try to engage play with most dogs we meet, including a Great Dane we saw at the hiking park yesterday. But I've seen lots of dogs at the dog park nearby running roughshod over other dogs: big huskies humping small dogs with oblivious owners nearby, domineering dogs chasing after smaller dogs whose body language was clearly screaming, "Get AWAY!!" So, unless it's one dog and I carefully vet the interaction, I'm unlikely to take my dog to a dog park. I would be reluctant to have an on-leash dog in the dog area... just because I do FULLY expect other owners to free dogs who are large, young, and socially inept, and would most likely pounce at my dog, who'd have no escape route.
  12. Not exactly the same situation, but when my new rescue dog finally got used to her home, and realized it was a safe and happy place, she started demanding attention late afternoon. She'd stare at me and play-growl and yap, all asking me to give her attention and play with her. It was very frustrating! I ended up taking myself away from her when she did this for a couple weeks: I'd go to the bathroom and shut the door and wait until she calmed down. Taking away the reward she was seeking seemed to work. She will still ask for attention sometimes, but she turns herself off pretty quickly now.
  13. One of the very first thing my trainer does in his classes - and my last one was all adult rescues, no puppies! - is explain to the owners that when two dogs are meeting for the first time, BOTH owners have to keep their dog back. Only when both dogs move forward does the greeting go on. And if one dog backs up later, because he got uncomfortable, then the other owner takes his dog and walks on. That should be universal in human dog culture. I'm sure dogs have much more subtle ways of saying "don't approach." My old Buddy was reactive, and I've seen dogs start to veer out of his way from 100 yards. Whatever "Don't mess with me" signals he was giving were strong and obvious to a lot of other dogs. (Young labs and goldens not so much?) If I from shoe-on culture visit Korea (always shoes off), it's on ME to realize that my cultural expectations are no longer the norm, and that I need to take my shoes off. In my experience, people who get dogs are often told the equivalent of "shoes off" (please keep your young/bouncy/stupid dog from approaching), but then continue to say, "Shoes off is a stupid rule! My shoes are clean! You're crazy! Why should I have to take my shoes off? I don't like taking my shoes off!" In my previous post here, I described this exactly. Woman, young husky: woman told clearly by park sign, then politely by stranger and then also, husky told CLEARLY by ridgeback to stay back, and yet she continued her walk, letting her dog off leash and continuing the same exact behavior. When I first got Cricket, I ran into jerk-with-pitbull. Told him "no" quite clearly, said that if my dog wanted to meet his, she'd come forward. (She was pulling hard away from the other dog, end of the leash.) Jerk-with-pitbull decided to override my VERY direct request, and let his dog charge at mine. I turned and walked away. J-W-P was all hurt feelings and tender pride; I heard my friend saying, "Oh, her dog is scared." He said, "She should have said something." GRRRRRR!!! So, while I agree that it's delightful to keep it polite and make "teachable moments" whenever possible, I must say that I find people very rarely having "learnable moments." How much more clear can you make the cultural lesson than a sign that says, "NO SHOES ALLOWED!?" ("Do not allow your dog - even if friendly - to approach other people or dogs, who might not want to be approached.")
  14. Grrr grr grr. My recent post about a very similar encounter in our local park is just more of the same. You can't do anything but BE rude. These people put you in that position. They put you in the position of managing YOUR in-control dog and THEIR not in control dog. And for all this nonsense about the dog's being under voice control, I call BS. I know an in control dog, and these dogs are NOT. I'm trying to develop a "teachable moment" discussion for these owners to explain why their dogs can't be allowed to charge at other people or dogs... but I don't think it can sound like anything but the criticism and correction it is. ::Sigh:: Same park for me again, today. I was walking Cricket. Crossed paths with another woman without a dog, so I put Cricket on leash. A husky came running down the path. This other woman - a complete stranger - said, "I heard some people complaining about off-leash dogs. I'm usually OK with it, but where is this dog's owner?" I pointed waaaaaay back on the path and said, "There they are." Random lady said, "That's way too far." I picked up Cricket to avoid the husky jumping on her. This other woman was so disbelieving about the husky that she actually held the dog's collar to keep him away from me. When the owner came, the other woman - who LITERALLY HAD NO DOG TO WORRY ABOUT! - said, "Your dog is way too far from you." The owner said, "Oh, he always comes when he calls." The woman said, "You shouldn't let your dog approach people." The owner said, "He's only ten months old." I didn't say a word. I was stupefied at how clueless this woman was! Immediately after she moved away from me, a jogging man with a leashed ridgeback came along, and the husky ran at the ridgeback, who snarled and growled and lunged at the husky. The jogging man continued running and pulling his dog as the husky owner called "Oh my GOD" and tried to get her dog to come to her. He pursued the ridgeback for a bit, then finally came, and was leashed... but I saw nearly the EXACT same encounter repeat as I was leaving the park. IT IS UNBELIEVABLE HOW CLUELESS PEOPLE ARE!!
  15. I hope he's right, too! No terrible, invasive surgery sounds way better.
  16. Ridiculous little dog! I took her for her morning walk. Let go her leash at a local pond - she likes to drive the ducks into the water. (She's been terrified of water since I got her!) But today, after the "trauma" of last night's bath, she did a full-on, labrador-perfect, dock-diving-champion-level leap into the pond. It was a thing of beauty. Wish I had filmed it. But she was mucky and filthy when she came out. ::Sigh:: Had to hose her off again.
  17. I put Cricket out in the yard yesterday evening. Went to bring her in just past sunset, and... SKUNK SMELL! I'm not sure what happened, but a skunk must have walked near her and sprayed. It wasn't a drenching, but it was enough to require a bath in Skunk Remedy. You would think I had taken the poor dog and beaten her with a stick! After the bath, she wouldn't come near me, wouldn't let me touch her: she laid on the couch, trembling and looking at me with utter distrust. Woebegone! She seems to be over her trauma this morning. Not sure I can manage the guilt if she gets sprayed again!
  18. That is a very sad ending, but probably necessary. I looked at a "shy and fearful" dog this past summer. The rescue said they didn't understand why he'd been returned several times by adoptees. I drove a long way to meet him, and was let into a pasture with him. He charged at me and put teeth on me - not bites, technically, but head butts accompanied by nipping. Two young girls who were working for the rescue witnessed it, and were horrified. The next business day, the dog disappeared from the rescue's website. I assume they decided they couldn't risk adopting him out. I never contacted them to ask what happened to him - fearful of what I'd learn. It's sad when your life is touched by incidents like this - not your fault, but still something you had to be part of. ::Sigh::
  19. So sorry to hear this! Very scary for you and Gabe. If I were in your position, a big part of the recovery would be MY trying to get over MY trauma and fear of something scary jumping out from around every corner!
  20. I hope she doesn't have any problems that will cause her pain, because she is indeed the CUTEST dog in the world, and needs to have a long, happy, pain-free life. Honestly. I love my new (probably-not-a-border-collie) dog Cricket. She's adorable. And charming. So full of life and fun. But I see photos of border collies and think, "They are simply the most beautiful." And your Cricket - so, so, so, so, SO cute!!!
  21. Every time someone in the forum mentions Derek Scrimgeour - for years now - I think, "That sounds like the name of a 'Defense Against the Dark Arts' professor."
  22. Grr! Had the worst dog interaction yesterday! My little dog Cricket is only 20 pounds. When she first came from rescue in June, she was scared of everything, but especially people and large dogs. She's made huge strides, and will now typically meet small dogs with glee and large dogs (on leash) with some trepidation but overall hope for friendship. Her rule is, "Slow is safe." Fast approaches, especially by large dogs, trigger her fear response. She also loves to "flush" chipmunks and squirrels, so I've been taking her to a local wooded park to run. The rules are that dogs can be off leash IF in control and in sight of their owners and IF not allowed to approach other people who might not want to be approached. Since we started to walk in this park, we've had several pairs or groups of large dogs come at us. This causes Cricket to try to run away (on her leash), which triggers chase mode in the other dogs. So, I'm bound to my dog in the middle of a group of big dogs who are swarming around my feet. Generally, as people with big dogs approach, I call out, "Can you hold your dog!?" and about half the time the owners do, and it's fine. About 1/4 of the time, they blithely say, "Oh, he's friendly" as their dog ignores them and continues to charge at us. The other 1/4 of the time they owners are so obliviously out of contact with their dogs that they don't even know there's a situation. So, when owners aren't in control, I just lift my dog up, which prevents the tangled mess of dogs around my feet. Yesterday, I saw two women with three large dogs (Newfie mix, random mix, Rottweiler). Made my request, and one owner held two of the dogs. Rottie came toward me and actually jumped up (putting his paws on me) to try to get at my dog. Now... I know dog body language, and this dog wasn't being aggressive; he wanted me to put Cricket down so he could sniff her. But, I was stuck there managing this big dog and holding my frightened tiny dog while the woman who owned him made no attempt to get him away from me. And... seriously... a stranger's Rottweiler was jumping up on me! As she came toward me, I said, "I can't control my dog and three 100-pound dogs at the same time!" We got into a heated verbal exchange about the leash laws, and when I pointed out that the signs said NOT to let your dog approach strangers, she just went ballistic. She screamed, "You're a loser!" a bunch of times and called me a *itch and yelled several "*uck yous!" flipping me off... and concluded with a loud, "SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE!" I'm SO frustrated! People like this make me crazy - there's no rational way to discuss the situation or explain anything, and I suspect even if this woman heard a trainer explain why her dog's behavior wasn't suitable to a public park, she'd just swear at him and go about her merry way. She told me: "If you can't handle this park, then don't come here." I'm super angry at both her and myself, because I feel like that's what I'm going to have to do - stop going somewhere I love because there are idiots who refuse to think about anyone else. It's not like I'm asking for them to keep their dogs on leash all the time - holding them for the minute or two required for us to pass each other on the path would be fine. On the other hand: "Shut your pie hole!" No one has ever said that to me before.
  23. Hard to say - they estimated 5 at the rescue, but based on her white teeth and occasional, crazy zoomies I'd put her at 2 or 3?
  24. On Saturday it was three months since I brought Cricket home. I took her to the woods today and let her loose. I typically leash her when we see people and dogs approaching - because it's not polite to let your dog charge at strangers (though she wouldn't) and because big, charging dogs freak her out. Today I noticed that as we were walking, when I said, "Wait," Cricket stood in her place and waited until I could leash her. When I said, "Come here" she came. So as a few joggers and bikers came towards us, I called her to me, had her sit, and then did the "wait." Each time, she waited in a sit - politely and unleashed - until the people passed by us. She kept her eyes on me so she could see what I wanted her to do. It's so amazing, how much they take in, in such a short time! I still deeply miss my old boy Buddy. But this is the first day I could truly feel that Cricket is looking to me as her partner, is trusting me to advise her as she navigates the world. She's so willing to listen and give what I want. <3
  25. So sorry to hear this! I was having errors with the forums until today - and am so saddened to know that Trooper passed. You did the best you could for him, and gave him a happy and loving home and a kind ending. You're in my thoughts!
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