(Original date written 6/23/06)
Patience is not my strongest personal trait, but my dogs are helping me practice it daily, most days I do well but then there are days like yesterday I have minor setbacks. My day was fraught with a building headache, not my dog's fault. But every little thing grated on my nerves and I really had to work hard not to lose it.
Yesterday morning Wyatt was barky and I'm sure my demeanor had something to do with it. I was agitated and I believe Wyatt picked up on it and so the chain reaction began. It's different this morning; even though I still have a dull headache I took something right away. I took a few deep breaths before coming downstairs and entered the family room standing tall and started my daily routine. The difference is amazing. No barking and Josie and Luna went into play mode right after eating their breakfast. Their play usually sparks Wyatt's bark mode but not this morning. He again left the room and laid down in the living room. Right now they are all lounging in the family room and that is actually better than earlier this week. Wyatt had been leaving the room entirely and sleeping away the early morning. This time he left but came back and laid by me after ten minutes and L & J were still playing.
Yesterday we took a paw and a half step backwards and this morning we gained yesterday's paw steps back and added a half paw step with Wyatt. Like I said patience, not my strongest attribute but getting better with each successful step forward.
Other things we're working on are basic obedience and Luna's reluctance to follow the others outside for final potty before bedtime. My husband is also working with her by walking her in the evening and feeding her high value treats to show her that he's a good guy. Luna is a bit shy with him, while it's not terribly bad, she doesn't run the other way when he enters the room she actually goes and greets him. Most of the problems happen when it's time for crating at bedtime. She tries to slink into her crate or onto the couch before going out for one final pee with my husband. I mostly stay out of this process because we already know she'll go out for me, now she has to learn it's okay to go out with my hubby.
While no behavior problems are minor, I believe they should all be addressed I've decided that for now labeling her a shy dog is not the way to go until we clear the medical problems that have popped up. Yesterday we began treatment for hook worms and will repeat in two weeks. What a pain that is and expensive. Today we go back to the vet's office for Luna to see our regular vet because she has a lump on her chest area and swelling. I want to know if this is causing her any pain before I label her growling at Wyatt. The lump and swelling most likely have nothing to do with Luna's growling at Wyatt because she doesn't growl at Josie or Dexter. I can hope though, but that hasn't stopped me from working on their comfort level with each other. In the end it all comes back to that "P" word, Patience. Most days I have it and others I don't and today is a good day.
Until next time, Woof, Woof, Woof and a Roo!