"Although I speak from my own experience, I feel that no one has the right to impose his or her beliefs on another person. I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable for you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is off no use, then you can discard it." Dalai Lama...

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Lessons to learn from a dog???

Up with the lark at 6.30 and out by 7.00 for a very cold walk with Beauty.It is so dark that I can only walk around the village where the light is OK, gets a bit scary otherwise !!

I got back and after a cuppa and a long browse online Milly and Al got up and I made a big cooked breakfast, it's not something I tend to do often but it was 10.00 and as we had masses of jobs to do I knew it would see Al and I on until the afternoon so we could forgo lunch and have a substantial snack before tea.Eggs and stuff not the thing for Milly who had a sausage sarnie and was happy.

Back to finishing the clean up after Xmas and lots of other little niggly jobs that we have been putting off for ages. Milly's best friend came round to play and they had 41/2 hours together pure joy for them both.
In the late afternoon Al took off for a drive to the beach with Beauty,he went for a walk and took his Walkman to listen to some football.
It was a lovely afternoon and if Beauty could behave herself and come back when called and not go chasing over the sand dunes to get at the traffic on the road she could of had a great time running around!!!
As it was they had a long walk with Beauty up to her usual antics of barking at everything especially other dogs...It is such hard work ,we know it is insecurity and her fear that causes the extreme reactions but it is nearly a year we have had her and we have had expert advice from trainers ,taking things very slowly and she is still miles away from where you can take her out and actually enjoy the experience, you come back more stressed than when you went out!!

Looks like butter wouldn't melt doesn't she?
She is a handful in the house and garden barking at almost anything , she likes people but when they visit she gets hyper excited and launches herself at them ,she may calm down eventually after being ignored but the slightest movement and she detects it and she is up again!!! I have given up asking people round as it is such hard work but I know that isn't the answer, my family come round each week and they are the guinea pigs. As the kids that come to play are scared (understandably although she wouldn't hurt them and is just wanting to play)We have to put her in the back lobby with the stair gate on.
I go through periods when I think things will be OK and then on others I can't see it working out at all.....Oh well we will keep trying and hope for the best, I have read so much about the psychology of why she acts the way she does and have been given what seems like very sound advice on how to tackle her issues but as yet we have not seen a significant change and it doesn't take much to knock her off course.She is still only a year old so that is a factor as well but I have never known a dog like her. The lady who helps us with advice on training is a Homeopath and she said Beauty has been sent to teach me something and I have no trouble believing that.When she first came and the stress took me back to a very dark place I was in when I had Post Natal Depression I had to take a good long look at myself and I know I have had to become more confident and learn to be calm and assertive (still working on that)and also to give love unconditionally ( hard to do when she is lunging and growling and dragging you off your feet!!!!) both big lessons and obviously not just about the dog but my life in general,I may not be able to tick them off but I have a much better understanding and I don't think we ever stop working on those two.
Last march before we got Beauty from the refuge we had booked a week away, it is a regular trip we do each year to Northumberland and we had planned on taking her with us but had to cancel as at that time it was hard to get her to go for a walk in the village(oh yeah I suppose there has been improvement when you think about it!!!)so we booked again for the September and had to cancel again as there was no way she could go and have re booked for this march, this time we are not cancelling.
I always said I didn't want her to go in kennels and I still don't, but saving a dog expert offering to come and live in our house for a week then she will have to go because we need a break and it would just be a nightmare with her barking at everything that moved on the site!!!! We have tried our best and will just have to deal with the effects of a stay in Kennels when we get back.
Looking down at her fast asleep near me I realise I do love her but I feel so out of my depth with the special needs she has...

Other goings on today... I have been sorting all our pictures out on the PC putting them in folders and having a bloody nightmare but have learnt a few more things I didn't know this morning!!!!
Emily has difficulty hearing the sound on the PC as it was not up to much so we bought some speakers yesterday and set them up today and I also had a new experience downloading music for the first time. Why are these things so easy, yet it always goes wrong and the penny finally drops about an hour into doing something?

Milly was really tired again and we have had tears this afternoon, she had to have her hair brushed and then nit combed - hair brushing at the best of times can be a nightmare so add in exhaustion and we had a recipe for disaster.The good thing about it was both Al and I handled it well and she got out the bad feeling and after a while we were able to have a gentle joke about things ,treading a fine line so as not to set her off again. After tea at 6.30 she went upstairs and when I went up sometime later she was in bed and settled so I tucked her in and by 7.45 when Al went to check she was fast asleep, she really needs it, I wonder if self regulation of bedtimes takes a while to settle?I suppose like most things time will tell.....

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