First of all, thank you everyone who gave me feedback yesterday. I definitely have some ideas in the works for some new posts to be coming up. Today, though, is all about Tasha. The past couple of days LD and I have been sharing some great short stories about her and we would love to share those stories with all of you.
This morning when LD took her out. Tasha was running and apparently tripped. As her face was quickly moving toward the step in front of her, this look of shear panic crossed her face. As LD put it, it was an “Oh God, Oh God I’m going to die!” face. Luckily for our little pup, LD scooped up her back legs just in time and saved her from what seemed like an inevitable face plant. As they came into the apartment, her big brown eyes were still saying, “you’re my hero!”
Tasha is very big into routine. Different days can have different routines as long as they are consistent. For example, on Tuesdays, because she goes to daycare, she eats breakfast before LD leaves for work and goes with him. Other weekdays she spends time cuddling on the couch with me as he leaves. She also is ok that weekends have a different routine. However, if it is a regular weekday, I will be in the kitchen making LD his tea and sandwiches (the trade-off for him taking Tasha out first thing in the morning and last thing at night). This morning, I was running a little behind because I had to blow my nose (oh the insanity!). She comes running over to me and tries to lead me into the kitchen where I usually am making the sandwiches. When she discovered that LD forgot to give her her meds, she sat at my feet, looked up at me and whined. She HATES taking her allergy meds, but apparently it is more important to be in routine than to avoid pills.
Yesterday, when we went for our walk, I decided to test Tasha a bit. I knew she had been getting better with having people around and everything so I wanted to see how far she’s come. We took a route that led us through the 7-11 down the street where there are always people everywhere. I have said before that Tasha is more concerned about African American males than any other stranger, and yesterday there were about 5 at the gas station pumping gas. She did beautifully!!! She stayed right at my heal and went through, within 3 feet of some of the men and didn’t even react! Is that how she will be everyday? No. But I know she can do it if she doesn’t let her mind get in the way.
Yesterday, Tasha also spent some time playing with a very trying child. One of our neighbor’s kids gets very up in a dogs face. We decided that this would be a good training session for Tasha. She showed fear, but even though the kid kept sticking his hand in her face to get her to smell him and lick his hand, she didn’t snap. Instead, she let out a low quiet grumble. Every time she did this, we asked the kid to step back and give her some space (luckily for us, the kid is a good listener and the mother also supports him learning how to treat dogs with respect.) So, we are working on trying to teach Tasha to give that kind of warning when she is feeling overwhelmed. Anyone have any experience in teaching a dog to give audible warnings?
All in all, we have had some very fun and successful days with our crazy little pup. I think apartment life was what she needed for a while to help with her rehabilitation. With people, kids, and dogs running everywhere, they become a more everyday ordinary occurrence. We will continue to work, but she is definitely on the right track.