Yesterday sucked, for me that is. I called in sick and was pretty happy that I did so. I’m more of a suck it up and let’s go person, boundaries aren’t really a thing for me. Which sometimes does give problems (why, a dog can help with that you say?). Yesterday however I decided to act on it. I felt yuck, but also had a good reason to stay at home and use what little energy I had on something else. A Faye! Normally staying home when not really massively sick would result in ants in pants.
And the Faye specimen had a good time with telling me what to do. Which made it a great training exercise.Normally you’d teach dogs to go into a routine and correct them whenever they start stepping out or acting out. Only occasional giving them a chance to go mad. For me that only partially applies.
Of course I do not want a dog that just runs amok in the living room bashing and trashing everything she sees. But I also don’t need a drilled dog that, whenever I give a command, goes to do that and not leaves until I say so. Because how can she help me if she’s not allowed to show any signals that there might be stuff that needs to change? So part of training is balancing that fine line. And training would be mostly applied to me (more info in details -> therapy tasks). Since I’m the one that is able to drill my dog, but also the one that is able to see and act on her signals. It’s up to me to notice something is off, and up to me to reward her when she is giving me signals I can work with.
And how that works changes for every person. Everyone of us is individual and what works for me, does not necessarily have to work for you. For instance, I really hate a dog that barks a lot. Honestly…I have a hard time standing it. So if I’m stressed or something is wrong, a dog that would start barking at me would only up the tension instead of signaling me that I need to work on something. I also know of dog owners who actually need the barking to shift their attention.
And that exactly is the reason I am glad I got her so early on in life. Directly from the breeder to my home. I need to get to know her, who is Faye? She has a character of her own, consisting of many different traits, like every dog. Usually when I talk about that, people are amazed dogs have that many different traits. They are capable of jealousy, grief, revenge, happiness and many more ‘human’ feelings. And it is up to me to see what makes up Faye.
So back to yesterday, I had a hard time working around my day. What to do, what not to do…get out of bed in time actually go outside to walk Faye and maybe actually take some time to lay down. And Faye is good in steering me….. So OK, you’re walking, talking but not taking me outside? Fine, I’ll just go and wee outside but in the middle of the balcony in stead of my ‘litterbox’. And uh, not getting out of bed? I’ll just gnaw on everything in reach, and if that doesn’t work I’ll jump on bed, like really land *on* you! ARE YOU AWAKE NOW? Which immediately gives me the heebiejeebies since jumping like that is very nót recommended at this age. And uh, sitting behind your desktop doing work because ants in pants while your headache grows? Faye answers: “Nooooway…I’m going to chase the cat, pull everything out of my playbin, wee on the floor, taunt you, whine, squeek, ask you for attention and trust me, I’ve got muuuuch more shit in my toolbox you human!” So off I go, to the couch. Put on the tv and (try) to relax. Finally on the couch she is done with the mayhem, but I still have a hard time relaxing. Because well, the moment I start doing that the headache really takes overhand and I need some time to get it down. And there comes Faye to the rescue. Part of her character is really cuddling up, just like a big teddybear. And when she comes up to me with that slight mischievous look in her eyes cuddling up to me, well I really can’t stand that. I have to give in and cuddle.
Little side note, it’s Friday! Which means Faye is officially a 14 week old puppy now. Two more weeks and we’re starting to talk in months.