Monday, December 24, 2012

The Christmas Cairn: First Christmas Eve

Dickens proves to be a complicated soul, but a tender one at times.  He's still battling his inner dog and the trainer doesn't want to move forward until we know what triggers him.  I drove home in tears yesterday because down deep this dog is NOT a bad dog.  He's a young dog who needs experience, security, and time to, well, be a dog.

The doggy park doesn't rate high on my list because, well, to revert to my neurotic ways, I don't trust that the owners have kept up with their dogs medically.  Unfortunately doggie daycare rates up there with doggy parks.  The risk of a sick dog and the added expense of treating a sick dog are not my idea of merry.

My research has led to one thing (and my friends agree) - the dog needs to run.  Run hard.  Get the bugs out!  So, replete with a 30-ft. lead, we headed out to a park close by that did not proclaim to be canine unfriendly (didn't claim to be friendly, either, but I digress).

Upon arrival we were alone in the park.  It contained everything Dickens loves.  Trees, sticks, pine cones, hills, asphalt (he loves dry ground) adorned the park.  Strangely, he didn't run around.  He walked cautiously.  He stood 30-ft away from me, but eyed me the entire time waiting for something to happen.

We walked, he explored, and then we found a staircase leading to someplace.  As we descended, a huge baseball field opened up before us.  Now, I thought this little creature would think he'd struck gold.  Nope.  He sniffed.  He walked.  He watched.  I encouraged him to trot a little, but he was too insecure, so he came running at me mouth wide open.  I barked for him to sit in that threatening Darth Vader tone I've cultivated.  He sat.

OK, let's see how he does chasing a stick.  Toss the stick.  Dickens grabs the stick and then presents the same behavior.  Runs right at me wanting to take a chunk out of your truly.  Could it be the over-stimulation of being in a new place sets him off his pins?  Does he want to play?   Could it be that he leans on me for security and the minute I introduce him to something new in a new place, he can't catch up fast enough and his aggression is his way of saying, "Slow down, lady.  I can't keep with this new stuff!"
Now, I realize I'm anthropomorphizing his behavior, but taking him to the park allowed me to observe him in a new environment.  To see what pushes his buttons.  What triggers him from 30 feet away. 

My Christmas wish for all of you is that you hold your animals close, your families closer, and be open to all the miracles that happen right before your very eyes.

Guess you know my Christmas wish.

Merry Christmas from Rocksalot Cottage!

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