Got dog troubles?
Whether the dog in question happens to be your first rescue dog, first puppy not responding to house training or your fifth dog that loves to hear himself bark, you are not alone. We know. Why? Think of the thousands of dog lovers who have felt overwhelmed at one point or another. We have been there, a few times (or more).
Some dog lovers ask other dog parents for advice. Others consult books, dog trainers, canine behavior experts and veterinarians. The feeling of being driven nuts can bring up the fear of living out of control. Perhaps, you feel a little scared faced with a new dog’s difficult behavior or canine health problem?
Six tips for your sanity
to retain one’s reason in unreasonable times
- Describe the problem.
- Write the problem down.
- How bad is this problem? Rate the problem on a scale of 1 to 10. Make 10 the most difficult or distressing.
- Name parts of the problem and details such as the time the problem began, describe the situation(s) where it happens, ask as many rational questions as you can.
- Come to your senses. Take time to observe, listen, note the cycle of behaviors or signs that signal another round of stomach trouble. Make this a lucid interval. Be curious about every observable clue.
- Make every effort to not respond in a manner, which might be making things worse.
Stress trumps sanity
Synonyms for sanity; a soundness of mind; sobriety, lucidity.
We need to think clearly before we take actions to help our pets.
Of course, these steps may all seem common sense. With hindsight, we have not always responded with these logical and sane questions. Stress in the form of our own or a family member’s illness clouded our logic. When time to think over our dog’s problem may have been lacking, working a high stress job or running a business was all-absorbing (if not physically and mentally exhausting) we had to reach out to others.
Yes, we have experienced how stress shrinks thinking abilities. One rather embarrassing story, that we have not shared before, goes like this.
Ideas about ideal dog behavior wrecks logic
While both running our own businesses, we moved from southern California to northern California. Due to living in an apartment, we had not had a dog in many years. So I felt an urgent need to find our perfect dog. Perfect is not a word I often use. Maybe “dreamed of dog” fits better? After visiting the Petaluma branch of the Sonoma County Library and we discussed the type of personality we wanted in a dog. Both very fit, we wanted to hike and to run on the beach with our dog. Planning our family to include children, our very top priority meant a dog that demonstrated patience with children with a calm temperament. Plus being educated we hoped our dream dog would come to us both smart and motivated to learn.
Soon, we began contacting dog experts in our area for local keeshond breeders and rescues. We wanted a female dog. Without attachment to getting a puppy, we made an attempt to contact a Marin County keeshond rescue. That effort proved unsuccessful. We visited three breeders who fit an ethical breeding profile, each raised beautiful, loving and calm dogs. Each never let a puppy or dog end up in an animal shelter.
Ethical breeder defined
Please read more about ethical breeders and their lifetime buy back contract at “Photo Friday: California Dreaming.” Then we heard of a one-year-old female that had been returned to breeder.
Dream dog trouble?
Of course we fell head over heels and signed the contract. We thought we had done all our homework. Ha!#@? A few more questions, would have saved us worry, time and money.
Mixed advice gave mixed results. Dawn, our first dog, a one year old spayed female had two problems in the first 24 hours. She refused to go potty. She happily went for walks, sniffed grass, drank water, but NO GO. Her first morning with us, she limped displaying a lame front paw. Off to the Vet we went.
I have run out of time. Tune in next Tuesday for the conclusion of our first 24 hours with our dream dog, Dawn.