Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Blonde Boy Comes Home

Shaker’s physical wounds were mostly healed, when he came back home with us. He raced around the yard at top speed doing his dare devil routine. The long graceful strides, the happy faces; it was worth the trip to Michigan on our second day back from Puerto Rico.

The first week home Shaker went everywhere with us. It was good to have the sweet boy back. Each morning the day care dogs get loud before the first run in our three acre dog park. Shaker wanted to run with the day care dogs. He did some meet & greets with old friends from here. All seemed normal. His first few days back at day care were like old tmes or so it seemed.

Shaker was in the office with Lily, a five month old sassy aussie. It was early in the day. She was full of in your face energy.  Shaker corrected her lack of manners swiftly with a fierce growl. He pinned her. It scared Lily.

When an older dog corrects a youngster by pinning and growling without biting; it’s a good thing. Lily had been a little wild, so she had been told. I didn’t like the ferocity of the growl.

A couple of weeks later Shaker got into it with a recently neutered Portuguese Water Dog. The other boy ended up with a puncture wound. The attendant didn’t see it start. Neither dog had a history of fighting in day care.

Shaker got into a couple of spats with dogs, the canine equivalent of bad words spoken. It was like he was angry. Staff began to watch him carefully.

I worked with my staff to teach them to read the body language signals better and to redirect faster. Shaker was such a good dog. I couldn’t believe that the one bad incident could re-write his behavior.

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