Thursday, February 28, 2013

Frankie, Fearful Sato Puppy

A twelve week pointer, maybe pit mix, is coming to visit because he is an under socialized, scared baby boy that will poop and pee all over, when you come too near. Pick him up at your own risk. He bites as hard as he can, or so said the lady with the bruises.

Frankie had a nice young man named, Domenic, give him some quality time when Frankie was in the imprint stage, so this isn’t Frankie’s first kiss. Or bite for that matter.

I did some ttouch on Frankie the first day I met him with grand results; thank you Linda and Robin, my teacher. After Ttouch, Frankie began coming out of Domenic’s room where he was hiding. I never tire of seeing what those little ttouch circles produce. Linda Tellington Jones’ work is inspired.

Little Frankie’s eyes bulge out of his head with an overwhelmed expression. Bonita, who had seen her siblings stomped to death, had a similar look. In spite of loving contact during the imprint stage this puppy is overwhelmed and fearful, so it’s either circuitry or the poor baby was part of something he couldn’t handle. I won’t even try to imagine.

I have six weeks to work with him before I head to Trinidad for the 2013 Caribbean Animal Welfare Conference. If everything comes together Frankie can go to a forever home then, if not we’ll adapt to that reality.

Our girls, Blondie and Chi-Ping are blossoming in every way possible. My smart “Sato” girls are doing mostly what they want with coming in & out of the house. These confident girls don’t even wake if we drop something near them. If I don’t have treats on me, it’s mixed and variable if they’ll do what I ask. Confidence, not obedience has been my goal, since adopting them. I’ve thrown a big world at these two country dogs.

Dominance or more food will NOT be used in the next phase of deepening the relationship with my girls. I’m going to use what women have used since the drawn of time, jealousy. Yes, I know our scientists say that animals aren’t jealous; they just protect resources. I say that’s wrong envy and jealousy began in the lower species. It’s not a higher trait. Using my theory my girls will be so focused on me by the time Frankie goes.

Oh, heaven, I feel so trashy saying manipulation is the higher trait. Each dog is a learning experience, so I invite you to follow along and comment. Regards, Tricia

Friday, February 22, 2013

Earning Dogs' Trust

Chi-Ping’s voice comes through clearly to me, as her body language tells her tale. Teeth on hands ready to bite or nip, whenever we touched her, was her standard behavior. The touch varietal didn’t matter: slow or fast, completely still, light to heavy pressure all the same. A hand resting only on her chi resulted in teeth on hand, ready to bite hard, if necessary.
Do people really con themselves into believing the dog likes to be tickled or handled roughly, when the dog puts its teeth on us, just because the tail is wagging like crazy? Sadly, this is the relationship many dogs endure. When I began touching Chi-Ping, she would sting my hands sharply. Clearly she took no pleasure from my touch, but kept coming to me asking to be touched. Hmm, there’s a push me-pull you.
The months we lived in New Orleans both dogs came in and out of the house several times a day. We had no access to a fenced yard from the house, so we developed a lovely leash routine before getting close to the door. They had no fear of going through the door. Both dogs raced around the small apartment in wild abandon when we came home.
 We returned to Puerto Rico. Deep lack of trust issues resurfaced for both Chi-Ping and Blondie. Blondie acted as if she were a “Sato” again. An invitation to come in caused her eyes to become big with fright, like she didn’t know what to do. At first I called her in, to me. She whined while stepping in place. A good rule of thumb is to NEVER ask more than another can give, so I went outside, thumped her and played with her as we often do. Blondie de-stressed and walked in with me.  Smile, I knew how lucky that was.
Blondie fears going in the house occasionally, but more often just refuses. The difference is most easily read by her ears. Ears forward, she wants to go in, but is afraid. Ears back means, “I want to stay out here.”
A trail of treats worked frequently with other dogs, so I gave her a few cheddar cubes, which she loves. Gobble, gobble up the trail she went. In the entry Blondie picked up the cheddar and looked right in my eye before walking away from the big stash of cheese just inside the door. Screw you and your cheese was clearly implied.
We worked through the fear issues to the point that when Blondie becomes afraid, I tell her what a good girl she is, and she’ll come to me. Blondie prefers to be in the house at night. Chi-Ping changes her mind from night to night. Before I went to San Juan she wanted to be out at night. Since my return, Chi-Ping sleeps by my feet. In New Orleans she would push her back between my breasts. Despite our sleeping proximity, I could feel our distance. I have yet to win her trust. Do you find it as interesting as I do that Blondie the street dog, who grew up wild, has less trust issues than Chi-Ping, who spent less than a year on the street?
hadn't found my voice in a while. Staying with the wonderful Animal Advocate, Adrienne Galler Lastra gave the dog fix I’ve needed. Thanks, Adri. It’s good to be back. Tricia


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dog Women, The Rescuers

In her book "Women Who Run with the Wolves" Clarissa Pinkola Estes talks about the untamed female spirit, the wild side of our nature. These are the kindred spirits of women who live with the dogs.  
The “Dog Women” have strong loving spirit connecting them to nature, to the beings which have adopted us as their own. Some are the strong wild wolf spirits and others may be timid shy women, but all have loving hearts open toward God’s creatures.
“What a face,” these women exclaim when gazing at the features of an animal.  More than appreciating looks or personality women who live with dogs are concerned with animal welfare. They are the activists, the animal rescuers.
I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with one such ‘Dog Woman,” Adri Galler Lastra of Amigos de Los Animales in Carolina, Puerto Rico.
Adri’s day begins early with cleaning and feeding her rescues. These are the dogs whose lives she’s saved. As we feed, she tells me each dog’s story. It’s clear that each one is special. Her keen gaze inspects the animal for subtle changes in condition. One dog with modest eye discharge gets drops swiftly inserted, a pet on the chin and she’s on to the next.
A man shows up at her gate to turn over a litter of puppies to her care. The phone begins to ring. The life of this animal activist is busy. On Monday she’ll take four dogs to the vets to prepare for their trip to the states. Forever homes await the lucky dogs.  
With the morning chores completed, we walk to the beach with a couple of Adri’s senior dogs, swimming for arthritic joints, Adri calls this down time.  
For Dog Women such as Adrienne Galler this labor of love has become a way of life. Her canine charges look at her with adoring eyes. God has a special place for women like Adri.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Whose Job is House Training by Chi-Ping

She’s ignoring me. I’ve never seen her like this before. Just when I start to trust her, she behaves like this.
Last night she worked on a home work assignment until late in the night. I slept with my head on her lap. I thought we were really bonding. About midnight she took me out to potty. She even stayed out in the yard with me while I went. About three she went to bed. I stayed curled up on the sofa with Blondie.
About 8:30 am she strolled down the hall for her morning cup of coffee. All I heard was “You bitch,” when she looked into her office. She opened the door and told me to get out.
What did she expect? Everybody knows I do my business first thing at six in the morning. Was I supposed to hold it for her? Now, I ask you, whose fault is this?
The neighbors were out, so I visited with them for awhile. Nothing too interesting happening there, so I headed home. Oh, joy, she was out on the porch. My day would get better with a little petting and perhaps a breakfast treat. I ran all the way up the driveway. I sat in front of her wagging my tail fast. She likes sits, so I know I’m sending her good signals she can understand. She looked at her cup of coffee like it was interesting, took a sip, and then she went back in the house. She walked away from a tail wagging sit without even saying, “Good girl.”
This is a woman, who says, “Good girl,” when I’m thinking about doing something she likes. When she comes back out, I wag my tail. I stare at her. She didn’t even glance at me. What’s wrong with you? Don’t you know that when it’s over, it’s over? Get over yourself!
My mess must be cleaned up by now, so I tried to follow her back in the house. She closed the door in my face. I always say, “Forgive and forget.” She is doing neither. I went over to where poppy was sitting. He talked to me. He says she can be a real bitch. I don’t know what he means by that.
If you want me to poop and pee outside, then it’s your responsibility to let me out when I have to go. I’m just a little girl. It’s not my fault. Don’t you think she’s overreacting?  How can I trust her, if she’s gonna get all mad?