Monday, 23 August 2010
18 months to get to this
There are two new things going on here, the second I'll talk about at the end of the week, before I go and do it.
The first though has taken 18 months to get to. Those that have been reading for a while know about Trix my rescue German Shepherd.
When I got her back then she was impossible. She had been badly treated and was scared of her own shadow. No-one was allowed in the house without her wanting to attack them. In fact in her first few months of living with youngest and me she did bite a couple of people, not badly, but they felt it, especially my eldest on his first visit to meet her, when she bit him on the bum!
Walking her was an absolute nightmare, she needed a strong lead held close and a fairly radical face mask thing(!) to keep her mouth from getting at anyone.
Weirdly when we got her she knew the minute she got in the car to come home that I was her friend. We'd put her a sort of doggy seat belt on so she would be safe in the car. And she stood up and leaned over to me. I wasn't frightened it didn't occur to me to be so. And in leaning over me she just licked the top of my ear before settling down for the hours journey home.
So for the last 18 months I have worked very hard with her, both inside the house and out walking her. She has been well behaved with people in the house for a while now. No more so than when my 86 year old uncle came round after losing his wife and Trix who'd never met him before just went and sat close up beside him with her head under his hand and leaning onto him as he stood in the hall.
If she has known by our telling her that this is a friend visiting then she has been wonderful with them. And if I don't know who is at the door, then they'd think twice before entering with her barking at them.
Today though was a first,Monday is an early work day so I'm out walking her at 6.30. There are rarely any other people around then, so after weeks of letting her off the lead on a big playing field, I let her go for her whole walk today without a lead. And she behaved beautifully, waiting when told, crossing the road when told, catching me up after an interesting sniff. It was a real pleasure.
At the moment only happy to do it on the early walks, don't want to put her under too much pressure when there are other dogs about.
But it certainly made all my hard work feel worth it this morning.