Let me start this post by saying that there is no such thing as a perfect dog. I could see pet parents red with anger, but allow me to explain. Just like humans, dogs are a work in progress, and that’s ok. But I believe that there is such a thing as the perfect dog for you, the pet parent, and that is a completely other post for the future.
I decided to post about Charlie’s progress, but it dawned on me that I should also post about Charlie’s antics. Why? I want pet parents to know that they are not the only ones feeling lost, frustrated, overwhelmed, etc.
This past weekend we took Abby and Charlie to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD for a nice long walk, and well this is where our odyssey started.
During our walk, we introduced Charlie to water, and being the Sheprador that he is he seemed to enjoy it. We continued our walk, and brace yourself, he saw a squirrel, and although he is doing better when seeing squirrels, he lost it. He barked, pulled, whined, etc. In other words, he put a whole Broadway production for us. I had to hold on to that leash for dear life. Then, after a short period of walking nicely, he saw a bird and wanted to go after it, but with less intensity than with the squirrel. We finished our walk, almost an hour long, gave them water, and put them in the car.
Charlie is a little over 2 years old, and there are times when he walks beautifully even if a bird-he ignores birds for the most part-or squirrel show up, and there are other times like our outing this past weekend when he just goes bananas. What I am trying to say is that your dog will drive you nuts and he will certainly keep your life interesting and unpredictable, but take my word for it when I tell you that this too shall pass. One day, your crazy dog will be a well-behaved dog, and you would say to many people, “My Charlie is the perfect dog for me.” Yes, you will! When? It depends on the dog. Our Abby calmed down around 4-5 years old. I’d say Charlie has another 1-2 more years of craziness in him.
Dogs are not perfect, but who would want a perfect dog? It would be boring. Until your dog matures, he will-many times-misbehave and surprise you. You are just going to have to have patience, be consistent, and remember that life is full of surprises, and so is your dog!
As you can see in the above picture, Abby and Charlie take their job seriously. Our routine is to drop off the garbage, sometimes we have to do 2 trips, and pick up our mail.
Charlie’s separation anxiety is slowly starting to disappear. He no longer screams murder when left in a room alone. We’ve been able to go shopping without a problem. Also, Charlie no longer goes bananas when we put Abby in the car first. He gets excited, which is normal, but even that is manageable.
I realized very early on that Charlie needed to get exposed to everything and that’s exactly what we’re doing with him. It helps that Abby is there to lend a paw to her younger brother. To those pet parents out there dealing with a variety of issues, we all have issues by the way, don’t give up and work hard. Our dogs are worth it. Enjoy your weekend!
Lately watching the news is scary and depressing-to say the least-but then I take a look at Abby finding happiness in simple things such as: walking, taking a ride in the car, eating, etc., and all I feel is a great sense of gratitude.
Abby, “I smell food. Mom, do you smell it too?”
Dogs are great teachers, and for me they are an integral part of my life. They make me take a look at what really matters and not worry about things that are out of my control. What does your dog bring to your life?
To say that the coronavirus pandemic has affected our lives would be an understatement, but I choose to be optimistic and find a silver lining in every cloud. With that being said, living in semi-isolation has afforded me the time to take Abby for more walks; catch up on some of my reading; write a post more often; and prepare to start working on my taxes – I know, you must be giddy with excitement and anticipation to tackle this task!
I don’t know how long we’ll live like this, so my question to you is: what are you doing with your canine companions during this time?
Abby, “Mom, I like the new smells I am picking up from here!”
Yes, we’re finally back home. Home is really where your heart is, and a long time ago I realized that that place was Maryland. For the last 5 years, we lived in Stoughton, MA and although it was a nice place, and we met amazing people and dogs, I always hoped that we had the opportunity to come back to Maryland and it finally came true.
Abby, “Mom, I picked up an amazing new smell. It smells like chicken!”
We were really busy moving for the last couple of weeks, but finally things are less hectic, and I have been able to take Abby for nice walks around the neighborhood lately. Thanks to all the pet parents in Massachusetts that trusted us with their canine kids, we’ll miss you all, and looking forward to meeting amazing dogs and their pet parents in Crofton, MD. It feels great to be back home!
Abby, “Mom, did you put some cookies in my back pack?”
Abby is a working dog, and if you ask her she’ll probably tell you that she needs a raise in the form of more cookies and human food. One of Abby’s task is to carry her own gear. Yes, people, there were a few cookies in that backpack.
Walking with my pack. Prince, yours truly, Champagne, and Abby. (L to R)
Abby also helps me walk dogs. The funny thing about it is that she gets a little confused when the weekend comes around because that’s when we are off. Yes, she is a hard working girl! In order to fulfill your dog’s needs give her a job, she’ll thank you for it.
Abby is 2 1/2 years old and what I’ve found out is that she does well when she wears a backpack because it gives her a job to do, carrying things, while she exercises, and as a result she seems to be more relaxed. The first time I saw her with a backpack I couldn’t stop smiling. I think she looks adorable. Then again, I am biased since I am her mom.
Since she is part Beagle, she gets to use her nose for a bit although I think something got her attention in the above picture.
I’ve never had a dog like Abby. What do I mean by that? She is the first canine kid that needs a lot of structure in order to be a balanced dog. But you know what? She is certainly keeping me on my toes and teaching me a lot about dogs. Like I said many times, dog are great teachers. What is your dog teaching you?
Since Nina, one of Abby’s friends, believes that there are ghosts in Stoughton, MA, Abby decided to take a trip to Salem, MA and see if she could find some witches. You know what? She did. The statue behind us is that of Elizabeth Montgomery who played Samantha in Bewitched. When I was a kid in Ecuador, I used to love that show. And by the way, that’s the reason why I have a smile from ear to ear. I got to “see” Samantha.
The day was gorgeous, sunny and warm, and so we walked and explored. Aside from that, Abby got to work on behavior modification. How? By meeting people while being calm, and also seeing a few dogs and not pulling us to meet such dogs. She is also getting used to walking amongst crowds of people.
Another thing I got Abby to experience was walking slowly on a bench. What’s the big deal? Well, this bench had a lot of space between boards and Abby had to learn to position her cute paws and walk on it without much hesitation or fear. You see? A nice outing while working on behavior modification. That’s what I call a win-win for our pack.