02 February, 2011

Jekyll and Hyde

Zeetie's behaviour has escalated with each departure of a foster to its new home. Just when she has made a good friend, her friend leaves. She acts out, including chewing the furniture. However, chewing the furniture has been stopped through locking her into the kitchen.

Zeetie has taken to going after any dog that barrels towards her or just comes towards her. She is afraid. There was an incident of two retrievers coming at us. Zeetie went for it and when I pulled her away, she grabbed the dog's neck and hair came out. The owner took to swearing at me. It was less than pleasant. I could get into technicalities like it is an on-leash dog park but I won't. I'll also look for a dog school that helps dogs like Zeetie, if they exist. A muzzle doesn't work. It makes her feel defenseless.

I've never been a big fan of dog parks and only go because Zeetie needs good interaction and play time. As you read, it's not working so far. Controlled play would be ideal but seeing as how all her dog friends go to the park, that's a hard one. I do invite her street buddies to come play in the backyard when it's feasible.

I will continue to foster. It's tough on Zeetie as she craves stability but I'm hoping to find a great match for her. We could adopt and then not have it work out — six of one, half a dozen of the other. One who can be a mentor to her and who won't follow her lead in aggression. One who plays well with her, of course, has no aggression issues itself and who has good recall or at least be eager to please and learn.

Her sweet personality was on display last afternoon. I took Zeetie for a 'Zeetie here' training session for an hour in a myriad of parking lots, buildings and grassy stretches. I even did a little around me to a heal. She did so well. At one point, a lady aproached me, saying 'wow, whose your trainer because I need one for my pup?'. I think she was impressed by the calmness of our session. Kudos to Lynn. As I've said before, she has taught me well.

Training can be so simple but you just have to do it. By the end, Zeetie took a little longer to 'here', but Lynn taught me that they incubate all they have learned through rest. By this morning, she was in the bush, I called her, I could see her think about it and then she came running. The real chicken treats help, too!

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