Sunday, March 2, 2014

Puppy Love


This 12x12 paw print canvas was an etsy order that's already shipped out to it's new home.  I thought the choice of wording was interesting so I asked about it.  The customer, Allison, gave me this reply, "I have 2 dogs, and both are rescues, so they have their issues. One is 9 and has been mine for 8 years.  There's a lot of reason to believe that she was abused before she was rescued. We've worked on lots and lots in the past 8 years, and she is much better at meeting people well and staying calm, but she still has some triggers.  The other is 7 months old and is new to the family. He was raised in a shelter, so he has almost no manners (YET!).   But he is a fast learner, as long as he doesn't get too excited.  Unfortunately, a lot of folks approach dogs poorly.  They want to pet immediately, which can scare dogs who are afraid of strangers.  They want to talk to dogs in high pitched voices that induce frenzied excitement, a state which it is next to impossible to get a puppy out of.  I am committed to my dogs' success, which means I have to train the people with whom they interact just as much as I have to train them.  Basic rules for meeting a dog are just what is on the sign- "No touch, No talk, No eye contact."  Ignore the dog completely.  This gives the dog the space that they need to ease into getting to know you.  If you approach my 9 year old and obey these rules, she will be sitting by your side politely seeking affection within a minute.  If you talk to her or try to pet her, she gets scared and barks or growls.  I am also a pastor who lives in a manse that is owned by my church, and my house is right next door to the church, so I get a lot of guests.  My plan is to hang the sign by my back door (which we use more than the front), so they know the rules before they ever come in.  Then there is a treat jar right as you walk in.  Guests can take a treat and, once the dogs are politely greeting them, they can politely greet the dogs back and share the treat.  That keeps the dogs calm and helps them learn that new people are a good, fun experience rather than a stressful, unpredictable one".
Wow!  That is a dedicated dog owner!  Thank you so much for sharing, Allison!


Our beloved dog of 14 years, Riley, passed away a couple of years ago.  Riley was a rescue dog as well.  Being a border collie, he was super smart and just the best pet ever.  I miss him every day.  Lauren and I "borrowed" my parent's dog, Ellie, for the day.  We took her for a hike to Stone Door.  Sunday was just too pretty to stay inside!


Ellie was a stray that my parents adopted.  There's just something about those rescued dogs that make them the sweetest!




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