Jul. 18th, 2014

Progress?

Jul. 18th, 2014 08:02 am
I'm feeling a bit like a failure at the moment. Having a third dog, one I wasn't prepared for or didn't want, would be strain by itself, but Mackenzie has some issues. I can handle keeping her separate for the dog reactivity, that's no problem. But she has some wicked separation anxiety too. And again, this isn't uncommon in rescue dogs, most of my rescue dogs have gone through a phase, and it's understandable. But Mackenzie is strong, determined, and incredibly destructive when she's in freak out mode. She's destroyed 2 of my crates, countless leashes (good thing I have more leashes than one person could reasonably use), and several old towels. I'm desperately afraid she's going to do horrible damage to her teeth or other portions of anatomy. And with my work schedule, I can't take enough time to work with her for de-sensitization. It's very frustrating. I also feel like I do nothing with my days except go to work, drive to and from work, and walk dogs (since Mackenzie can't run loose in my yard, I try very hard to get her tired out with long walks. I'm hoping she can walk with Riley in the near future so that I'm not neglecting my own dogs quite so much).

I've asked the rescue to find another foster home for her. Before school starts. They seem to be taking me seriously. They arranged for another volunteer to pick her up from my home to go to the vet for anti-anxiety drugs (as I can't really take time off right now).

On a more promising note, operation DMOI with Jodah seems to be paying off nicely. He still needs several circles/stops to prevent pulling on outbound trips, but I can see him actively trying to not pull a lot more. And as long as I can keep him under threshold, he can give me about 3 seconds of "work" at a time outbound (work being healing, pivots, touches, etc.), which doesn't sound like a lot, but it's amazing progress from a dog who was so far over threshold before on walks he couldn't do any.

On return walks, it's much better even. He can focus and heel for up to 20-30 seconds at a time, give good quality work, and we've started with a lot of play to keep things fun and rewarding for him. It's getting really fun :-)  He's still a  bit "special" and I wouldn't dare walk him with another dog and hope to keep my arm intact, but hey, progress.

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meeciegeezer

September 2015

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