Sunday, 29 January 2012

I Pity the Fool

So there I was, finally making some progress with my 9 month old pup.  Both Cesar Millan (via TV of course), and our doggy trainer had told me that in order for me to gain the respect of  my dog, I would have to ignore him.

And I did.  I ignored him for about 1 1/2 weeks.  He had finally started listening to me in the house.  Finally, he'd drop a cushion when I told him, and finally he'd stop chewing on our plants and towels and dish cloths.  Finally.  Of course our walks were a completely different story.  We still hadn't mastered that yet.  The walks were still a nightmare, and yes, today I bought leash #9 even though we've had the pup for under 8 months!!

But, for a while, things started to take on a sunny appearance.  Then, the inevitable happened.  One perfectly normal evening, long after the last walk of the day was taken, long after he had been combed and his teeth had been brushed, he developed a limp.  It could had happened while he was chasing his tail and he slipped on the rug, or, maybe when he was taking those flying leaps off the stairs from the forth step up.  But somehow, he developed a limp out of nowhere.  He was still able to go up the stairs, and still able to go into the backyard to relieve himself, but you could tell that something was not quite right.  He slept quite well that night, but the next morning when we took him out of his crate, he would not put his foot down.  Hubby just walked him to the end of the street and back, just enough for pup to do what he had to do, and then pup slept at the top of the stairs as I got ready in the morning.

I felt really bad for the little guy, and all the "ignoring" went out the window.  All I did was pet him and kiss him and let him sit on me.  I called the vet later that morning and they suggested I keep him off his feet for the day.  If the limp persisted the next day, then I would have to take him for x-rays.  So, at lunch time, when I came home from work, instead of walking him, I let him out into the back yard, and then spent the entire hour just petting him on the floor of my living-room.  He sat on me, I held his toys while he played with them (heaven forbid the toys slipped away from him), and just spoiled him rotten.

After work, I let him sit on me again and I just pet him and pet him.  Both hubby and son told me to stop showing him so much pity.  They both told me that pity does not exist in the canine world.  Deep down, I knew they were right...but pup was just so darned cute!!!  And the poor thing, he had a limp (which, by the way, was barely noticeable by the end of the day).

The next day, the limp was all but gone.  Hubby was able to take him around the block that morning (we decided to ease him back into his long walks).  When I came home for lunch and let him out of his crate, pup was super happy to see me.  He ran up the stairs knowing that he'd be going out soon.  I decided that his walk would also just be around the block.  I didn't want to aggravate his healed limp.  The walk was terrible, one of the worst one in weeks.  Pup was pulling me and biting the leash.  He was uncontrollable.  Back in the house, he grabbed every pillow he could find and ran circles around the dining room table.  He wouldn't listen to me ordering him to drop what he had in his mouth, nor would he listen to my commands to stop.  In fact, pup wouldn't wouldn't listen to anything at all that I had to say!!!

That evening, my son and hubby gave me knowing looks.  They knew the truth...the truth that I had fought hard to resist.  By showing my puppy sympathy and pity, by caring for him and allowing him to sit on me, by showering him with affection.....I became that lesser being in pup's eyes again.  I now had to start ignoring  him all over again.  Once again, I have to start right up again...trying hard to gain his respect...

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