Is the Dog the problem? Really? Ya’ think? Go grab a mirror. While you’re at it; grab a sense of responsibility so we can talk for a minute! After looking in the mirror; who still believes that the Dog is the problem?
“The Chairman recognizes the raised hand with the Malti-York-Poo-Doodle-Frise on her lap.”
With much pomp in the circumstance, she said: “My little one plays allllll the time.”
The Chairman said: “Show us.”
Bark, nip, jab, head-butt, bark, bark, dance, run away, bark, bark, bite.
Above the snarling snaps we heard: “Playing” forcing us to sadly recall Charlie Sheen’s voice as he circled the drain repeating the word: “Winning.”
She was quieted by her San Francisco condo owner’s association when she got the final notice concerning her Dog’s behavior in the hallways, elevators, lobbies, and the verbal explosions when anyone tiptoed past the door. Verbal assaults – no one said anything about the barking as it was diminished by the Sailor’s limited vocabulary. The tenant was older and failed to realize not all her neighbors had lost the acuity of hearing.
Shouting was now an automatic response – she heard distant rustling, knew IT was coming - one grrrufff. Dog’s grrruffs grow much louder. Then game on! The Sailor (sans suit) yells: STOP in 6 syllables over and over, elongating the single vowel.
Both are now circling the drain. Fast.
What can be done for this band-aided individual with a sore throat, a loud TV, and afraid to go out in public?
Are you kidding me?
HOPE made manifest in a simple bouquet of Flowers set in a bowl of water. NOPE, no way, say the Charlie Sheens of America.
Someone suggested she get in touch with the Flower Formulator. She did call… eventually. During our talk, I asked enough questions to get to her actual ‘eventually’ to discover it was the 10th resident her Dog bit. 10th. Uhoh is right. For many reasons, small Dogs tend to have more bites “unrecorded on their record” than larger breeds.
Behavioral healing does not require a human being. Raise your hand if you’re a bit crestfallen upon hearing that. The Sailor admitted as much. At the same time, she was relieved. I could hear it in her voice. Now I had to convince her this was not her fault as shame coupled with blame can be crippling – sure – some of what I said was a lie – I was furious that 10 people had bad interactions with this one tiny Dog.
Besides the Charlie Sheen reference entering this story – there was another San Francisco story that had not yet quieted down nor should it ever: that of the 2 Presa Canarios who fatally attacked a neighbor in her apartment hallway. Preventable? You decide. Here is what I think – I work with and have massive respect for people who #1 never give up and #2 always fight for the best outcome. Not always pretty. Not always as we want it to be. Yet, more often than not, turns out to be the best for all involved and I am referring to 10’s of 1,000’s of Canines. As care-takers and decision-makers for the animals we share our lives with in domesticity; we have the taciturn, inherited responsibility to take care of and make the best decisions for them all.
Fast forward. This poor woman with her band-aided arms took her bruised ego and did make amends to her neighbors. Dog and human both got on a serious 3-week regimen of Flower Essences, wherein the Sailor consciously worked on HER behavior while her Dog improved, relaxing into his award winning performance acting as himself: a safe, sane, happy Dog with no further relapses.
Did I ever share with you about the Bichon Frise that changed so much on Flower Essences in a week that her original trainer thought it was a different Dog? I’ll tell you next time!