Monday, January 18, 2010

who's in charge here?

When McKinlee was still a wee thing--about four months old, I think--she accompanied me to the home of some friends where I joined them in unloading some possessions at a yard sale. She was so eager to love all over everybody that I didn't worry about her wandering off (I DID have a pen for her there if it was needed). When I went next door to chat with the parishioner who lived there, McKinlee romped along behind me. Mary Lou's son was there helping her do some work in the garden, and when he saw McKinlee his first cajoling words were, "Here comes trouble!" I've blamed him ever since for her subsequent behavior!

Does she not look like trouble? I love her to death, but she wears me out with her antics, her constant need to go outside (a total drag when donning scarf, gloves and coat are involved), the barking that has developed, and her latest motor skill development of clawing at me with her nails to get attention. I am soooo in need of the Dog Whisperer. Yes, I know that I am the one who needs to be brought under control here. A comment by Ken that got under my skin the other night also made me decide that I needed a new approach to my role as dog-owner-in-chief, as well as some professional help. I have Tamar Gellar's book The Loved Dog, and on the heels of my irked reaction to a certain husband's remark I fetched the book from the shelf.

Tamar worked as an intelligence officer with the Israeli army, and her observations of the army's handling of their dogs convinced her that love was a much better way to be in relationship with one's canine than through intimidation, demanded obedience or any form of aggression. Being a lover at heart I immediately changed my attitude the next time McKinlee went to the front door. Instead of starting the clock on her I exercised patience as she sniffed the ground and the air for an indeterminate time. I like myself better, and she probably likes me better, but that is just a start.

I need to work my way through this book and change my behavior while I wait for adequate weather to try to train her to the invisible fence. Of course she's chewed that collar to pieces and I have to find some funds to buy a new one, but we'll just let that go for now. She's a dog, a puppy, and she is going to behave like one until I manage to channel her behavior in a different direction. New Year's resolution? I guess this might just count as one.


The Bug said...

She looks like she's wondering why you can't figure her out. Terribly cute - but definitely trouble! Good luck with your behaviour modificaiton!

Jayne said...

Tee hee... I can hear Cesar now... Dogs are rehabilitated, owners are trained. I love that show. :c)

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