Have I gone crazy!?

I live downtown in an itty-bitty apartment with not just one, but THREE children all under the age of 5 and my hubby. We have a cat. I work as a receptionist at a vet clinic seeing lots of puppies and kittens every day. You'd think I have my fix, right? WRONG! We end up opening our heart and our home to 2 rescues... and that's it! I must be dog-gone mad!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Long Time No Blog...

It's been a while since I last blogged. Probably because I felt I had little to write about. Also because it was so busy! I was exhausted.

But enough about me, now on to Pepper.

Since climbing Flat Top, Pepper has been doing good, not a whole lot of adventures. We settled down at home as the climate got colder up here.

She goes to doggy day care once a week, just to keep her social with other dogs and people. She loves the people there, and has made a few buddies. Which is good for her! She's a pain out in public. She feels the need to bark and act threatening towards all other men. This attitude is so annoying I'm considering a shock collar just to get her to quit it. But at least she's friendly towards little dogs and some women.

We also started dog training with Alaska Dog Sports. I'm hoping to build her confidence, maybe move on to cool things we could do together, such as agility or rally.

I'm on the verge of giving up.

She is insanely difficult to work with. If I have a treat in my hand and I call her to me, she cowers, runs away from me, and pees. If I stand upright, I can't get her attention at all, I have to crouch over, but that intimidates her sometimes. They suggested I train her up on a table, but she's too scared to focus and will spend all the time trying to get down. Her "sit" is optional, her "come" takes an extra 15 minutes of waiting for her to finish cowering in circles and peeing on herself. Her "stay" is non-existent. We are on week 3.

Most leash work involves her yapping and squealing because she'll tie herself up by spinning in circles around me in panic.

It doesn't help that I am normally short-tempered. I don't have patience. My natural self wants to smack her upside the head and tell her "Cut it out!" when she starts acting so afraid. And yet I know that when I get aggravated, it only makes her MORE nervous, and then she avoids me more.

AAAGH! Why couldn't I have adopted a more normal dog? With less issues? A more confident, happy dog!? It is just easier to leave her be for the rest of her natural life...

Then again, her natural life could be another 10-15 years. Do I want her being a little snot for that long? Nope.

All venting aside though, I know why Pepper and I get along so well. We are perfectly compatible. I am the same way! Fear cripples me, lack of confidence and low self-esteem often have me cowering in circles instead of doing the things I know I could be doing. I could be a lot more than what I've accomplished at 26 years of age, but I'm always afraid to try, so I never commit. I was the girl that never (and I mean, NEVER) played any sports. I was afraid I would never be any good at it, so I'd rather flunk PE and not even try than to put in effort and not be good at it. I've never done anything competitive - specially not physically. I've never tried to be the best at something for fear I'll fall short, so I'm always mediocre.

On my list of fears are even baking, following recipes, or cooking for more than 5 people. The expectancy of failure, the fear of criticism, keep me in the background. And it's ridiculous, even as a type this, but true.

Now we both have this fear obstacle to overcome if we're going to do any better than where we are. But how can we work together? How do I translate confidence in doggy language? How do I acquire confidence for myself?

Might be too deep of a thought before I can blog on this... But in the mean time, I'll just keep working on Pepper, short sessions at a time, high value treats, step by step. And possibly some yoga for me.