Brought to you by the letter I and the WOOF Support Blog Hop.
I is for Isis, the most beautiful name of the most beautiful dog in the world.
What Do I Love About My Reactive Dog?
Funny you should ask.
After Isis bit someone, her victim referred me to a positive reinforcement trainer. Before we started work, I had to fill out a lengthy questionnaire:
Q. List your priorities. What would make life with your dog easier? What can you tolerate? What can’t you tolerate?
A. Life would be easier if I didn’t have to worry so much when taking her out in public. I would like to walk her without her lunging and barking at bicycles. I certainly want to prevent her from biting people. I would like to take her to the dog park. I would like to have visitors over without her barking at them when they arrive.
After pages of describing Isis’s flaws, I smiled at the final question.
Q. Last but not least, what is wonderful about your dog?
I loved that question! I imagined other dog owners going through this application process, fed up, ready to rehome their dog, thinking they had the worst dog in the world. Here our trainer was reminding those people to stop and remember why they had a dog in the first place. Not that I needed that reminder.
A. Pretty much everything. I asked Rob, and he said, “Her smile.” It’s true, she is a very happy, friendly dog. Very smart, affectionate, and sweet. I love playing with her and walking her (when she’s not barking and lunging at things, or pulling on the leash). I love when she rests her head in my lap. I love watching her chew on her toys and race around the backyard and chase soccer balls. Before she started getting into trouble at the dog park, I loved watching her play with other dogs.
Isis has been gone three years now, but what I loved about her … what I still love about her? So easy.
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