|Not a bad statue to sleep under|
This week has been more eventful than most. The demon hound is the most challenging dog I have ever known, gorgeous and irresistible but determined and willful. Throw in a stubborn for good measure. He has shown some aggression over his bed, toys, food and his gleefully stolen items, he also got to be scarily annoyed at the dog he saw in the mirror.
Afraid that he would hurt someone I took the rather expensive option of hiring a dog trainer. Dog trainers, I have discovered, are like doulas: nobody wants to pay what they are asking but the investment could be a lot less costly than the alternative.
Harry happened to have a vet appointment on the day the trainer was coming and I expressed my concerns to the vet who said he saw a slightly anxious dog who would probably respond very well to training, it was a little bit of light in a situation I was finding very dark.
The trainer, Les, came and fixed his intense stare on each one of us in turn, told a lot of dramatic dog stories and made what I felt were unnecessary comments on dog nutrition. He talked about dog psychology and told us that we have to show Harry exactly where he fits in the family pack. We wondered why he stayed for two hours when he could have covered the material in half the time. I later realised that he spent his two hours mostly supervising us while we demonstrated our ability to stick with his program.
He left us with a list of instructions for the week and we have followed them quite diligently most of the time. Trying to maintain consistent discipline with a large and determined dog is worse than trying to wrangle a toddler and it has taken constant effort from everyone.We haven't got the perfect dog yet, he just now stole a half lemon from the rubbish and growled when we tried to retrieve it from the floor but I am no longer terrified and I feel we have the tools to make more progress. Indoor peeing has stopped (thank heavens for that, big dogs do big pees!) kitchen raids have slowed and barking is more often a token protest than a continuous annoyance. I am also seeing a lot more happy, forward ears on Harry.
In the middle of all this, I attended one of the most demanding births I have been to and the first to end with a caesarean. My client had a number of people supporting her and they all collapsed in tears as she was wheeled to surgery, emotionally exhausted by watching her experience of labour. My role finished at 1am and I needed to get a lift home but not wanting to disturb anyone I found a bench style seat in the hospital foyer which made a good bed for a few hours. I am inordinately proud of this discovery and look forward to improving it with the addition of a borrowed pillow if I am ever in the same situation again.
|Wet weather hound|