In this photo I am modeling a Halti. That's a kind of head collar. You see, I am shy and I get scared of other dogs, and because of that I bark and lunge when the Dog Lady tries walking me. She wants to walk me, but she wants me to be calm first. Thank goodness I am a petite Dalmation, so Dog Lady can handle me easily.
When I first met the Dog Lady, she came into my cage and then I trembled and glued myself against her, hoping she would pet me and comfort me. But she refused to do that. She tried taking me out of my cage with an ordinary collar and leash, but I started barking in fear and lunging at the other dogs. So she put me back in my cage right away.
The next time she visited me, she had me put on the Halti head collar. When I got it on, she petted me and praised me for wearing it. But then when she took me out of my cage, I started jumping up and trying to paw it off.
We managed to get to the back play area, and we played while I wore the Halti. That helped me tolerate the Halti a lot better, and I stopped trying to paw it off after a few tries. Then Dog Lady walked me around a little in the back area. That was challenging. I started barking when I saw the horse!
October 5, 2006
Now, after the dog lady gets me ready to take out, she keeps me moving forward so I don't get a chance to bark and lunge at the other dogs. It's going to take much more practice, but we think it's working. We got some practice walking around in the back today, and I didn't try pawing off the Halti. It was nice and quiet in the back play area. And I didn't bark at the horse this time! But the back of building 2 is a big problem for me. Even though the dogs I see from back there are in cages way over in building 1, I hear lots of other dogs barking. And that's still too much for me to handle. Dog Lady said, "Oops, I pushed you too far, I'm sorry Beryl!"
Dog Lady says I am a nice girl, and that I am very sweet with people. I just need some extra help so I am not scared of other animals. Dog Lady knows how much I love getting my belly rubbed. I like an occasional dried chicken treat. And I do like to play in the back. So Dog Lady's plan for next week is to start teaching me a few cues like Watch Me, Down (for belly rub), and Chase Me. That's all in addition to continuing learning to walk with the Halti. Once I learn the cues, we'll start trying them when we're in the back of building 2, and then maybe try them when we are closer to other dogs.
October 10, 2006
Wow, tonight was a tough night! It was really busy here at the shelter. Dog Lady spent some time with me. We worked a little bit on Watch Me and Sit inside my cage. Boy I can tell you, tonight I just didn't like wearing that head collar! She managed to get me in the back and play with me for a while. Dog Lady noticed that I am sooo in to squeaky toys. Then she got an idea that she might be able to go calmly past the other dogs if I have a good squeaky toy to distract me. Tonight when she put me back in my cage, she actually ran me back with a squeaky toy in front of me.
Is the Halti doing me any good? I don't know yet. Next time she visits, Dog Lady is going to try distracting me out of my cage and into the back play area with sqeaky toys without the Halti. But if I start barking at the other dogs, she will put me back in my cage immediately, put on the Halti, then take me out again with the Halti on.
Whew, this was a rough day. Hopefully Thursday won't be so busy and we can spend more time together.
October 12, 2006
Waaah! Somebody adopted me, and then they decided they didn't want me and brought me back! Dog Lady was here today and knew I had been adopted but didn't know I was returned. She saw me in a different cage near the front as she was walking out leaving for the day. She was surprised and looked so sorry. She said, "Beryl! I am so sorry girl. I didn't know you were back. I'll try and make it up to you." She tried stroking me through the wire mesh of the cage, and then she wrote "Beryl" on the new kennel card. Dog Lady isn't sure, but she'll try and pop in for a quick visit Saturday afternoon to work only with me. If not, then we'll see each other again Monday for sure.
October 14, 2006
It was as crazy today as it is on Monday. So many people around! Susan the Dog Lady did finally manage to get me out. She had a squeaky toy outside my cage that she squeezed to try to get me to focus on it. And then she got me outside on a normal leash and training collar (not the Halti this time). But the squeak toy did not completely distract me. She walked me around up front for a while, and she'd throw the squeak toy for me to pursue. I barked at some dogs, but after a while I stopped. Then somebody noticed that my surgery site seems to be leaking a little. (Before I had gotten adopted out, the shelter neutered me.) Dog Lady got worried, and put me back in my cage. Then she left a note for the vet tech to take a look at me. Susan and I will see each other again Monday.
October 16, 2006
It turned out my surgery site was leaking, and they were considering putting me down! But they didn't. They stitched me up, and put bandages around my lower
midsection and a cone on my head, and they moved me to the OB area by Quarantine. Susan the Dog Lady was worried about me, but she was mighty happy to see me here, and boy was I glad to see her! She was walking Mandy when she found me, and we were so happy to see each other I didn't even bark at Mandy! She's not supposed to take me out while I am in this condition, but before she left she came into my cage and gave me a few chicken treats! Yum!
October 24, 2006
Dog Lady has been exhausted and sick and didn't come in yesterday (Monday), which is her normal day. But she came in today. I am still in the OB area recovering from my surgery leak. The head cone is off though! I was really glad to see Dog Lady today. But she was so busy washing and cleaning up nine 4-week old boxer-shepherd pups though, she didn't have time to do much else. She came into my cage on the way out and fed me some liver treats. Yum!