Friday, January 30, 2009
Resolve verses Persistence who Will Win?
Anyone ever have a dog that just stared at you, I mean REALLY STARED like, ALL THE TIME? Waiting for a word, a sign, that you required them for some task, and is always ready to spring into action no matter how menial the task may be, or, that you might just as well be able to tackle the task all on your own means nothing to said dog, and its not likely to happen, (getting to do things on your own,) if said dog is around?
If you even look in said dogs direction, its obviously an invitation to get sat on by said dog? And definitely, DON'T! lock eyes, because that is a sure sign for said dog, that you MUST want to have a saliva covered toy thrown in your lap. This is what I live with. Blink, that's all I have to do, is blink, and said dog is at the ready. Some times I think the dog is nuts! Why would a creature want to put so much of themselves into every move I make, every word I utter, every breath, every fart, every sneeze??!! And God forbid! Don't scratch your nose! ARRRRG! Well, for the last couple of weeks, I have been working towards changing this. Cause really, I do know how to find and utilize the bathroom all by myself, and really don't need a chaperon or the company in there. I have a book! And I'm quite capable of getting the toilet paper all by myself! Thankyouverymuch! And that cold wet nose poking me in my face at 2 in the morning checking to see if I'm still breathing?....well, I think I can do without the wake up call.....and that's not even the half of it!
If you haven't guessed by now, "said dog" is my beloved Chris.
Chris, my shadow, my confidant, my sheep dog, my best friend, my girl.
Chris, my weirdo.... She can be playing with another dog, though those moments are few and far between, because she is sooo focused on me that she doesn't have the time to play with the other dogs, what with staring at and watching me every single second of every single day! But if and when the rare occasion does occur, Id better not look her way, or the game stops and she is there in an instant, in my face wanting to do my bidding for me. Asking, pleading with her eyes if there is something, anything, I may require of her. PLEASE!!! Just ask me to do SOMETHING!
I'm serious! I'm not exaggerating one single bit! If anything, I think I haven't elaborated enough on the idiosyncrasies that make up my wonderful little Chris. Laugh if you will, tis true, tis allllll true!
Anyway, When a person loves a dog as much as I simply adore my Chris, we tend to "put up" with things that annoy us about the animal. I see it and hear it every day in my job. Clients constantly complain about this or that, that their dogs do. I look at them, and say; "Why don't you just make them stop!? Why don't you just train them!!??" So, its obvious that even though I KNOW what I should do, I am human just like the rest, and so I shouldn't wonder why I fall into the same category as my clients. Putting up with stuff. Because of Chris' predisposition to be constantly in my face, she spends a lot more time in her crate than the other collies do, and every now and then, I start to feel guilty about this, and let her out. It is a punishment I feel deserving of for my guilt. And she does punish me by being even more so diligent about catering to my every move. Not to say I encourage it at all. Matter of fact, I spend quite a bit of our time together trying to discourage it. But Ive finally decided not to spend my time with my dog telling her constantly to LEAVE ME ALONE!! GO AWAY! GO LAY DOWN! GET OUTTA MY FACE! To the point where her presence just starts to piss me off, and then back to her crate she goes. So, for the last couple of weeks, I have granted Chris full, free rein of the house, and she only stays in her crate at night, cause I really do, contrary to her beliefs, need to sleep. The first week, everyone in the house hold had just about had it with her. If she couldn't get attention from one person, she go to the next one, and the next one and then start the vicious cycle all over again, till everyone of us was really starting to dislike this loving little motion machine. Even the other dogs were starting to get pissed at her, as when she ran out of people to bother, she'd start pushing their buttons. Week one was a very trying week for us all, but didn't seem to phase Chris in the least. Everyone had standing orders to not look at her, don't throw that toy, don't acknowledge her existence. Don't talk to her, just pretend she isn't there. The not talking to her was a hard one, for both dogs and humans. Ya see, Chris likes, nay, loves, no, craves attention. It doesn't matter to her if it is positive or negative attention, IE; some one yelling at her to GO AWAY! In her eyes, its still attention and very self reinforcing for her to continue to bother some one enough to get it.
I'm sure it all boils down to the fact that when Chris was a puppy, she was a VERY VERY adorable puppy, to damn cute for her own good and the only puppy in the household. As well, when she was a puppy and growing up, I owned a pet store, with grooming and boarding, and she had the run of the place, ( as a rule, I didn't sell puppies in my store, so she was the only one around) and was mauled, loved, carried around and just plain spoiled and doted on by everyone. Customers, family and employees alike. Sadly, she was lead to believe from a very early age that she was the end all beat all of dogs, and don't you just feel the need to tell me so? Here, if you don't, then by all means, LET ME SHOW YOU HOW ADORABLE I REALLY AM!
Then she would quickly produce a toy from one of many of her hiding spots where she had them stashed for just this very moment, and who could resist a cute little retrieving fool?? Did I say spoiled? Yea, horribly. Little did we know at the time, she had us all sooo charmed by her fun loving good natured sweetness what a little monster we were creating. That was 4 years ago, and her expecting us to fulfill her every waking moment and entertain her, well...... I think my patience has finally run out.
Week two is getting better. Of course, I don't expect habits that have taken up the entire 4 years of her life to fade away over night, but damn! This is hard! She is a persistent little bugger. She has started to be able to relax and control herself to some degree. Though the off switch isn't entirely there yet, but she is having bouts of stillness which is more than we got from her a week ago. Her stamina should be legendary!
As we head into week three, I hope my stamina is as strong. She really knows how to try my patience. And that adorable little pleading face exasperates me! I want so much to let her climb in my lap and hold her beautiful little face in my hands and tell her that yes! I really do think you are as wonderful and awesome as you think you are.
Wish me luck, that my resolve to help this little girl learn to relax and just chill, is stronger than her persistence to get the attention she truly feels she craves and deserves every second of every day. I'm exhausted already.
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- ▼ January (16)