This is another one of my silly stories of my dogs that made my day and brought me lots of laughter. King, my American Bully, rarely goes a day without making me laugh but today he was in rarer form than usual…it’s all about King’s attempt at controlling himself which was more like zoomie control. Please note before reading this that I do realize this is all a training issue with King. He needs better guidance from us and consistent work. He is a very good dog, we just haven’t been as good as he is. We have no excuses. So we are starting here and now with him. This is just a little story I wanted to share okay?
I was outside grooming my dogs as I do everyday. I had already taken care of Schatzie and was working on King when the FedEx Truck came to deliver some goodies. King can hear the delivery trucks coming from a block away – he has an acute sense of hearing. Yes, I know all dogs do but he has extraordinary hearing.
Because he is so excitable, we have been working with him a bit (not as much as is needed I’ll admit). My husband and I, with the input of my awesome friend/colleague/business partner Jeannie (who has raised quite a lot of dogs in her lifetime) are helping King with his exuberance when guests are here. I know there are a LOT of methods to help and several have been suggested. I suppose this is more of a life journey with us than anything. We want King to be enjoyed the way we enjoy him and vice versa….
Back to the FedEx guy, I looked over the fence and confirmed that’s who was dropping off a delivery and King followed me excitably as he always does. Then I went back to his rug to finish grooming him. He is always very patient at waiting his turn and he knows we’re going to finish no matter what so he came right back to the rug. We finished, so he and Schatzie received their usual reward of a dehydrated meat only treat. King was calm all during this but the minute I opened the door to go back inside he remembered we’d had a delivery. He zoomed into the house and to the front door. He knows he has to wait back from the door and let me go check things out. He waited as patiently as he could while I was retrieving the package from the front door. By this I mean he was half sitting and wiggling all over. He gets TOO excited which is what we are working on. I remained calm in my voice and demeanor as I always do when I am working with him.
When I came back inside with the package I said, “What do you do?“. He “tried” to sit but just couldn’t quite get there so he backed up, did a short zoomie, and then sat. As I came in, I had to back him up some more, then I told him again to sit, and this time he zoomed into my office (which is right next to the foyer), spun around and then sat, wiggling the whole time. I had to hold back my laughter because when he does a zoomie it always looks like a floor buffer out of control to me. Of course Schatzie was right there but she is the epitome of calm and collected. She sat and King sat right next to her. So I put the package down, and he sniffed it (they both did), then he tried to knock it over. When I corrected him, he stopped, then I watched him make the conscious decision to do a zoomie instead of go after the box. Then he spun around as he does into a sit. I KNOW How trainers keep their faces straight during these moments, I just don’t know.
Please don’t scold me trainers!
I picked up the box, put it on the kitchen counter and by now King had run a couple of zoomies, picked up a ringed toy and was flipping it in the air which got Schatzie’s attention (which he also appreciates) and then the play biting/snapping game began. I let them play for a bit then got her to get into her couch so as to play a bit safer (she had a previous back/neck injury which King could easily re-cause with his bully strength). The play went from the biting/snapping game into the barking/howling game which we hadn’t done in a while – yes I join them in that one! It was SO much fun lol! I had a blast with them.
As that wound down, they became quiet and each went to take naps in their respective places.
So King controlled his own exuberance with zoomies then with a little play with Schatzie! I found that really interesting to watch him make those decisions – even if that wouldn’t work in a public setting too well nor is it the solution for helping him be calm in all of these situations.
We recently began also using two Bach Flower Remedies (in combo – Agrimony and Vervain) with him. There is a very good book (which is what I always reference) titled “Bach Flower Remedies for Animals” by Graham/Vlamis if you want to know more.
There wasn’t much of a reason to share this story with you all other than to:
1. Share my enjoyment of my dogs
2. Be transparent with my own inadequacies
3. Show how we can all always improve in some area of our lives
4. Stand in awe of how amazing dogs truly are and what a blessing they are to have in our lives
So until next time…
Have a positively tail waggin’ NATUROPATHICALLY healthy day!