Tuesday, January 10
Her adoption day that came.
I don't know what to say about her adoption day. That time last year I can't really remember what I was feeling. I guess to say it was uncertainty as we brought home a dog with a checkered past. I guess there was the thankfulness that Mr. Wookie had previous dog owning skills. I relied solely on my ability to live with a cat. So yes, that means she succumbed to behavior correction like one would with a cat - with a squirt bottle. And yes, she responded accordingly.
In a year's time she's lost weight and gained weight. She's had dual ear infections that we had to wrangle her for her ear drops because she's better perfecting Houdini's escaping methods while you try and keep her head still. We've tried to trim her nails. She's whined. So we've allowed the lovely pavement to its job on walks. We've barked at dogs, lunged at dogs, tried to chase squirrels and birds. Oh, and the one time she fell down a waterfall. Yeaaaaah...Mr. Wookie was on dog duty that weekend while I was in Oregon. Apparently she thinks herself to be a Golden Retriever, was out camping with Mr. Wookie and squadronmates, saw a squirrel, took off, chased it up a rock cliff, lost her balance, and tumbled into a swimming hole.
Mr. Wookie froze, beer in hand, saying "Mrs. Wookie is going to kill me."
Instead, she swam to the edge, shook herself off, said 'Shit,' and moped back over to the group knowing a rock wall defeated her past life as a mountain goat. No bruises, just a bruised ego. And now we know this dense dog can swim. Olympics 2012, here we come.
In a year's time, we dropped some money on private lessons knowing we can't group train her. She came to us like a hot mess on Jerry Springer. But private lessons lasted all of a handful of months as by the time we got to the 'aggression training' of it all, it was merely her sitting next to a 'trainer dog' and constantly growling at it. "She'll progress out of it." I saw no progress and felt it better to can the lessons than proceed on pouring money down the drain. What we got out of the initial lessons was a better ability for her to respond to commands and be a better dog. And improve she did.
And in the first week of the year's time, we learned she was housebroken and could do tricks. While 'shake' still eludes us, we're content with the rest of her line-up. If only she understand, "Dog, put a cork in that asshole! You smell! You don't get to just cropdust the house."
I did really think a year would bring along the perfect dog though. But she's not. She still gets really excited on walks and wants to pull but then the martingale collar pinches and she (sometimes) backs off. If not, we changed directions until she figures it out. Yes, sometimes it's back and forth, but eventually she remembers that the Ginger walking her is in control and when she plays her cards right - treats.
In a year's time, she still doesn't like the wind and she'll sit outside the door to whine at night. The one time we let her in the room, bringing in her bed by my side, she fell right asleep. The other time she slept with me while Mr. Wookie away, she stayed at attention while the wind howled.
In this next year's time, her job will be a protector, provider, and therapeutic release. She can hear the front gate open and will respond with barking. She can come when called and will not deny hugs and affection. And she'll give plenty of kisses when she senses you're down on your luck, usually when crying emotions and Uncle Sam that just don't mix, and just need a (proverbial) hug.
We still don't have a keyword for her to attack male genital in case of a home invasion - but we're researching our home defense options. And we still don't have her standing on hind legs at the bar making mommy a cocktail. We definitely don't have her doing voiceover work to pay for her $.33 tennis ball habit (Play It Again Sports used balls....haha, I said used balls....hhahahaha, I did it again...).
But if she does that, she might as well pick up her own poop, mow the lawn, and unwind my hammock when the Santa Anas are douches and in town.
But until then, we'll renew her lease for another year. I guess so....