Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Year As A Dog. Part 3, in which I make a confession.

I had my 1st dog when I was 5. Suffice it to say, that was a very long time ago.

Every dog I've had since, has taught me some thing. Not the least of which is, how little I really know about dogs. I've done many silly, regretful things with dogs that I/we've had over the decades.

There was a time when our dogs didn't get walks every day because we thought a big yard was good enough. There was a time when we smacked our dogs [with rolled up newspapers - remember that?] for chewing things, not realising they wouldn't make the connection hours after the deed. There was a time when we depended wholly on commercial dog food and considered that a satisfactory diet. There was a time when we believed it was fine for dogs on leashes to say hello on the street. There was a time when we believed in de-sensitizing dogs to things they feared, rather than avoiding triggers. [Though I still believe de-sensitizing works in some instances.]

I did some of these Questionable Things decades ago. Some, in the last few months. Many changes in attitude were initiated by posts I'd read while dogblogging.

Here, as promised, are some of the fascinating things I've learnt this year. I've included the links so you can read them yourself, if you so wish.

*This is the post that most stands out for me. If you scroll down to the comments section of the post, you'll find out why.

If you have a dog, you might want to read it. Even if YOUR dog is a pacifist, not all other dogs are.

*Some dogs love cars. Some dogs chuck up at the thought. Some dogs...well...they're like Georgia. Here's the desperation...

...that led to me sharing these posts with The Other Half...


...that led to this.

Aren't blogs da bomb?

I hasten to add that in the past month, Miss Pea has somehow managed to sneak into the front seat and is now QUIETLY learning how to drive. *sigh*

*I shared the story in this post with The Other Half as well. http://kenzothehovawart.blogspot.com/2010/11/small-fearful-dog-therapist.html

He promptly tried it out on a neighbourhood [in this case, XL] dog that has a habit of rushing out to the porch to lunge and bark at every passing dog [including Georgia]. What can I say? It worked. Both the XL dog and Georgia have calmed down.

*In late July or thereabouts, Georgia turned 2 and became a trigger-happy, angsty teenager.

I was worried enough to seek advice from [who else] Group 1, and was directed to links such as these.


Since then, Georgia has become much less reactive with dogs that bark and/or growl at her, and even with cats. She might give a little whine, but she mostly just walks by them. We're very proud of her!

*Thanks to posts like this one - 

I no longer hesitate or feel bad about walking by or blocking a dog that "just wants to say hello". When I see such a dog approaching, I shorten Georgia's leash and make eye contact with the dog's owner so he/she knows I'm not interested in having the dogs meet. I find that shortening Georgia's leash often prompts the other dog owner to do the same. I now do this with all dogs that are not known to us. 

 *All of the links above gave useful and good advice. But I thought I'd share another one here that has nothing to do with that sort of education. You might already have discovered it on my blogroll. If you haven't, here it is.

Did YOU know there's a difference between a pariah and a mongrel? I didn't.

Here, at a site maintained by the same lady, you'll find other indigenous dogs from around the world. It's a fairly new site and still under construction.

*Finally, here's a current post that ISN'T really something I don't know [for a change]! But I think it's important to get the word out, especially if there are mums reading this blog. Yes, Ms Chapeuzinho. YOU would be one of them :)

You're not going to kiss me are you? Because I'm really NOT into that kind of stuff.You know that, right?

Oh yes! I mentioned in Part 2 that I'd learnt things, not only from Group 1, but also from being part of Group 4.

Here's what Group 4 has taught me.

Although it might sometimes feel that way [especially when we meet snarky people], Georgia isn't the only dog in the world that's a work-in-progress. Wherever we are in the world, the journey from ladette to lady is fraught with danger [and snarky people]. It may sometimes be frustrating and maddening, but it's always also exciting and interesting. Every baby step forward is something to be happy and proud about.

Best of all, it's a journey I now know I don't have to make alone.

Some lessons I've learnt from My 1st Year Of Blogging: THE SHORT VERSION.
1. All the above.


Kristine said...

So true. The blog world is full of useful, entertaining, insightful, hilarious, awesome, prfound, revolutionary, controversial, helpful, and just plain fun information. One of the best things I have taken from the whole experience is what you mentioned last.

When we first adopted Shiva, the community I lived in made me feel like she was the worst dog in the world. Even my parents weren't so sure about her. If I had started blogging from that first day I wouldn't have felt nearly as alone or isolated. I would have realised how common our problems were and that there was hope for the future. Fortunately, I stumbled there anyway. But I am so grateful that with future dogs, I will already have this foundation of support.

Dog people rock.

georgia little pea said...

And YOU, my dear, are definitely one of the rockers! WHAT are you doing, reading dogblogs 3 sleeps from Christmas? Haha!

Have a wonderful christmas and holiday kristine, shiva, the kitty meister and, of course, the other half :) xox

simon pender said...

Well that's all a good read. Yeah, dog fight stuff is scary. Sigh, my little Daisy has been known to chase 3 big Rottweilers across the park. Sigh. V embarrassing. Happy Christmas again. Si and M and D

georgia little pea said...

i think there is definitely a cosmic attraction between little and big dogs! rufus is frequently herded and chased by little dogs, the last time only a few days ago by 2 mini-poodles.

being a big dog owner, i must admit to finding this frustrating, especially if the little dogs are not called off/back. that's because if the big dog decides to react and retaliate, the little dogs would not stand a chance. and unfortunately, the big dog [being a big dog] would then likely be the one to get into trouble.

this has happened in our local area before. and it was only thanks to a witness that the little dog owner was not able to pursue the matter.

ah well...the ups and downs of having a dog of whatever size!!!

thanks so much for your visits and comments si! and a happy christmas and lovely new year to you, laura and montydaisy. look forward to lots of daily pics with your new beloved cam/phone next year! :) xox

Anonymous said...

I've been following your blog for a long time now and I've got to say from reading some of your posts your other half sounds like a really nice man. You are very lucky indeed, I think, to have someone like him by your side.

georgia little pea said...

dear anonymous,

don't think i don't know who you are. i'm not stooopid. besides, shouldn't this comment be on the newest post? HAH!

p.s. if you're not going to the party tonight, bring dinner home please.

Team Kenzo said...

Thanks for the mentions!

What a wonderfull story. I think every dog owner can recognize him/herself in this story, we all learn along the way. From the things we did well and unfortunately also from our mistakes.

Sometimes I feel guilty and hope Kenzo can forgive me. Being my first very own dog he hits the jackpot of my mistakes. But then I realize it is never to late, and it is actually wonderful our relationship and mutual understanding and respect can still grow!

Happy holidays!

georgia little pea said...

hi kenzo!

you deserve to be mentioned! both of those posts really helped us with georgia.

"...the jackpot of my mistakes.." - how wonderfully put. but you've also obviously learned a lot, and i've learned from you in turn! so i believe kenzo and viva are in very good hands.

happy holidays back, to all of you :)