Kyra, November 2010
January 14, 2011 -
On December 26th the sky fell… Or so Kyra thought.
My boyfriend was going hunting at the crack o’ dawn that morning. He was all decked out in his “hunting attire” and about to leave. He said goodbye to me and turned off the lights. About 2 seconds later I heard Kyra screaming like never before. I go running into the living room and the boyfriend is on the floor, items scattered about, and Kyra is limping. After determining her leg was not broken, we all settled down to make sure she was ok. It was then that the smell hit me… anal glands. He apparently scared the crap out of her… literally!
It seems that she was lying in the living room floor like always. After he turned off the light, neither one of their eyes had adjusted to the sudden darkness. Either she moved or he mis-stepped and he kicked her/stepped on her/dropped something on her as he fell. Neither one of them know what happened, but it was traumatic for all of us. After everything settled down, we all took a nap in our respective places. When we woke up, I got my first glimpse of the lingering problem. He spoke to her sweetly and she got a look of panic and took off for the back door! It should have dawned on me, but it didn’t. She was scared of him now. This man that she had loved, was now very scary. It was obvious she wanted to like him. She’d stand a few steps away and wag her tail wanting to approach, but she just couldn’t trust him not to fall down. If he was sitting, he was a-ok. After all… who falls off the couch? Sometimes she’d think he was ok, but then he’d pick up something or put something down and she’d realize she couldn’t yet trust him. He was very scary in the early mornings… since that was time of the “attack”. Noises in the dark were scary, whether he made them or not. Oh boy. I had my work cut out for me.
Being a trainer (and knowing my dog), I knew I had to put a stop to this quickly. I knew it would take a while for her to relax, but I also knew I couldn’t let her practice these avoidance behaviors for long, lest they become a habit. I developed a multi-pronged plan of attack and put it into action full force. I knew I needed to reduce her overall anxiety and associate the boyfriend with good things. I enlisted the help of some holistic and/or natural anti-anxiety remedies and used a heck of a lot of treats.
Stay tuned to hear exactly what I did and how it turned out…