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My Awesome Dog, Let Me Tell You About Him


Guest Fluffy
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Guest Fluffy

Sorry this is so long...I'm just so excited that I want to tell the whole story!

 

So, I spend a lot of my weekends at my parents house (they are kind enough to let me use their laundry room, since I don't have one). Badger has been terrified of their garage ever since we had an early morning wipe-out on its epoxy resin floor the week after I got him (both of us! His paws went one way, my no-traction slippers went another...I'm sure it looked hilarious to anyone not involved). Things got worse and worse after that - first he wouldn't enter the house through the garage - he'd plant his feet and almost sit down, he was pulling backward so hard, so we started using other doors into the house. Then he didn't want to go into the driveway, because he had figured out that that led to the garage, so I had to push him out of the car when I parked it (outside the garage, tyvm!). Then he decided that clearly he had been letting me get away with too much, and if he refused to even go on the side of the house the driveway was on, there was no way I could trick him into the evil garage! He greeted attempts to lead him to that side of the house with wild bucking and the GSOD. :blink:

 

Things were obviously going downhill and, while I could work around a dog who didn't want to use the garage, I couldn't let him go through life terrified of a good half of my home-away-from-home. I knew from experience with him that sometimes I could spend an hour trying to coax and bribe him into venturing somewhere he was unsure of, and he'd do his mule act, but if I threw up my hands and left him to his own devices, odds were good that ten minutes later he'd come trotting into the previously-evil area.

 

So last weekend, I decided to try that, with a twist, in the garage. I got both my parents to pull their cars out, we closed the garage doors so he couldn't bolt away from the scary area, and we set up some chairs and books in there so we could wait him out comfortably. Then I muzzled him (as someone on here once said, always best to cover the sharp end when you know you're going to be doing something he's afraid of!), leashed him, and alternately pushed and pulled his complaining butt into the garage. Once he was in, we shut the only door he could have retreated through, unclipped his leash, took off the muzzle, and left him standing on a doormat on the garage floor. I scattered pieces of pupperoni (the nuclear option when it comes to Badger-bribing) on the garage floor, some close to him and some farther away, and then I sat down away from him and picked up my book. For a few minutes, he just stood on the mat, shaking and looking around. :unsure

 

Then when his adrenaline rush started to dissipate, he noticed the pupperoni. One paw off the mat, touched the floor, pulled it back and started shaking again. I did my best to just ignore him - I had nowhere to be, I was in no rush, and we had plenty of time for him to feel his own way. After about half an hour of non-involvement from me, he had ventured a few feet from the mat and realized the the floor was neither ice nor lava, and if he moved cautiously he could indeed navigate it without his feet going out from under him. At the end of an hour, he had cleaned up all the scattered pupperoni, took a few laps around the garage to investigate, and was generally handling it well. :thumbs-up I moved him back inside the house and reminded myself and my parents that while we'd made progress, this probably wasn't going to be a miracle fix - I suspected he still wouldn't want to go near the garage if he could help it. It would take time and repetition. And I was right - he still balked at the thought of going near the garage. But was it me, or was the panic not quite as horrible?

 

This weekend, it was time for round two. One car in the garage rather than two, garage doors shut, etc. Muzzle on, leash on, chairs set up, and my mother and I pushed him into the garage again. He balked when he saw where we were heading, but once we opened the garage door and he saw the mat on the other side of the threshold, he decided to play along. He took up his position on the mat, we unmuzzled and unleashed and scattered some pupperoni, and sat down to wait. He stood on the mat, not shaking but still looking a little suspicious, for about thirty seconds, then stepped off and went to work cleaning up the scattered treats. Mom and I looked at each other and tried not to squee too hard. :inlove We stayed out there for about half an hour, and by the end he had given himself a thorough investigative tour of the garage. We re-leashed him and walked him out of the garage into the driveway (the previous weekend, he froze when we tried that) and out for a short walk. Then, coming back from the walk, we looked at each other and were like, "what the hell, let's try it." Doing my best to be nonchalant, I proceeded to take him back into the house through the garage. At one point when we approached the garage threshold, he froze up, but I just kept going and he fell into step again.

 

So Mom and I were seriously encouraged. There was clearly a light at the end of the tunnel - he was, indeed, improving. My mom took Badger into the house while I started loading my laundry into my car in preparation for heading back to my place. Suddenly the door from the house into the garage opened and Mom emerged with Badger on his leash. I started to remind her not to waste our training capital by making him do something stressful again so soon, but she cut me off and informed me that this hadn't been her idea - Badger, hearing me outside, had gone to the door into the garage and whined until Mom had obediently leashed him and opened the door for him. He pulled her right into the garage to come see me! :jaw We moved him back inside, finished loading my car, and decided to press our luck once more. I leashed him and headed for the door to the garage. He came willingly. Into the garage. Willingly. Across the Evil Garage Floor Of Doom. Willingly. Out into the driveway. Willingly.

 

When we were firmly in the driveway, I stopped and turned to my mother, who blurted, "I feel like he just graduated from med school or something!" :confetti

 

I know he's not totally "cured" just because he did it today, and we'll probably be doing the "sit in the garage" routine for a few weekends to come, but god, this feels so good. I finally did something right by him - I figured out something that would work, based on how I knew his mind worked, and IT WORKED.

 

Badger, you get lots of kisses and maybe a big dollop of peanut butter tonight! :dogcookie :dogcookie :dogcookie

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Guest TeddysMom

Doesn't it feel greyt when they manage to overcome a fear? Good boy Badger, you deserve a really good treat for being so brave. Good job to both you and your Mom for helping him. :thumbs-up

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Yessssss !!!!! confetti.gifclap.gifbounce1.gif

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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Guest boondog

Good job, Badger! And good for you and your parents. That's a real testament to what patience and dedication can do.

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"I feel like he just graduated from med school or something!" confetti.gif

 

lol.giflol.gif I love your mother!

 

Good job both of you!

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Susan, Jessie and Jordy NORTHERN SKY GREYHOUND ADOPTION ASSOCIATION

Jack, in my heart forever March 1999-Nov 21, 2008 My Dancing Queen Jilly with me always and forever Aug 12, 2003-Oct 15, 2010

Joshy I will love you always Aug 1, 2004-Feb 22,2013 Jonah my sweetheart May 2000 - Jan 2015

" You will never need to be alone again. I promise this. As your dog, I will sing this promise to you, and whisper it to you at night, every night, with my breath." Stanley Coren

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Yay!! :yay:

 

Badger, SO proud of you! Fluffy, you did so well!! A greyt story of how patience and positive reinforcement can get the job done!!

 

:baloons for Fluffy

:dogcookie for Badger

Dave (GLS DeviousDavid) - 6/27/18
Gracie (AMF Saying Grace) - 10/21/12
Bella (KT Britta) - 4/29/05 to 2/13/20

 

 

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WTG :clap Kudos to both of you

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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"I feel like he just graduated from med school or something!" confetti.gif

 

lol.giflol.gif I love your mother!

 

Good job both of you!

I was thinking the same thing! :lol

 

Excellent work! Congrats to you all! :confetti:

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My Inspirations: Grey Pogo, borzoi Katie, Meep the cat, AND MY BELOVED DH!!!
Missing Rowdy, Coco, Brilly, Happy and Wabi.

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Guest Fluffy

Wonderful! Your mom sounds like a trooper!

 

My mom is utterly fascinated by this whole rigmarole. She keeps saying things like, "When I was a kid and we had dogs, you put them out in the morning and let them in at night and they just kind of...trained themselves. I had no idea it was so complicated these days!"

 

And then I remind her that when I was a kid, she did the same to me in the summer and I turned out fine, but if she tried that nowadays someone would call child services on her! :P

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Wonderful! Your mom sounds like a trooper!

 

My mom is utterly fascinated by this whole rigmarole. She keeps saying things like, "When I was a kid and we had dogs, you put them out in the morning and let them in at night and they just kind of...trained themselves. I had no idea it was so complicated these days!"

 

And then I remind her that when I was a kid, she did the same to me in the summer and I turned out fine, but if she tried that nowadays someone would call child services on her! :P

 

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Dave (GLS DeviousDavid) - 6/27/18
Gracie (AMF Saying Grace) - 10/21/12
Bella (KT Britta) - 4/29/05 to 2/13/20

 

 

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Guest Fluffy

Good news update! We are back at the home of the Evil Garage Of Doom this weekend and he is cheerfully walking in and out of the house through it - even pulling me if I'm not moving fast enough for him.

 

WOOHOO!!! :mexi2

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Guest SillyIzzysMom

^^ First paper plates full of dog poo and now your dog graduates from med school! hahaha!!! Too bad we don't live closer because I think you're wacky enough to be a great friend of mine :)

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