Wednesday, November 26, 2008

TLC and Thanksgiving

Gus and Honey enjoy sitting with me in the big chair in my office.


I'm dog-sitting this week. A rescue named Macie. Found as a stray on an indian reservation, she has a perfect bite mark out of one ear (I say it's because she's so sweet and delicious, but who knows what really happened!).
Macie is smart and sweet, but very protective of her space and needy of attention. It's such a contrast between my dogs, they have never had to fight for anything so they don't mind sharing space and attention. They have a whole different attitude. I find I have to treat Macie with a stronger set of rules, I have to establish boundaries with her or she gets a little aggressive. I certainly establish boundaries with Gus and Honey, but those boundaries were set so long ago, it takes little effort to keep them in place.
With Macie, it's leash training again, it's establishing pack order, it's making sure she's not bullying. And it's all because somewhere along the way she learned she has to fight for everything, at least that's her perspective (or mine about her). Don't get me wrong, she's actually very sweet once she understands the house rules and she wants to please.
Guess I'm grateful she has a good home now, and that my dogs have always had a good home because before me, they were living in a home shelter and a great foster home.
Knowing you always have what you need really changes your attitude whether you're canine or human.
So people or dogs that may seem a little selfish or controlling are maybe just afraid that even though they have what they need right now, it hasn't always been that way, and the deep fear is that it could be taken away. What they really need is reassurance. Structure for Macie reassures her. I guess every situation could be different, but let's find a way to reassure those people (or dogs) we come across, that are just afraid and need a little extra TLC. This advice could be helpful in dealing with difficult relatives over the holidays, think of them as a rescue dog that needs a little extra TLC (but please don't TELL them that you're thinking of them as a rescue dog :)). Happy Thanksgiving!!

XO,
Brenda, Honey, Gus and Macie

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