With no kittens in my foster room it is doggy days for awhile. (My brain has yet to realize that there aren’t cats in the foster room and reminds me at least a half dozen times a day to check on the cats that aren’t there right now, but what can I do?!)

Leelu and I are getting some professional help with her issues, and I’m very excited about that. We’ll be working with someone who knows things and can make a road map — a behavior modification plan – to follow, rather than me just doing this and that. I have great intentions, but not nearly enough knowledge to actually help this girl, and I am really excited to get some solid guidance and direction.

In the meantime, Leelu had a bit of a breakthrough Sunday evening. One of her triggers is pain – any pain, even minor pain. Sends her off to dark spaces where I can’t reach her. She can be pretty scary when she’s in that space. Sunday evening Gracie was annoying one of our cats, Minh, and Leelu went over to check out what was up and Minh swatted Leelu. A good enough swat to get a yelp from Leelu. I was sitting about 10 feet away and felt that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, sure that Leelu was about to retreat to the Dark Side. Instead, she looked at me, a very concerned look on her face, and I calmly invited her to come over to me on the couch. She hesitated about getting up to join me, but did after a couple seconds, put her head in my lap and laid down for a couple minutes of pets. She’s never done that before. And then she went on with her evening as if nothing bad had happened. If she can learn to come to me (or even better, others as well) when she is worried, hurt, or scared, I will be over the moon excited for her.

On another doggy front, I’m back to studying. I loved taking the intro course from the Victoria Stillwell Academy, and considered taking her Dog Trainer class, but I really don’t see myself starting a new business. At 65 I’ve been there and done that, and I’m looking to slow the schedule, not juice it up again. But I discovered that the Karen Pryor Academy offers a course, the Dog Trainer Comprehensive, which is for the serious dog trainer who doesn’t plan to become a professional. Just what I was looking for. It starts with material I already know, but goes much more in depth and will introduce me to areas of training I haven’t worked on yet. The course is supposed to take 4-8 months, so should keep me busy for awhile. It also means Gracie is likely to be busy for awhile as I learn to teach new things and in greater depth. I don’t think she’ll mind. She loves training.

So it looks like both dogs will be busy for awhile, and me too. We’ll enjoy some doggy days for the next while until kitten season starts up.

16 thoughts on “Doggy Days

  1. That’s a wonderful feeling to have Leelu come to you instead of retreating after encountering a tough situation/pain. I love your description of that moment – she obviously made a decision that YOU were her safe place to fall. I know that was better than a big hug!

    Hugs, Pam

  2. I about cried when Leelu lay down and put her head on your lap. That is a huge step, right? Gracie really is her safe place, isn’t she? The photo of the two of them together is so sweet. Good luck with the training. It sounds wonderful.

    1. I’m hoping it was a significant step. Paws crossed! And the training is lots of fun so far. I love learning new stuff.

  3. Yay! That’s a big breakthrough for Leelu. I suspect the swat was more startling than any pain delivered but the fact that she trusted you for lovin’ up is a good sign. Way to go! Good luck with the classes. Dogs love learning and it’s a good job especially for those who have a ‘few issues.’ 😊

    1. I agree that Leelu was mostly startled. She doesn’t do well with startling or anything else out of the routine, so it was nice to see her make a new choice. Hope it keeps up.

  4. Breakthrough indeed!! That’s wonderful news! Sounds like maybe Leelu is starting to trust you again. Maybe Gracie “told” her it’s okay in subtle ways that only she and Leelu can see and hear. Sounds like a great course! (Please share the name of the course.) And the behavior professional will be a tremendous boost.

Comments are closed.