Hello! Yes, I have been absent for a while. Things, for the most part, have been excellent. I’m loving my job and fully immersed and focused on it. I will share more about that, but for now, I have a timely discussion about dogs and boundaries.
My dog is a “grumble.” That’s what we call her. It’s a cute name but it came to her due to some aggressive behavior she shows toward strangers. She barks, and if you were to come into my house right now, she’d run over to you growling, hackles raised, and she would execute lunges as a warning at you.
Now, at times, when the introduction has gone according to plan, i.e. involving no surprises and certainly involving chicken bits, she has grown to love new people. But not all people. And she is a 95 pound rottweiler. She can seem very scary.
This is where this leaves us: a perfect dog, but we can’t have anyone over the house. A perfect dog but only four people on this planet as of now can walk her.
Some people would say: “This is what you get with a rescue.” If that were true, I’d say, “Good. Still worth it to me.” However, I don’t think it’s true. I’ve seen some pure bred dogs that people have gotten from breeders that I would never put up with. And I’m not worried about Stella. She is wonderful and we have just this one thing we must work on.
I have a date with a behaviorist for Stella. I believe, like our vet said, “That she wants to be a good dog.” and that this is just an anxiety reaction. I’ll update you on what the behaviorist has to say and I what I learn through this process.
I write these “Dog Days” posts as a way to share trials and advice from a brand new dog owner to, well, anyone who wants to listen. This post is about setting boundaries with others when it comes to your pet. This has been an issue in my family recently and I have heard about it with other dog owners.
Here is my boundary:
Certain people can interact with my dog.
Certain people can interact with my dog only under my supervision.
Some people need to wait until after I consult with the behaviorist.
Everyone needs to slow their roll while we figure this out.
It doesn’t really matter what my reasons are for who I pick for what category. I know my dog and my reason for this boundary is obviously to avoid any incidents from happening. Stella is a good pup and she is only defending her home and parents, and she has never bit anyone. I plan to keep it that way.
Of course, my call about staying away from my dog wasn’t completely listened to. (Nothing bad happened at all. Good news!) My advice to anyone is to address it and stay strong with your choices for your dog. Whether it’s for safety or because someone might do something your dog simply doesn’t like. Don’t let that go.
If you had a child you would be allowed to draw boundaries about how that child was raised and about how their day went. Feel empowered to do that with your pets. I sure do.
(Do this with tons of tact and generosity of spirit. No need to be an angry mamma or papa bear.)