7 charging dogs + a dog fight=release anxiety!
My healing walks continue and the evenings hold the luxury of strolling around the campground with Utah. My fellow campers, two and four legged, all tucked away in their rigs, hypnotized by their televisions. I enjoyed this but it wasn’t accomplishing my goal of Utah meeting new friends. You see my misrepresentation of the past was strong. I had realized a year earlier when I was introducing Utah to his new cousin, that I had never been given reason to fear that he would hurt another dog. That realization didn’t extinguish the fear and it continued to recirculate. Desiring to be rid of all fears and realizing that my dog’s issues are just a mirror of my issues I was trying my best to let it all go, but I still held bits that weren’t releasing. After tiring of lapping the campground we ventured out one morning to explore the surrounding area. All six of our legs headed eagerly out the gate and down a low traffic, low density country neighborhood road. We were both enjoying the quite(? Or quiet?) new scenery of farm, woods and lawns. I had gone about a mile when I noticed a dog laying in a front yard. He got up and approached us as I consciously breathed and calmed myself. The yellow lab circled us at a distance grumbling and Utah stayed calm. I gazed ahead and saw a very large German Shepard, a house or two beyond. I caved and turned back the way I came, disappointed I wasn’t brave enough to meet the Shepard but glad I had done well with the grumpy lab. Off we headed down the road and a medium size terrier is barking up a storm on his front porch. He heads towards us barking and darting as I breathe and try to relax again. He stays on his property and we continue down the road only to see an 80 pound mixed breed rambling down the center of the road with his sights set on finding out what the commotion is. I look to the sky and let out a nervous but amused giggle and ask “what am I supposed to know about this situation” the ridiculousness of the amount of dogs that have chased me helping me realize there was a lesson here. I turned around and instead of turning back to the campground decided I would venture another way. Hoping this route would be less of an obstacle course, within 5 short minutes my doubts were growing as I spotted 3 more dogs barking at me from across the busy street. Two big, big, did I say big and fat black labs and a grouchy looking blond lab, barking with much enthusiasm, as I repeated my breath and calm routine the 2 black dogs came at me one heading for my right side and one for my left, this distressing enough was compounded by the truck that was coming quickly and me afraid the dogs would get hit by the truck. Two separate previous life occasions of me watching my dogs get hit by a car attempt to explode in detail in my brain and I hit the delete button. The labs make it to my side of the street and they are wagging their tails so hard and fast that they may just roll over because they are too fat to fall down. I’m now laughing and winking at the sky as the owner comes out of his trailer summoning the two black ones and silencing the white dog. Just as he coaxed the two blacks into the yard the blonde came at us but she obeyed the fourth or fifth call to come and after a quick circle around us returned home. I waved at the owner and turned back for home. Seven on one walk was a good number.
The next day Utah and I were sitting and chatting with some friends. He jumped up from a comfortable snooze position and next thing I knew
there was a black dog that was trying to eat Utah’s face. I quickly stood up and did what I had learned from the dog whisperer, a quick chaaaaa and my hand and energy extended to the battling black chow mix. This was an instinctual response, no thought just pure survival. I was shocked as Yogi released Utah’s face, sat down and looked up at me, ready for the next command. My logical mind kicked in and got excited that I had responded so quickly, appropriately and effectively. Yogi sensed my excitement and with a growl went back to munching on Utah’s face. I again did my Caesar Milan impression and he stopped again. His owner grabbed his collar and swooped him away as we all stood in amazement at how well this technique had worked. I had been touting Caesar’s techniques and it had worked right in front of them. I was very impressed with myself and as a result I am able to more clearly see how my anxiety directly affects Utah’s response to the world. We are now walking and mingling with dogs of all sizes. We still have a bit of posturing with some unneutered males but Utah only protects himself, he is not about fighting, reminds me of Daddy, Caesar’s proud assistant from the Show Dog Whisperer.
I’m accompanied with the realization that I am setting in place, a more loving, open, authentic, joyous and trusting person. This person can be
like freshly poured cement, that will take time to set, and I can chose to listen to the soft voice that is attempting to cast doubt and scribble negatives into my sidewalk of life. I have decided to change my structure to flowing like a beach. Life will ebb and flow and I will know that the only certainty is the wave or sunshine that is washing over me and that it doesn’t matter that I don’t know. I also like to think of the incredible movement of mercury in lab class in junior high. Always merging and giving way in a gentle fashion then coming back to wholeness.
Till next time!
What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?