Saturday, March 03, 2012

Walking with Gozer

Gozer took me to the Pet Valu store on Friday after we left the vet's. I think she takes me to places where she knows she can get treats because she gets treats from the vet's and from each pet store. Not only does she get treats but she gets lots of cuddles and attention, too.

At the vet's we saw that dog we'd seen before that we were supposed to meet some time. The dog is a bit aggressive towards other dogs and people; fortunately, Gozer didn't bark at all! At first she stood in front of me while surreptitiously leaning against me. Later on, she stood (hid) behind me. I took that as a sign that it was time to leave. Later on, at the pet store, we met another aggressive dog and Gozer behaved similarly: no barking but making sure she was either behind me or touching me.

I think Gozer has come to realize and trust that I'll protect her from the other dogs and that nothing bad will happen to her. I'm thrilled! It means that she really is comfortable in the house and with us. I have to be sure that she doesn't become a scared dog who hides behind her mommy - she still has to go out and meet other dogs.

The other dog we met at the vet's seems to be doing quite well. However, its owner is clearly still afraid of what the dog might do. If I can feel her nervousness, I'm sure the dog can feel it, too, and would want to try to protect her - possibly by biting other dogs or people (which is the very thing she's afraid of). I've encouraged the owner to take the dog to training so that she can learn to handle the dog but she doesn't want to do that, I don't think. This owner and I had talked before of setting up playdates for our dogs but I think I'd feel better if we start with walking the two dogs together. That way, Gozer could hopefully become more comfortable around the other dog and some of her good behaviour could rub off on the other dog.

I'm so pleased that Gozer is doing so well and has become so comfortable here. I wish every owner had such a happy dog.

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