Crafting Gentleness

Sunday, March 18, 2007

I am welcoming dog into my life

There's a blizzard blowing away outside. I was hoping to bring the dog for a walk early this morning, but I think I'll wait until the blizzard subsides a little.

It has been a very interesting experience with Cassie (sorry, no photos - I put the camera in a 'safe place' ...) over the last couple of weeks.

In the first week I found that it was incredibly easy to think 'Ah, I'm being gentle' when I'm looking after a cat who pretty much looks after herself, but not quite so easy when there's a boisterous puppy leppin' all over you and knocking your food over and chewing up the sitting room and peeing and pooping on the floor and extricating the contents of the bin from their rightful place. Never mind her escape out the back of the garden for a whole day (in an area where there are a lot of sheep).

I must admit I was already a little stressed at the time, but whatever about the stress, I found myself getting angry with a dog, a dog who was just doing what cross-breed greyhound puppies do. I was shouting, getting all het-up, and getting a headache as a consequence. I think I decided to get rid of her about six times on and off over the first two weeks.

When in doubt, wait it out. And think about doing something helpful.

I kept telling everyone that I was getting rid of her, but I came to thinking that maybe I should make an effort to improve the situation before deciding to chuck her out of the house (to an almost certain extermination). It took some work to get to that point.

So, I put up a fence in the back garden. I decided to get her spayed. I bought her a bed so she can hang out in the house. It looks like I'm keeping her.

She has calmed down quite a bit. She still hasn't properly met the cat (i.e. still hasn't been sideswiped on the nose). I made a promise to take her out on walks more often, which is getting me out of the house in the morning, and the evening.

She's generally a very friendly and well-behaved dog, very loving. My family think I'm crazy. I probably am.


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