Why are you crowding the door way? There is no way I am coming near you.
Ok, I really want to come inside, please step aside, because I cannot AND WILL NOT walk past you.
I am serious about this. I need you to put the camera down, go inside and hide somewhere so that I cannot see you and so that I can scaddadle to my kennel as quickly as possible . (Can you see the little colic on top of her head? I think that is soooo cute.)
Forget it! I am not coming inside until you go away. Now GO AWAY!
I think I have already introduced Mabeline to you. She was not my foster at that time, but we had to do a little switch-a-roo and I got Mabeline. Have you ever met someone who you really did not care for at first? Who you thought was extremely strange and so quirky that there was no way you could ever be friends with them? But, then over time, whether it is due to exposure, or the two of you getting more comfortable with one another you end up loving that person? This is how Mabeline is for me. When she first arrived at my home she was so insanely terrified of everything, I was not quite sure what to do. I thought, “Well, I have dealt with fearful dogs before and she is not aggressive, so I will get her to come around.” Week one passed and she still urinated every time I looked at her. I had never had a dog like this in my house. She was like a wild beast. I would put her on a leash (as she urinated out of fear) and she would buck like a wild bull. Even still, if I went upstairs and closed the door, guess who was outside crying. I would open the door to say hello, and she would pee, run away and hide in a corner.
Week two passed and the urinating lessened, but was still there and she still would not come near me. Tail between legs, scuffling to the corner like a cartoon trying to get a running start. Eventually, I just started ignoring her, because I was so sick of cleaning up the pee from going near her. Ignoring was also a bit of a plan, thinking she might get sick of being ignored by me.
At the end of week two I decided to take her to the vet to have her evaluated. I have never put a dog on drugs before, but I thought, jeez, a human would never live like this without drugs, why not try that for Mabeline. I was shot down by Dr. Diesel. He said that some dogs are just a little off and that drugs will probably not work. He said give her more time and the fact that I have seen a little progress is progress none the less.
The day after the trip to the vet, something clicked in Mabeline. Don’t get me wrong, she is still off her rocker crazy, and always will be, but she started asking for my attention. And now she approaches me and I can pet her. She is actually quite funny. I am thoroughly entertained by her quirky and hilarious personality. She has become my quirky little friend that I thought I would never like. It just goes to show that not everything fits in the little box that we have decided they should fit into.
I think Mabeline is going to make a very rewarding dog for someone who is very patient, albeit a little quirky themselves. Maybe someone who likes the rewards of training a dog that is capable of learning, but needs a little extra attention and work. Someone who likes long walks in the park, hikes, adventure…well, maybe not a whole lot of adventure at first, but maybe adventure in the long run.
Here is a kinda long video of her. She was being extra hilarious, of course right before I started taping. In the video, she is just being kind of hilarious. Notice her bent tail if you can. Just another quirky thing about Mabeline.
Have you ever worked with a dog with crippling, non-aggressive fear? How did you handle it? Do you have any tricks in your pocket that might be useful for me? I would really like to hear them, so please feel free to leave your advice and comments for me below.