Friday, January 16, 2009

Charlie & Matt

We experienced a miracle last night. If you've visited my blog before (or read my facebook or newsletter), you know about Charlie the Dog. We adopted Charlie last Thanksgiving from a rescue shelter, thinking that life would be idyllic with our new pet. Visions of romps thru the sand, and puppy kisses and happy times...yeah, not.

Charlie's
great with girls. And he loves my husband too. But not so much our teenage son, nor his equally testosterone-infused friends. Their presence brings barking and lunging and even some pants-leg chewing.

We could have taken Charlie back to the shelter. But that was not a good option--for either one of us. I also thought about looking for another home for him, preferably one with a sign on it that reads something like: WOMEN ONLY (except dogs)

But then I happened upon the name/number of doggy behaviorist (not a trainer...more like a psychologist for dogs). He spent about 5 hours with us last night, and helped us see that Charlie is in no way an 'attack' dog, but one fraught with fears. We pretty much knew that on our own, but nothing we tried was sticking--and we certainly never got to the point where our son could HAND FEED! Charlie, nor pet him like he's doing in this picture!

So
last night, a miracle occurred in our home. It's still a process, but something tells me there's a life lesson in here for all of us, one about not giving up--despite all the barking around us.

5 comments:

Mrs. Sidney said...

That is awesome!! Congrats!!

Does that mean I can teach my 4 year old to not try to negotiate everytime I ask him to do something... lol

I will be chanting: calm, assertive leadership, calm assertive leadership through out the long weekend home.

Vader's Mom said...

Yippee!!! That's great news for all of you!!! I know life here wouldn't be the same without Vader (who has issues with children who crawl - toddlers).

Sherry Kyle said...

Loved your post. I think it's ironic that just this week I talked with our vet regarding our newest addition, Bandit, a small mixed breed (Chihuahua/terrier/italian greyhound?) we adopted at the animal shelter in August. He was 10 weeks old when we got him. A few weeks ago, he bit me HARD. To his defense, I approached him when he was sleeping in a room by himself (should have been my first clue). He barred his teeth at me and I reprimanded him, then kept petting his chest. My big mistake was when I laid down next to him. That's when he attacked. Our vet told me to call a behavioral specialist. I'm taking my sweet time. The dog cowered in the corner and I think he felt terrible. He's never bit anyone since. I think it may have just been a fluke. Or I'm delusional! Glad to hear your success story! :)

Julie Carobini said...

Hey Sherry,
I've learned that we sometimes have nurtured Charlie's bad behaviors without knowing it. Petting him and saying 'It's okay' when he barks at someone out of fear, is like telling him "Be bad so we will keep giving you all this lovin'!" lol...didn't mean to do that. Hope you're able to work things through with your puppy!

lynnrush said...

NICE!!!! Oh that's so awesome!!!!!!!!