Saturday, January 17, 2009

We're Talkin' Head Games!

Today, all of our dogs were walked! Linda T. showed up at ten o'clock, and she began walking our dogs early. Then a new volunteer, Amber, arrived and joined Linda and Aaron in walking our dogs! Then after a visit with Kinky, I took Bob Dylan, our shy Blue Heeler, for a walk!

Because Bob is shy, and lacks confidence in himself, I decided to play some little head games with him. When we reached Echo Hill Road, instead of crossing it, like we always do, to go down to the creek, Bob and I took a left, because I wanted to expand his small world, and to build trust and his self confidence.

As he and I walked, away from the rescue ranch, toward the cattle guard, I praised him and petted him, but he kept looking back towards his familiar ground. When we reached the cattle guard, I slowly stepped over it, and then I asked Bob to come through a narrow opening, right next to the cattle guard. Bob froze up—he was scared, with his tail tucked between his legs.

"It's okay, Bob. Come on, I know you can do it. Come on, I'll protect you." Bob looked at me, and then he slowly walked through the tight opening! "Good dog, Bob!" I said, praising him over and over again! Then he and I started walking. About every twenty or thirty feet, or so, Bob would stop and look back, like he wanted to go home, but I would coach him on.

Bob soon relaxed and was soon walking beside or ahead of me, instead of behind me, and his tail was high in the air!

We had a good walk, and on our return, when we reached the scary cattle guard, I crossed it carefully and then asked Bob to come through the opening again, and he immediately walked right through it, like it was no big deal at all! Yeah!

As I walked Bob back to his new pen, his tail waved in the breeze, as we passed all of the dogs. "Nance," Tony said. "Did y'all get lost? I was fixin' to go look for you."

"No. Bob and I just did a three mile walk!" I half hollered. When I returned Bob to his pen, I petted, praised and thanked him, before removing his leash, then he did something weird—he stayed with me, instead of running off, like he usually does! I started petting him and rubbing him all over, while I continued to talk to him.

Tony came into the pen, and Bob ran to greet him! Bob loves Tony! T. and I sat down on a couple of big rocks, and Bob came up to us for more petting, while I told Tone about Bob's progress, and him facing some of his fears and overcoming them.

Today has been great! I want to thank Linda T., Amber, Aaron, June, Ellen, and our new dog walking volunteers, Nancy and Dick, from Arlington, Texas, for getting everyone of our dogs walked today—they loved it! Y'all have a great evening!


Anonymous said...

Isn't it a great feeling when you realize you making progress with the shy ones? A pet therapist told me it will happen with time and work. And it will be like watching paint dry. But it's such a rush to see start to happen!
Thanks for your great work!!

DY_Goddess said...

What a great story about Bob Dylan. Dogs have an incredible capacity to forgive and trust again, but it can take some time for sure. Congrats Nancy on your progress with him, you and Tony are the best!

DY_Goddess said...

P.S. It warmed up quite a bit today so Prince and I were out at the pond for a long time. He seemed a lot more relaxed when we came back. Now we have had 6" of snow overnight!
I sent you a video of him running around the backyard, let me know when you've seen it!
Hope you have a glorious Sunday.

Anonymous said...

the angels are uniting! :)

cousin nancy said...

Hi Christy, Fay and Anon! Christy, it is a great feeling to watch a dog breakthough barriers, and I am hoping to walk him daily this week, and take him for a ride with Buttermilk!

Howdy Fay! I am glad that the weather warmed up for you and Prince! When I told Kinky about Kris Kristofferson aka your Prince, Kinky smiled and told me that that was a great adoption.

Hello Anon! Please tell me where!

P.S. Thank y'all for commenting!

cousin nancy said...

Good evening Fay! Tone and I just watched your video with Kris Kristofferson and absolutely loved it! Thank you so much for sending it! Hugs to you and your family and one of the greatest dogs ever! We love y'all...nancy

Anonymous said...

a great group of human ones have banded for saturday pup walks :) :) :) grinning with love, anon

Anonymous said...

ooops, still forgot to say where. at the Utopia Rescue Ranch :) anon