Four months ago, we got a rescue dog, a cute Cavalier that we named Mickey. He also answers to Mick-a-lick, Sir Micks-a-Lot, and The Mickster, in case you were wondering. We’ve had a very up and down time with him, until a few weeks ago.
Dave found a “dog whisperer” on Angie’s List, and I made fun of him for about a week before he made me see the value in having her out to the house. We had looked into obedience classes, but couldn’t find one to fit our schedule. Instead, we got some books and were just kind of winging it. In the meantime, he ate our shoes, peed on any absorbant surface he could find, made a mad dash out the front door anytime it was opened a crack, and just drove me nuts. Try tucking your last kid into bed at night, tossing the covers over her, and both of you getting hit in the face with the smell of hours-old dog urine. That’s an exercise in biting your tongue, let me tell you. Finally, Dave was like – “This isn’t working. Let’s talk to someone who has some good ideas, or you are going to murder him, and that’s not good for anyone. Unless, of course you have any other suggestions”. Well, now that I knew that he frowned upon murder, I really had no ideas that I felt like sharing.
So, for $80, she came to our house for an hour appointment (but ended up staying longer). She had a list of points to go over, but we said we’d rather just get to our pressing, or peeing, if you will, issues. She had wonderful ideas that had worked for her dogs, as well as her clients’ dogs. She showed us so many cool strategies, and even taught us how to teach him some cool tricks. The only “cool trick” I was interested in, though, was not losing another cute pair of flats to his chewing. We had her out one more time, as a follow-up, and we are so happy we did. We understand him better, and what we can do to make him feel safe, loved, and not like a potential assassination target. He still misbehaves, but that is okay, because the “good times”, are so much more frequent than the bad ones.
He is even getting us out of the house more and moving around when we would typically be in hybernation. Today, for example, Belle, Mary and I took him for a walk to the nature center. We got to see ducks skimming across the ice (which they just loved), and they played at the adjacent park for about 45 minutes afterwards. While they played, instead of sitting on a bench watching, Mick and I kept circling the park on a nice long walk. The end result: tons of fresh air, exercise, and happier kids. When we got home ,they sat on the couch together for a little over a half hour and looked at the new American Girl catalog that came in the mail. They never would’ve done that without some refreshing time outdoors.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because I hope my Healthy Living Consultations with you guys at your homes/grocery stores/where ever, leave you with the same good feelings that the dog trainer did for us. I feel like it was the best money I ever spent because she took us from a bad path to a much more enjoyable one, that has benefitted the whole family. Her background was in finance, but her passion was dogs. To be able to sit there and brainstorm with someone who is doing what they love was rewarding, and so beneficial.