A new Boogie

April 29, 2009 at 7:46 am Leave a comment

Posted Date: : Apr 29, 2009 11:04 PM

This has been an emotionally-trying week.

On Sunday, Boogie sprained his right paw. I don’t know how he did it but I noticed that he was limping. He is still limping. I am taking him for shorter walks until his leg heals.

On Monday, Boogie swallowed a chicken bone. Wes accidentally dropped it during dinner and before he could reach down to pick it up, Boogie swooped upon it and ate it. In a mad panic I called the emergency vet and they said there is nothing they can do. I have to wait and see if he passes it out. I am now mixing Metamucil (dietary fiber) in his food to coat his stomach and buffer any sharp pieces. I am really worried. He hasn’t passed out the bone yet. I wonder if I need to take him in for x-rays. UPDATE: He has had x-rays – thank goodness, no bone stuck in tummy! But he has a sprained paw… Doctor says no exercise for 6 weeks. Yikes.

On Tuesday, Boogie bit one of the apartment property managers. He was off-leash and lying down on the porch with my neighbor when she walked by and he lunged (presumably to ‘protect his territory from a stranger’) It was horrible.

Today I received a notice that I must either get rid of Boogie or move out of my apartment. I feel pretty devastated at the moment.

I am doing everything I can to prove to the landlord that this will NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN. Boogie’s trainer (Jill) was over today and we started with some obedience training. She showed me how to use the Sprenger collar to make Boogie “heel”. It was an amazing eye-opening experience.

When Jamie (Jill’s sister/other trainer) corrected Boogie with the leash, pulling on the collar, he yelped the loudest most piercing shriek ever as if someone had stuck a knife up his butt. He kept yelping each time he recieved a correction. To any innocent bystander it would have appeared as if this dog was being tortured.

Jill: “You have felt the collar on your arm. It doesn’t hurt. He isn’t feeling any pain; this is just a new experience to him and he is being a drama queen. Don’t stop. If you give in, he will know that he can manipulate you with his yelping. It doesn’t hurt at all”.

[True. Boogie will also shriek and wail if you accidentally lift your leg or touch his butt when he is unawares. The yelping is no indicator of pain]

Alicia was with me, and Jamie showed us the proper way to hold the leash. Alicia took a photo so that I can refer to this and remember…

It’s a little weird having Boogie on my LEFT. I am so used to him walking on my RIGHT side. Jill said that the right side is traditionally the “Dominant” position (for the human) and it’s up to each trainer what they want to do. This is a good way to establish consistency in training. The leash crosses over the front of my body and with my left hand, I hold onto the leash underneath my right hand for corrections. With time and practice I should be able to use just one hand… the left.

Within 30 minutes, Boogie was heeling… walking calmly next to me. No pulling at all, which was absolutely amazing. He still pulled away from time to time (or refused to move) but I didn’t give in… I corrected him, kept moving… and he learned fast! When Wes came home tonight and took over the leash, Boogie walked BEAUTIFULLY next to him. He was such a GOOD BOY.

And the wonderful thing is that I can now walk the Boogs very slowly so as not aggravate his sprained leg. It’s amazing. He walks SLOWLY next to me. He has never done this. This is a dog that usually insists on walking really FAST and pulling me to wherever he wants to go, limp or no limp.

Anyway, I am really excited about the rest of the Obedience training (starts May 9th) and thrilled that Boogie learned so fast. He will be a much calmer and more relaxed dog from now on, now that he knows he doesn’t have to be the “boss”. He also did not lunge at any passing stranger dogs today. Amazing.

In the meantime please send some positive thoughts my way. I don’t want to be forced to relinquish this little dog (there is no way that I will do this) nor do I want to move out of my apartment.

P.S. Sadly I don’t know how to convince my Building Owner that Boogie will never bite anyone ever again. Unless I can get Cesar Millan onto Lyman Place (he actually said this to me!) will Boogie’s new Obedience training help my case?

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Entry filed under: Training, Vet visit.

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