I can’t help but reflect what occurred 2 months ago today….
I showed up that morning to FFP literally in tears because I had just dropped off my sheltie Riley for surgery after Stella and him got into it and Riley was injured. I asked Eve, “can classes help?” She said yes and guided me to talk with my Vet about possible meds for her. We discussed re-homing her and I stated “I want to know I tried EVERYTHING before I consider that”. People around me including family said “get rid of her”. But I loved her! Eve gave me good suggestions where to start and 3 days later we started the Dog Reactive Class.
Reactive Dog class was intense for me and Stella but we survived. The first thing Pam taught me was to breath…and she was right.
Next came my confidence that I was in charge and what was appropriate to expect from Stella. We (Stella and I) started seeing progress.
After 10 classes Pam felt Stella was ready to try a new level. I was not so sure. She was patient and let me stay in that class until I was ready. Tonight I celebrate Stella’s 2nd level 3 class with 3 other dogs when Pam took Stella to the other side of the room and stated “when I drop her leash, I want you to call her to you”. My heart skipped a few beats and I remembered to breath and called her. Even with the other dogs in the room she came to me when called 3 TIMES. She was interested in the antlers on the floor but didn’t bat an eye at the other dogs.
We have more work to do, but it is all worth it. About 10 classes in, my intention of attending class so that “I knew I tried everything” to “I WILL do whatever it takes” to allow her to stay in my home and keep others safe. Riley has healed but I have kept the 2 dogs separate for 2 months until this last weekend we spent 2 full days outside with all 3 dogs without issue. Still keeping them separate in house as we still have work to do.
So if you are searching for what to do, where to go, I encourage you to give this program a try. You will not be disappointed.
Sincerely, Janette and Stella Mae Monster :o).
Editor/Instructor’s Note: Stella and Janette have worked very hard. They have come to class multiple times a week and have worked hard on their “homework”. The confidence of this pair has grown immensely and quickly. Each reactive case is unique and each program, protocol and path is different. However, we CELEBRATE each small step of progress, Reactive Dogs are not “fixed” overnight, it is often a long process but a very rewarding process. I often hear and see tears, frustration, amazement, shock and joy. Reactive dogs and their owners are a courageous crowd and we are honored to have each of them in our class for as long as they need to be there. And they are always able to come back for a little brush up! “One, Two, Look!”