Haven't been posting much as school and work are going full force and I am super busy these days again!
I noticed a change in Tillie as we neared the end of our summer that had me slightly concerned ... she was starting to retreat to her crate often and develop a fear of the CAR!?? She would willingly JUMP into the car, but then tremble and pant the whole time we were moving, it was breaking my heart.
So, I thought through things and realized that I had left Tillie often AND it was a very turblulent summer filled with illnesses, surgery and arguing!
SOOOoooooo, I started making a concentrated point to spend TIME with Tillie, time training, time walking, time playing, time snuggling. Not tons of time, just a few minutes here and a few minutes there AND she is back to her old self again! Just full of joy and playfullness again!! Yay!!!
For the car, it was a bit more complicated as I couldn't figure out WHY she started fearing riding in the car. We have never gone anywhere that ISN'T FUN! lol soooooo.... at first I tried getting her a Bully Stick that she only got in the car. NO interest. Then I tried short rides (around the block!) no luck. Even to get the kids from school, which used to be the HIGHLIGHT of her day, still trembling and panting...
So, last weekend, we took her to the bridge here in town, where we go often, and Tillie was on my lap as my husband drove (I know, BAD doggie mama!) and she STILL trembled... BUT on the way HOME she had a few minutes where she wasn't panting OR trembling! yay!!!! SO, we did a few short trips (to the store and back/gas station/bank) with my husband driving and me holding her and she started to do much better!!
THEN, yesterday, my son and I took her to Pet Smart for some socialization (which she did FANTASTIC btw!) and she was lighly panting on the way there, but on the way home, she laid down and took a NAP!!! Yay!!! I made sure to drive very carefully, kept the radio down, etc. Things that never were an issue before, but I didn't want to scare her again. I was totally holding my breath worried she would start trembling again, but we made it all the way home!!!! YAY! so proud of her and so relieved, hopefully it was a weird phase or something because she has always loved the car and never had a problem before! Heck, we drove 10 hrs home when we picked her up as a a baby and she didn't have a single issue!
Anywhooooo.... so, yesterday at Pet Smart, I had to use every ounce of strenght I had because seriously, I SWEAR they had Hav puppies ...4 of them!!!! ADORABLE. It was a local rescue and they SAID they were Shih Tzu puppies, but I've been around awhile and I KNOW what a Shih Tzu puppy looks like ... AND I KNOW what a Hav puppy looks (and behaves like) and I am still sure that if they weren't 100% hav, they were at least 1/2! Anyway, there was a LINE for them, so I am hopeful that they all found loving homes. But, MAN I was SOOOO tempted. I just kept telling myself, "potty training, crying, sleepless nights, crate training, peeing on my carpet...." LOL
Tillie did great with the other dogs at Pet Smart, I am very proud of her, she has come a long way with her reactions towards big dogs. As long as the dog isn't aggressive towards HER and the owner doesn't APPROACH us, Tillie will walk on by, OR if I have her in a sit/stay the big dog will pass by without an issue. In fact, last weekend, when we were at the bridge I was doing sit/stays with her and waiting for a few big dogs to pass while I held her attention in a sit/stay and after they all passed, one of the people in the group called out to me saying what a great job I was doing and thanking me for training her and not just picking her up like so many small dog owners do!
I was mighty proud of us.
We start the official class for the therapy dog test in 3 weeks ... with the test in mid October. I do not know if we will pass, but I figure it will be fun to take another class as we haven't had one since June... I will keep ya'll posted on how that goes as the time comes!
Okay, sorry for the novel! Just wanted to let everyone know how we are doing and that we haven't fallen off the face of the earth!
Hope everything is well with you and your havs and WELCOME to the forum any new members that I may have missed welcoming!!