I came across an article on reactive dogs and how not to lose your shit when dealing with your own reactive dog.
And man, I tell you, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE hit home. Yup, that’s us all right.
So Justice is a wonderful little dog who I wouldn’t trade for anything, except maybe exactly the same dog but NOT losing her shit every time she even considers that other dogs exist.
Or maybe not. The author of this article is right — without Justice, I wouldn’t be nearly the dog owner I am. And I wouldn’t be nearly as in tune with her as I am. As much as “not barkscreaming at the neighbourhood” would be nice, being able to read her moods better than my own is pretty awesome.
…I just had to stop for a moment because SOMEBODY DARED TO EXIST IN JUSTICE’S WORLD AND THE BARKING HAD TO HAPPEN. Really, Justice? Right when I’m thinking about how awesome you are YOU GO AND RUIN EVERYTHING.
One of the list items on the article was this:
Think of all the funny places you end up in trying to avoid triggers.
And I immediately thought of the time Justice & I leapt INTO a fountain in order to avoid a dog encounter.
Not only do I know Justice’s moods insanely well, I also have INCREDIBLE dog radar. If I can see it before she does, I can manage the situation. I can escape, I can distract, I can flat out run like the dickens as fast as I can in the opposite direction.
Or I can hide.
In my defense, the fountain was in fact empty at the time. But it had a 3 foot rim, and I parkoured over that thing like a goddamned ninja, got Justice to come in with me, and then we ducked down low and talked in that fast excited voice I use that keeps her attention on me instead of Everything Else until the other dog was gone.
I was with a few friends, and I’m reasonably certain we looked completely nuts when we, in mid-sentence, suddenly took off and rolled over a stone wall and hid behind it LIKE A CRAZY PERSON.
This is what having a reactive dog means.