Thursday, April 10, 2014

I do, I do (love my reactive dogs) #atozchallenge + #WOOF

It's a busy Thursday! Besides the A to Z challenge, today I'm joining the 3rd WOOF Support hop:
What I Love About My Reactive Dog(s). 
I'm also up at Street Dog Story talking about dog rescuing--would love to see you there, too.

I love my reactive dogs. Maybe I love them more because they're reactive (which may be a somewhat significant part of the problem, but that's a discussion for another post).


Reactive is a term used to describe dogs that overreact to certain stimuli like other dogs, bicycles, people, kids, motorcycles, etc. Sometimes the reactivity is a tendency of a specific breed and other times it could be due to lack of socialization or a traumatic experience. The dog's over-reaction is usually in the form of barking, lunging, pulling and/or even snarling which tends to scare people and other dogs.


So yeah. Hi. My name is Guilie and I have several reactive dogs.

Duncan
One thing they don't tell you about reactivity (because they shouldn't need to, it's that obvious) is that it's contagious. Like the bubonic plague. One dog freaks out, they all freak out. 

Which makes for a rather interesting life.

Benny
I love them for a million reasons. The way Duncan looks at me, how he trots with his front legs a little too wide apart. I love how Sam kicks up his back legs when he runs, and his lamb-to-the-slaughter look, and how unstoppable he is. And Benny's Shar-Pei face, and the way he smiles, and how he loves to jump up at me--but always waits for permission. I love how Panchita sits under the tamarind trees for hours, waiting for an iguana to fall from the sky. I love the way Rusty struggles to contain her boundless energy when I ask her to Sit and Down. I love Sasha's wiggly dance (I have to get it on video). I love Winter's overbearing need for attention; she can never have enough. 

Sam
(practicing for monkhood)
I love them, all of them, and I'm eternally grateful all seven of them are in my life. Why? Because they've taught me so damn much. Not just about training, vet medicine, creative treats, leashes and harnesses--above all they've taught me about human nature.

My dogs are, quite simply and without exaggeration, my best spiritual teachers. They're like a retreat in a remote Tibetan monastery--shaved heads and orange tunics and eat only what you've grown with your own hands. 

;)


Thanks for the visit! I hope you enjoyed the post. Visit the other A-to-Z-ers and,
if you're a dog lover, you might want to browse the WOOF bloggers. Great bunch of people.

Thanks to Oz the Terrier, Wag n' Woof Pets, and Roxy the Traveling Dog for hosting the WOOF hop!


20 comments :

  1. Hi Guilie!! Thank you for joining our hop today! Your post made me smile. It is so true how much our dogs, even the reactive ones, teach us about ourselves, human nature and spirituality. I swear Oz is my guardian angel...and if I ask him, he just cocks his head and gives me this look that says "Well, duh! Why else would I be here?"
    Great post!
    Gina and Oz

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    1. Thanks, Gina! So glad you liked the post--and thank YOU for hosting. I'm so happy to have found the WOOF community. Yes, dogs are great teachers. Now if only the whole world would listen...

      Thanks for the visit :)

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  2. That just says it all, doesn't it. Dogs are awesome in our lives, no matter what their foibles may be,

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    1. Absolutely true, Roxy--awesome, awesome beings to have in our lives. Their foibles might even make us better humans ;) Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I love your thought that dogs are the best spiritual teachers....it is so true. What a beautiful crew you have! And people think we are crazy because we used to have 4 dogs and 4 cats (we now have 3 dogs and 2 cats). Just kidding....I think it is awesome that you have 7 dogs, especially with more than one of them being reactive. Your love for them and dedication to them shines through in every word!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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    1. Janet, I used to think I was the crazy dog lady when we had five. Then I started volunteering with a rescue organization here in Curaçao and met some people who have 17, 25, and 37--yes, THIRTY SEVEN! So, you see, my threshold for "crazy dog lady" definitions has been somewhat expanded :D As per these numbers, I'm a normal pet owner, and you are practically petless :D

      Thanks so much for the visit, and for hosting this hop--I'm so glad I've found the WOOF community. Thank you too, on behalf of the crew, for the compliment. They're all blushing ;)

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  4. Don't react when you're angry is my favorite sentence! Wow...reactive dogs are altogether something else!

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    1. They are, Danny. They challenge you past any limits--and yet love does work miracles, because we seem to find extra reserves of patience (and creativity) in the most unexpected corners of our souls :)

      Thanks for the visit!

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  5. My, you have a lot of dogs... and such good-looking ones!

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    1. Haha... Yep, a lot of dogs :) And I could have more, probably would, too, if the live-in boyfriend hadn't put his foot down :D

      Thanks for the visit!

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  6. Hi Guilie! Sounds like those dogs are lucky to have you and love you just as much. My Dr. Pepper is reactive, doesn't like men, so he may have been abused prior to us rescuing him. He loves us, and we love him, too.

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    1. A fellow dog rescuer! Should've known ;) I'd love to know more about Dr. Pepper (and I *love* the name!). Maybe you can join the WOOF hop one of these months? 2nd Thursday of the month. Great people, all dealing with reactive dogs, great source of support. I hope to see you in the linky someday :)

      Thanks for the return visit, Miranda!

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  7. My dog is my spiritual teacher as well. It's amazing what she so far already showed me on our various adventures out in nature. And I'm sure we'll continue to learn from each other in the future.

    I love the practicing for monkhood photo. ;)

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    1. Ah, another Grasshopper to a dog Sensei :) Yes, dogs are amazing teachers. And that monkhood photo was a total fluke--which makes it all the more valuable to me, haha. Glad you liked it.

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  8. Very true - my dogs are my spiritual teachers as well! I LOVE Sam's monkhood photo! So cute!

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    1. So glad to hear that, Jackie--I don't feel like a crazy person anymore :D Thanks for the visit!

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  9. Very nice post. Wow Seven dogs, and I thought I had a handful when I had four. They all sound very lovely and I lol when I saw Sam's monkhood picture. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Oh what a wonderful post..i was laughing about the Iguana...mine wait for roos to arrive...that sense of hope I love :) what beautiful babies they are and I agree I have learnt more of myself that anything from my reactive boys :) Fozziemum

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  11. I think reactive dogs bring us closer together, because they make us work with them more.

    Sheba.

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  12. Hi Guillie, I'm catching up on your blog today. I'm behind because a new dog showed up at our house and claimed us. We just officially adopted her last Thursday and life had been very chaotic since then. Our little Chihuahua mix and our new girl are reactive. Molly to strangers and Meg (our new girl) to other dogs barking. We love our little herd so much. Thank you for sharing your family with us in this post.

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