I’ve got a church thing that’s blowing up a little bit, and I should be calling people and asking them for money for my job, and I also should be working on my Monday Malayalam review, but I don’t want to do any of that! I want to look at pictures of Dog Hazel. And if you feel the same way, this is the post for you. Or, you can go look at the last post and comment over there. The point is, I need procrastination buddies!
I took Dog Hazel up to my parents’ house again this weekend, which she mostly loves because she can walk all over and smell new things and explore, instead of being trapped in my 4 room apartment.
(See her little tail moving so fast it cannot be seen?)
She’s been here before, but needs to look around and re-acquaint herself every time, just in case something important has changed.
But she does still need to check in with me as she moves around the house just to make sure she isn’t doing anything wrong.
And sometimes just kind of come over and sit in front of me to make sure I don’t forget about her in the echoing giantness of a 2 floor house with a porch.
And then of course all her worst fears were realized because we invited over small children and strangers and had to lock her up at the end of the hall, far far away from her People.
She kept up and determinedly starring the whole time just in case we came back for her.
My Dad claims he saw her lay down once, but I never saw it.
Anyway, the guests finally couldn’t take it and made us let her out so they could all fuss over her, which was exhausting in a different way. And then she only got a few minutes to relax before I had to drag her out of bed and throw her in the car for the drive home. Which is why Dog Hazel has spent the past 30 hours (and counting!) like this, finally home in her own big pink bed. Which, to be fair, is also what I feel like after a hectic trip and hosting:
Sweet Dog Hazel is a lot like my Sweet Dog Buddy, the only one of my kids who didn’t leave home when he grew up. At one time, I had five pit mixes running around the yard; I did rescue and re-training. Now it’s only Buddy. We watch Indian films together. He loves the dancing.
Oh, I can ask you questions! Thank goodness. I think Dog Hazel was probably rescued from a bad situation (all I know from her paperwork is that she was taken from her original owners and put in a shelter when she was one), because she has funny little scars all over her legs. She does this odd thing I’ve never seen before when she sees other dogs, she will sort of whimper in the back of her throat and try to avoid them. But if they get close, she will sniff for a second, and then turn aggressive. Have you seen it before? Is that maybe from being trained to fight?
Or is it something else? And is it something I should be working with her to help her get over?
Hazel likes the movies too, she is very happy sitting next to me on the couch watching everything that happens with her little ears perked up.
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I’ve seen Hazel’s behavior many times in younger pits. You’re not going to like to hear this, but dog fighting rings use puppies to teach aggression and blood-lust to the fighters in training. (Pit bulls are not naturally mean or aggressive but they are extremely eager to please.) Trainers (the scum) will throw a young, clueless dog into a cage full of older dogs and reward them when they fight each other to tear the puppy apart. I lived in the Bronx. My husband, a police officer, and I, along with several like-minded animal lovers, used to drive our rescue van to these ring sites, arrest the perpetrators, load up the dogs, and re-train and adopt out the ones we could. Some (very few) unfortunately were beyond repair. We did this for over ten years until I reached critical mass and couldn’t take it anymore. Now we live in the Hudson Valley where animal cruelty is less evident. And anyway, I just don’t want to know.
I don’t know if you can train that behavior out of Hazel. She might have witnessed some soul-scarring things that are now part of her psyche. The fact that she can turn feisty is actually a good sign. It shows she’s not totally cowed. And she might change all on her own. Love her as I know you do, and for now, avoid dog parks.
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Yeah, that’s what I was afraid of. I have friends who got their dog from a local pit bull rescue and fostered a few other dogs from the same rescue. From other dogs they fostered (not their real dog, rescued when he was a week old and never suffered abuse thank goodness) and things they shared, I knew that it is possible for dogs to be used like that. Her scars make me wonder if she was held over a pit, because they are all on her legs, not on her back.
I was thinking maybe I should push her, take her to group obedience classes in the fall and force her to face her fears. But it sounds like maybe I should hold back a little longer and let her go at her own speed. The only downside is, like you say, I can’t take her to dog parks, so she gets to live her life on a leash. And I have to get a dogsitter when I go out of town instead of putting her in a kennel (not a bad kennel, there is a great one that my parents used for their dog, but it still means she would be living with other doggies around which makes her sad).
Actually, now that I think of it, I should get in touch with my friends and ask them if they can put me in touch with the Pit Bull rescue to ask advice on good trainers who might be able to help her and what I can do to make it easier for her.
On Tue, Jul 31, 2018 at 9:29 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:
I can’t take Buddy to a dog park or kennel either. But please don’t sweat the “life on a leash” stuff. Our first dog together was a St. Bernard rescue. We lived in a Manhattan studio then, and Dammit (the name he came with) was almost never off the leash. He lived to be 13, rare for big dogs, and was very happy.
The rescue folks are a good bet for Hazel. They know what they’re doing and it should work.
I also have a pile of papers and tests which I should be grading at this very minute, but instead I’m looking at Hazel.
That is her purpose, put here to make us all happier. Your students should give me a kickback for putting you in a better mood before grading.
On Mon, Jul 30, 2018 at 10:26 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote: