Noel, our trainer, said something at MudPack that for some reason keeps popping into my head. We were introducing Wally to her Chihuahua, Chica, when someone else walked up with their Papillon. `The newcomer warned “Igor would love to meet your puppy but he wouldn’t be very nice.” To which I glibly replied “I don’t mind if he gets corrected by other dogs, he has to learn somehow.” That’s when Noel sagely stated “I don’t let other dogs discipline my puppy.”
Today Susan Garrett uploaded this video on YT about how dogs aren’t always fair in their relationships to other dogs. Chin scratching commenced as I melded Noel’s words with Susan’s video.
All of this culminated in a philosophy change for me, an epiphany. I started to think about my friends with dogs, the owners I most respect, and how they never knowingly let their dog interact with other dogs willy-nilly. I started to think about Wally, with his puppy exuberance, throwing himself at other dogs in an utterly rude manner that is good intentioned but not well met. And I realized that although the right dog may be able to correct him properly without doing mental or physical damage, that would have to be a dog I know well (like Coal). I also realized that Wally isn’t going to learn anything I don’t teach him, so I have to teach him the proper way to approach a dog.
I have to be mindful of Wally and the things around him, be they dogs, people, cars, squirrels. It’s funny because mindfulness is something I’ve been thinking about lately, something I want to improve in my personal life. How lucky for Wally to be my guinea pig!