Original post : December 24, 2013
Still learning to believe
While away for a wedding, Nicki boarded with Boom Towne for a few days.
I packed meals that included dental treats and pig ears besides her
actual kibble. I also packed two stuffed, frozen Kongs to keep things
fun and interesting! When we arrived to take all of us home again, Nicki
was super happy to see us. The staff told us how much better she was
with all of them this time. She was no longer fearful or overly submissive with them! Hooray! Our work in building Nicki's confidence is working!
At about 3:00 am Nicki got up and started her "roll on Mom's face to
wake her up" routine. We were so pooped and sooo asleep. She seemed to
calm down almost right away, so we went back to sleep. Bad idea. We woke
to two piles of poo. Darn! Our girl was trying to tell us! Even though
she did well at boarding, there's still stress on an animal when they're
not with their pack. Especially a rescue - who hasn't had a lot of
certainty in her life. We get so used to how much progress Nicki is
making that we tend to forget that all that progress still doesn't
outweigh her past negative experiences.
New experiences are
stressful, too. I made the arguable "mistake" of scheduling a grooming
appointment for Nicki the day after she got home from boarding. Once
again, our groomer told me how much improvement she could see in Nicki.
Although it was the first time Nicki had been professionally groomed, I
had taken her in to meet the groomer and have her nails trimmed so she
could have a chance to meet the groomer without going through the entire
process! So all was well, no? Not exactly. Nicki was determined to go
right into the house when we got home from grooming. "No potty stops,
thanks. I want my crate!" She seemed fine - not traumatized or upset at
all. And yet, later when I called her to go out for "business", she
didn't come. Not a good sign. Oh dear - a puddle on the rug. Too much
stress for one small pup.
I need to remember that my tough
little cookie has had some rough experiences. She's certainly a survivor
- but she doesn't need to be "tested". We gotta slow this roll and make
certain that she has plenty of down time when introduced to stressful
situations. Lots of love and reassurance, of course, but TIME. Time; the