Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Original post : December 24, 2013 Still learning to believe

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 great healer.

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