Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Week 3, Day 5: A dose of calm and assertive

I forgot to mention that Maeby got attacked by a dog on Saturday.

When we first got Maeby in January, she was afraid of EVERYTHING -- especially big dogs. I read Cesar Milan's "Dog Whisperer" book and really worked on changing my attitude from one of fear when bigger dogs approached, to one of confidence. Maeby turned into a complete social butterfly and in the 2 months we had her pre-TPLO, she grew to love all dogs, big and small.

Fast forward to this past Saturday. We were on our afternoon walk, when a man and friendly looking dog approached. I allowed Maeby to approach the other dog and said to the owner, "She just had surgery on her leg."

Unfortunately the dog went straight for Maeby's leg, trying to sniff it. Maeby let out a little growl. And then the dog attacked. The next thing I knew, Maeby was on her back letting out little yelps while the dog was on top of her.

It all happened so fast. The man pulled his dog off and kept apologizing, while also mentioning to me that I should be more careful because dogs post surgery can be pretty sensitive and protective.

Thankfully nobody got hurt. But Maeby held up her leg for a few minutes after the attack and of course, in those minutes I thought THE WORST. But she started using it again normally and it's looked fine since.

So what's the moral of this story?
I know my thoughts have a great impact on Maeby. I've been fretting so much over it for the last month, and I know that she can pick up on my nervousness. My nervous energy + her natural instinct to protect her leg = one semi-agressive Maeby. Prior to the surgery, I've NEVER seen Maeby act agressively. She's barely even BARKED or let out a GROWL. Since then, in a matter of just a few days, I've heard her bark AND growl at a person, (another story for another time) and she's been attacked.

I have to remember this: She's doing well. She's healing nicely. So I should stop freaking out and be confident so she can feel confident too. Maeby needs a calm assertive pack leader right now, not a worry wart that's falling apart at the seams.

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