Friday, April 6, 2012

Rescue work and Love

Isn't Daisy adorable?
Woof Friday! 
The first Friday of every month we feature a guest post by animal rescuer, Sharon Azar.

Tough Love
by Sharon Azar

Daisy, the adorable young female King Charles spaniel is visiting this week! PoohBear, Chili and Tigger the cat are all rolling their eyes, "her
again?!!"  They'd forgotten how much they learned to love her on her last visit.

Right now she's just a ball of fiery energy. "Don't worry guys, we'll be fine,"  I say.

They just walk away and sigh.

Being a spaniel, the moment she spots Samurai, the cat, she's goes into hunting mode. He bolts, she pursues. I gently take her harness and draw her to me with a calm but firm 'no', sit her on my lap and pet her until I sense her breathing and heartbeat are less like a revved up engine. Samurai comes out from hiding and again, Daisy pursues, unable to resist. We repeat this about 15 times.

When I sense she's reached a sense of calm on my lap, I take her and PoohBear out for a long walk before turning in. It's late and now all the dogs, cat and humans are in their places of rest. Morning comes and as always Tigger wants his breakfast before I take the dogs out. I begin preparing and spot Daisy watching and slowly inching toward the kitchen, ready to pursue. Looking her in the eye, I say in a focused whisper, 'no' . She stops in her tracks. I feed Tigger while Daisy watches, respectfully. No problem!!. Daisy shows herself to be intelligent and willing to please. I want to hug her in gratefulness, but that would break the spell, so I simply take a breath and smile.

In my many years of rescuing and living with dogs the most important lesson learned was that nothing ever gets accomplished by yelling or punishing. If a person cannot work with a dog's particular needs patiently and with love and intelligence, they should not have a dog. An old friend/trainer said "living with a dog is a responsibility not a right".  For me, living with dogs/cats is a joy worth all the work.

Check out Sharon's animals for adoption at WOOF!

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