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Thursday, September 6, 2012

The very good and the worrisome

There is more and more playing going on in our house. R seems to adore having a sister to play with. I offer him opportunities to take a break from her but he always seeks her out again.
Shyla's training around our house and on the trails is going beautifully. She's so sharp...

She's already learned to target objects with her front paws AND stay in place until I release her. In this photo, her paws are on a rock at the top of Hug Hill.
Even when she gets distracted by a scent or a sound in the forest, she notes it, as in the photo below, but continues to do whatever I ask of her.
She's continuing to learn from her brother. I love this profile of the two.
R is still faster than her on recalls but Shyla is faster off the mark now.
She comes all the way to me!
There is a caveat. I took Shyla to town yesterday while I did some errands (including getting R's blood drawn to check on his recent health scare). I took her out of the car at a park where there were hikers, bikers, cars, children - all the normal city park stuff. Shyla had a meltdown, terrified of the whole scene. A young boy, maybe 10 years old, came over and asked if he could pet her. As he asked in a soft polite voice, she cowered to the ground and then lost control of her bladder. After I requested that he give Shyla space (i.e., I politely told him to "get lost"), Shyla became an immoveable object until she'd had time to process everything. That's terror - pure and simple. She must not have had much experience with everyday life in a town before yesterday. And, I'm sure that she's still off-balance from her recent move to our house, and that probably contributed.

So, I learned that Shyla needs a lot of socialization and work to learn to live in the "normal" world of bustling towns. I already contacted my favorite trainer, and we'll be seeing her on Saturday. This awesome trainer helped us through K's fears, although K's fears were tiny compared to what I saw in Shyla yesterday. But, I think that she'll be able to teach me how to help Shyla. 

I have to admit that I had a minor meltdown after Shyla's meltdown. I'm still fragile after losing K. So, seeing my new furry friend terrified by everyday life sent me to tears. After the tears for Shyla, there were tears for K (and I am not a person who cries very often). But, with kind words from a very good friend who regularly rescues dogs and from our trainer, I'm feeling hopeful that I can help Shyla to learn to live happily in our bustling world.

Last, but certainly not least, R's condition still worries me, although he generally seems to be feeling a bit better. His blood sample that was drawn yesterday had to go to a "board certified pathologist" because the condition of his red blood cells and lymphocytes was alarming one week ago. I hope that I get good news soon. The best case scenario is that his blood is improving, suggesting that an exposure to a toxin caused the problems (rather than cancer or other scary diseases).

I hope to have that good news tomorrow. I am sitting here waiting for the phone to ring with the results...


  1. Wow -

    Just wow -

    What a day
    What a post

    Paws so crossed for good results -

    All the pics are incredible but I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the last one of R - in particular, his left eye!

    Thanks again for sharing!

  2. Goodness, that's a lot to have weighing on your mind - hang in there! A couple of dogs I know have eaten some mushrooms recently, and been quite ill - perhaps R could have done something like that. Poor Shyla - she is young and sensitive, like K. I think with time and patience she will surely become more confident...

  3. I hope you get that good news tomorrow too. Waiting for important news is the one thing I am LEAST good at. . .you also?

    The pups are having a great time together, could you and the Runner take them both town walking? Shyla has learned so much from R, maybe this too.


  4. Time will help Shyla cope with the big world. Tom, our ginger cat who adopted us, took over a year before he coped with vehicles, motor mowers, and Hugh's quad terrified him even longer.We did not know where he had been before or what had happened.And for R, hoping for all good news, phone call waiting is so hard, meltdowns mean you care so much...Fond greetinmgs from Jean

  5. Oops.spelling mistake, too late to correct it. So maybe more greetings coming to you from Jean.

  6. What a day! You've got so much on your mind :(. I hope everything evens out and the results of R's blood work is good

  7. aaahh nice post...its going to be hard for a long time. Great news the baby is learning so fast
    Benny & Lily

  8. I have done that wait by the phone before and you have all of my empathy for what is going through your head. Hopefully, all of the worry will be for naught and R will be well on the road to full recovery.

    Poor Shyla. I do remember how absolutely terrified Kiska was of anyone human when she first came here. Amazing how far a dog can come with loving, supportive, and strong humans. Knowing your strength, Shyla could not have found a better human to teach her the world.

  9. That picture of the 2 of them is just too cute. Having been in those fear situations with Lilly. I completely understand. Fingers still crossed for R's blood tests. That's just SO weird that it came on like that.

  10. I would have felt like you too KB.
    So full of raw emotions and still processing life.
    Shyla is learning so fast and looked beautiful on Hug Hill.
    But I know your emotions are just all worried about her reactions.
    We of course are wishing good thoughts for R. Bib brother is so beautiful.

  11. I'm hoping for a phone call with good news for R, too!

    I love that picture of the two of them together! I hope that's going on your wall somewhere so you can look back on it when they're both old, lazy dogs and smile at their puppy antics. Okay, R will have puppy antics for as long as he lives, but still...

    If Shyla hadn't seen all of that stuff going on before, of course it was overwhelming. Just because she didn't take to all the newness right away doesn't mean that she won't be able to, though. She could have been just as scared as an eight or twelve week old puppy, but it wouldn't have been so unexpected. The world is still her mostly unexplored oyster! My bet is that with a slower introduction and as she gains confidence in you that she'll be able to handle it all soon enough. We all have things to conquer in life. Sending hugs your way!

  12. 'Houndstooth' is right--I really do think that Shyla will be just fine because she has you there and all of us cheering her on from the sidelines! We are also cheering for R to get a good report too!

  13. Ann..from....Outer Banks of NC ...said...Since love is everywhere...Good news will follow....everything works together in harmony for we see proof of God's care every day......I thank God for this wonderful world ...there is a divine purpose for each and everyone of us and R is such an intelligent boy.... I see it in his eyes...With Shyla I bet she was a bit scared....with all of that going on... all at one time...sweet baby it must of been all new to her...(it will take time but she will be fine ) sorry for her and for you too KB.. She's such a smart girl...may the healing effects of love continue....HUGS

  14. You know that we have R in our prayers. Good results, good results, good results. Great to see the two playing together. And I just know that Shyla will socialize just fine. And you are taking a positive approach. I noticed that Shyla sticks her tounge out like R does (not as far, but I see it). So cute.

  15. Shy Shyla... I think I don't blame her for being nervous about the big city. This makes me more curious about how she came to you.

    Still hoping R is okay...

    And you, Mama Bear!

  16. Aww poor sweet Shyla. Pee Wee was the same way when I adopted her; she was afraid to go through doorways, wouldn't go up stairs for weeks, lost control of her bladder when I took her to the vet, put a leash on her for the first time and on countless other occasions. She's a completely different girl now after working to help her get more comfortable. More than anything, Bear's calm, happy go lucky, not scared of anything personality has helped her become more confident. I'm sure R will help Shyla gain confidence too.

    We will be waiting to hear about R's bloodwork. Hoping to hear that he's on the mend!

  17. Love the play photo!! I'm glad to see more spunk in R and have fingers, toes, and paws crossed her for good lab results.

    I feel the meltdown-meltdown. I have a feeling that Shyla has the ability to grow leaps and bounds with her confidence. I feel strongly that Kona has genetics riding against her (she couldn't handle the scene you described, not even from inside a car), but she's still grown leaps and bounds.

    Shyla's in good hands!

  18. You live surrounded by priceless examples of the necessity for a bit of pain, some fear, and lots of awkwardness in order for growth to occur. Your life with Shyla will be full of smiles, triumphs, tears, and setbacks...and EVERY bit of it is what makes the experience worthwhile.

    We are sending our strongest White Dog positive thoughts, healing energies, and strength that the news for R is very good.

  19. Sending hugs to both R and Shyla.

  20. I will pray for good results for R. I love the first picture of the two of them. Poor Shyla, I am sure after lots of love and training she will do great. I love all the pictures of them together. They will be a great pair!

    Anne and Sasha

  21. Our paws are crossed for R and we hope he will be cleared as A OK. Poor little Shyla it must have been quite frightening. We are sure with your training it will be sorted. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

  22. We know that your mom is going to fix everything and make it all better for you, Shyla! You are a smart girl and a very loved girl! You're going to be okay.
    Our paws remain crossed for you, R!

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  23. First, great pictures, Shyla on Hug Hill is beautiful...
    The training for Shyla will be good and she will learn how to go with you to town.
    R:s condition is mystic for sure...Hope that the results you will get today is good.
    Our dachshunds are well, I´m got some cold .
    Hugs from us!

  24. What an emotional day for all of you - I will be praying for good results from R's blood test - and sweet Shyla, I hope she will learn over time how to deal with her fears. Indy is generally wonderful with people - he aims to please everyone who comes in his path (typical lab) - but he is sometimes a little hesitant with kids who are a bit jumpy and aggressive. Give it time KB - I know you will teach Shyla all the good lessons that you taught sweet K. So sorry for your tears - but it is part of the grieving process - and we simply can't go around it. I am figuring that out day by day, sometimes hour by hour.

    Have a wonderful weekend!


  25. Hang in there KB, better days are ahead! Still got our Doxie paws crossed here for good news on R. Sweet baby Shyla is just taking in so much at once! We will be interested in hearing what the trainer has to say and what steps you will take with Shyla. (Maybe we can all learn a thing or two with you.)

    Your pic's are fantastic!

    Lily Belle

  26. Here's to more positive news on R's blood work. It is great to see the two of them together. Maybe Shyla would benefit from having R alongside during her socializing. I would imagine R can maneuver better than Shyla at this point, but she'll catch up quickly.

    Mango Momma

  27. Poor Shyla. :( I remember what it was like to be so scared of the world when I first left the yucky backyard I spent my whole puppyhood in. But I got over it and got my boxer spirit back! We have lots of fosters who come in terrified and leave bouncy and in love with the world. I know Shyla will get there soon with your love and support!

  28. LOVE that last picture....

    Poor Shyla....but we know with you and R she can overcome anything.

  29. Those two look like they are having so much fun. I miss playin bitey face like that!
    I bet Shyla will come around, she is still so young and in such good hands. Sorry thre is still worry about R and hope this round comes back normal. After my recent scare there is still some uncertainty so we know what that's like. Paws crossed for you pups!

  30. A meltdown is so stressful for everyone. Wonder what in her past made that so difficult for her- if anything?
    You know, my McIver has never had an traumatic event but he simply wants to stay at home. He enjoys romping on 10 acres, herding goats or laying on the couch. Quite frankly, I'd like to stay at home all the time too. People can be quite annoying and overwhelming! However, I am sure the Shyla will come around with guidance from you and R. Remember, they all have a lesson to teach and this is Shyla's.

    Mamma Heartbeat

  31. What a big day for all of you! Poor Shyla, overwhelmed by the crowds. She is just more sensitive, and this is all so new. My fingers are crossed for great lab results for R.

  32. I feel sure that your love will get Shyla through this.

    We all have our fingers (and paws) crossed for a very good report. You've had enough bad news over the last couple of years. It has to get better.


  33. Fingers crossed for good results.

    Our Akita girl went through a severe fear period. So hard to watch them terrified of *normal* things.

  34. Great pics as usual!

    I'm not worried about Shyla - you seem to be on the ball and are going to help her through her fears. Maybe she'll get over them, maybe just partially - but I know you will adapt and she'll have a happy life with you.

    I hope everything comes back ok on R's blood work. Gosh, that must be so scary. Hang in there and just know we are praying for him and for you.

  35. Fingers, paws and everything else crossed for R's results. As for Shyla's reaction, any indications on her past that might explain things a little better?

  36. Ruby was pretty unsocialized when we got her at 4 years old. She barked at other dogs, regardless of size, she was fearful of trash trucks and other noises. The first time I took her to the vet she had to be sedated so she could have her ear checked. Now she happily greets our extended pack with whom we walk, likes to meet strange humans, LOVES the vet and has even had some acupuncture. Patience, calmness and love... But you know that :-)

  37. OH! And of course our paws remain crossed for Mr. R!!

  38. I'm sure you'll be able to help Shyla. Since that was the first time you've seen such fear I think it was situational. Latte has become much braver about being around a lot of stimulus. But I can imagine how hard that was to see. Sending good thoughts for R and all of you.

  39. Be careful if you have mushrooms growing - the same friend whose dog was very sick last summer got into them again - he normally uses a muzzle since the scare but took the dog out briefly without one. We have less mushrooms this summer because of our dryness, but apparently the dogs can still find them! Poor Shyla - sounds as though she was just overwhelmed. I'll be thinking of you all.

  40. Howdy KB, paws crossed for R and good results. Beautiful photos of them both, they look like they adore each other even after such a short time. Tiny steps with Shyla. She will realise with you by her side, there is nothing to worry about. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

  41. KB,
    With your help and guidance Shyla will get through dis, we just know it. We is sendin' extra boxer puppy prayers to her and to R.

    Woofs and Licks,
    Maggie Mae and Max

  42. With patience phobias caused by lack of socialization are very fixable.

    Paws crossed R continues to improve.


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