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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Shyla Zooms!

Shyla and I had only a short time on the trails today, for it was an in-town training day. We are still in the midst of storms, and it was gray and foggy. To brighten up our day, I had Shyla wear my red neck warmer!
 Within seconds of going out the door, she started to accumulate snow. Snow beard...
 Snow snout...
 The fog only grew thicker while we were out. Without her neck warmer, she might have blended in!
It was incredibly hard snowbiking. We got a lot of snow yesterday and overnight - probably 18" but it was hard to tell. Another foot is in the forecast.
Although I was as slow as a tortoise on my bike, Shyla ran so fast that her neck warmer rose up over her head, making me laugh!
After our trail time, we met our trainer in town. I am scared to say this - but I am started to think that Shyla has turned the corner, for real. She's had many good outings in a row, and she voluntarily approaches and meets almost anyone. If she does get scared, she looks to me for direction, and she recovers her composure very fast. Her "zoom" in circles around me worked amazingly well today when things scared her. It makes her so happy to zoom!

Today, one friendly and kind person wanted to meet her but did everything wrong (in terms of scaring Shyla). The person talked really loudly and with a harsh tone, she bent down to look Shyla straight in the eyes, and she even clapped her hands right next to Shyla's head. A few months ago, I would have fled to avoid a bad experience for Shyla. Today, my trainer and I let Shyla work it out to decide whether to make friends or not. After a tentative approach, Shyla ended up snuggling with the person despite all the potential scariness! I would have never believed that Shyla would be at this point so soon a few months ago.

I am so happy!
When we got home, we had a celebratory beer! Of course, it had to be an Ellie's Brown Ale, "Lab Tested". Look closely at the can - it looks like Shyla is their mascot!
More seriously, as you can see from this photo, Shyla has also completely gotten over her dislike of picking up metal objects!

As my trainer says, it was a good day, a very good day, and we'll take them one at a time. But, I am so full of hope for Shyla's potential. This girl astounds me!


  1. So, so happy for you and Shyla! That's awesome.

  2. Shyla is a amazing.
    Every picture of her is one to be so proud of. She looks like little red riding hood with your neck warmer on her head. I had to laugh.

    xo Cinnamon and Linda

  3. Excellent! Hard not to be hopeful that she's going to be that way all the time.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  4. What an amazing amazing girl. I think I will have MOM go get us a beer to celebrate with you two.

  5. Way to go Shyla! I know you can't work with her and take pictures too, but that snuggle would have bee great to see.


  6. I can't help grinning! You should send that picture to the people who make the beer. She might get a modeling contract! ;)

    I'm so happy for you both! She's come so far!

  7. How awesome for you and Shyla! That's sounds like that was a big test for her and she handled it like a champ. Very cool!

    Love the snow, although ours is finally melting and I'm not missing it even though they are forecasting more us this weekend.

    Always enjoy the photos of Shyla running through the snow. :)

  8. Hugs (and brews) all around! You deserve them. Great work.

  9. Cheers, Shyla! I caught a mouse today! Love, Otto

  10. Zooming is even better than romping.

  11. And she said:

    Whatta good dog am I!

    Hooray for the beautiful Shyla of the Mountains and also the town!

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  12. Mom is having a very hard time wiping the smile off her face! You are an amazing girl, Shyla!

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  13. Sounds like she is coming along nicely. I've been trying to walk Dex at our local college campus at least once a week. He, too, is getting better about letting strangers approach.

    I love the red snood look. Adorable.

    Mango Momma

  14. We love your neck warmer. If that person approached us doing all that nutty stuff we would have been a bit hesitant too at first. Good job
    Benny & Lily

  15. Little Red Riding Hood - love that look on Shyla. Awesome progress on her fears and all due to your great perseverance with her. My dogs are in awe of your snow.

  16. This is awesome news. Shyla's so cute in those photos. She looks so happy and confident, just having a great time with you.

    Congratulations to both of your hard work!!

  17. What wonderful news, KB! Your patience and giving Shyla the lead is paying off. Hoping for much continued success. Love the snow photos...all your photos for that matter! Thank you for continuing to share your journeys:)

  18. Who is your trainer?


  19. Hi Von,

    My trainer is Gigi Moss ( She uses positive training techniques. For those who are into it, she teaches clicker training. And, for Shyla and other fearful/unsocialized dogs, she has relied largely on a technique called BAT, which is a way to teach fearful and reactive dogs to cope with their triggers. I am nothing short of amazed by her talent at reading fearful dogs and figuring out the best way to help them gain confidence.

    Shyla is literally like a different dog now than when I met her. Of course, there are a lot of factors. She has adapted to our lifestyle, and she now completely trusts me - but I believe that the fact that Gigi is teaching me how to train Shyla to overcome her fears has been the biggest factor.

    Thanks for asking!

  20. Yay, Shyla! And yay to you and her trainer for continuing to work with her!

    She looks adorable with that red accessory!

  21. I am SO proud of Shyla!! Way to go, daughter of the mountains. You can do ANYTHING!

  22. How exciting that Shyla recovered from an encounter with an unwittingly scary human! I too, wouldn't have thought that could happen so soon. Zoom, zoom!

  23. Hooray for Shyla! That really is an exciting milestone. And she looks gorgeous! She seems to be maturing, too - she looks more like a "grown-up dog" in recent running pictures, do you think so?

    (I just discovered that the reason "no one has been posting on their blogs, isn't that odd?" is that actually I have not been seeing most of the new posts. Operator malfunction - I had begun to switch from GoogleReader and then forgot all about it when life intervened. Now I have hundreds of posts to catch up on, but am working my way through my favorites (like yours) and hope to be caught up by the weekend!)

  24. Woof! Woof! PAWSOME. Saw in the news you guys got lots of SNOW and the ski resorts reopen. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  25. I am so pleased to read of her amazing progress and the joy of meeting people with confidence. I luv the snow photos of Shyla.

  26. Glad you had such a good in-town day! I love that last photo!

  27. Thanks. I have used Gigi before. She is pretty good.


  28. Great Pictures, what a lot of snow you have

  29. Hooray for good days! Love the neck warmer turned hoodie.

  30. So many good things in this post - your daily romps with Shyla, her progress overcoming her fear and the classic photo with the beer can.
    We're glad for you, KB.


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