Yesterday morning, we were on the trails just after sunrise, catching some of the gorgeous light of the dawn of a new day.
After class, I needed to do a couple of errands at dog-friendly places. I tried to make them as fast as possible, to keep the stress down for Shyla. Shyla went into the stores with me because it's too hot to leave her in the car in the summer. By the end of it all, Shyla was definitely tired but she was still acting reasonably confident.
Then, when we arrived home, Shyla started having diarrhea. And, it has continued. Poor girl - she must have been stressed out on the inside even though she seemed pretty good on the outside when we were in town.
In the training world, this is referred to as "stacking stressors". For example, when in the safety of our home, Shyla can now meet almost anyone with little fear. However, when she has the stress of being in town, she hesitates to meet some people out of fear. Thus, "stacking" the stress of town and the stress of meeting a stranger together can be too much for her while either one alone would be okay. Another example is that, if there's loud construction noise nearby when we're in town, Shyla suddenly becomes afraid of certain objects that look odd to her, like statues, due to "stacking" scary noise and unusual objects.
I'm learning so much from Shyla, and I'll keep letting her (and my trainer) be my teachers. For a while, I'll try to make her town visits be on cooler days or to spots where she can swim, hoping to bring back all of that hard-won confidence that she had before summer hit so hard.
Up here in the mountains, summer isn't hot, and the flowers are absolutely glorious. Maybe Shyla is onto something - we should be hermits who never leave our slice of mountain paradise!