Our lives continue to be very disrupted by all the flood damage. Getting to town and our normal vet, doctors, physical therapists, and dentists is a several hour ordeal of driving bumpy dirt roads that take a long route around the worst damage.
As a side note, national workers, like the National Guard, are doing yeoman's duty for us right now, and they won't be paid if our government shuts down tomorrow. I sure hope that doesn't happen. Many emergency workers have given weeks of their lives to help us with our flood disaster. I, for one, would feel horrendous if their pay was cut off.
After all these weeks of us being almost cut off from town, I finally decided that Shyla had to see a vet for two small lingering problems. My regular vet hospital had no appointments for us so I took Shyla to a vet who we'd never met before.
Many of you know how fearful Shyla was when she arrived about a year ago - I would not have ever considered taking her to this new vet a year ago. She was too terrified to go near any strangers. All sorts of everyday things, like strollers or canes, paralyzed her with fear. I've worked very hard on socializing her over the past year, and she's made amazing progress. She isn't a "normal" dog by any means - she's still much more nervous about the world than most dogs. However, she can live her life happily and without daily fear now - which was my biggest goal.
When I first realized how fearful Shyla was, I joined a discussion forum for owners of fearful dogs. I am frankly appalled by how often owners decide that it's not "worthwhile" to try to teach their fearful dog how to meet strangers. I will admit that it is a *very* long process. My trainer and I didn't let strangers approach Shyla until about 9 months into the training process. However, I always thought that being somewhat comfortable around strangers was an important goal because our dogs do have to interact with vets, vet technicians, visitors to the house, and other random people in the world. It would seem unfair not to try to teach them that strangers are not as scary as they might think.