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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Invisible Dog

Do you ever wish that others could know your dog as you do? To many, Shyla is the invisible dog. When she hears or smells people ahead of us on the trail, she vanishes. I've learned not to panic because she's always within a very small radius of me. However, she's completely still so that no one else knows that she's there.

People passing on the trail will ask - "Where's Shyla?". I used to look around and then point her out. Now, I very occasionally play along in Shyla's game and say that she isn't with me today. Don't tell anyone that little secret!

Truth be told, knowing Shyla has been an incomparable gift for me. This next photo may not look like much but she was standing in front of me with her tail wagging wildly back and forth. She seemed to be saying - "What are we going to do next? Please tell me NOW! I know that it will be fun! Let's go, go, go!".
Shyla is my first Lab who is very discerning about who she is friends with. All of my previous Labs have indiscriminately loved everyone - sometimes to my dismay. I used to joke that they'd gladly go home with someone new each day, and they might forget me within a few days. I didn't truly believe that but they did love everyone. I know for a fact that it's not true for Shyla.

For some people, Shyla's choice not to interact with them has nothing to do with their personality. Rather, she's not comfortable with their dogs so she vanishes when they pass us on the trail.

As soon as she's sure that they're gone, she becomes lovable imp who tries to get me to smile with all sorts of antics. Usually, she goes to our most recently learned trick - right now, she's learning "sit pretty".

When I first met Shyla, I didn't know how well our life together would work out because she was so different from every dog we'd ever had before. Now, I think that our life with Shyla is precious and wonderful. I keep wondering why it's going by so fast. I'd like to freeze-frame time so that I could savor today.
Thank you, Shyla, for making our life so much richer!

22 comments:

  1. She seems like such a sweet dog. Every dog is different and has their own place in the human heart, which keeps it interesting!

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  2. Shyla is proof that hoomans and dogs bond in special ways!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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  3. Shyla guess what, the older I get the more 4-legged kids I don't like. I am very picky
    Lily (& Edward)

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  4. Shyla, you are an absolute sweetie!

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  5. It's always the odd ball dogs or the ones who don't fit in the best with others that have the strongest bond. Brut was like that. I always wished other could see him like I did, but I guess he saved all that specialness just for me. It is and will always be quite precious. Just like you and Shyla. :)

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  6. Shyla sure is a special one. I don't think anyone ever really gets to know our dogs as we see them. Having people visit is an exciting time and it has always taken a long time for that excitement to settle down with our dogs. This has been true for all our dogs past and present.

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  7. Sit Pretty!!! That is so special.

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  8. Time does pass quickly. So good you can enjoy her.

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  9. Shyla is a very special girl. I know exactly what you mean, I wish more people could know the Luke that we know and love.
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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  10. What a wonderful and one of a kind friendship you and Shyla share!

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  11. I am sure she thanks you too. Shyla is your girl and she doesn't need anyone else.

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  12. Such a wonderful bond you two have forged together!
    hugs
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & mabel

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  13. She is a beauty and wonder. You all are a perfect match. I do know what it is like to have an inviable dog, but not in the way that you do. Buddy is invisible, but like I said it is in a different way. When Bud and I walk with our friends it is others dogs who "get noticed", especially Bert. Oh they notice Buddy but not is a positive, "can I pet you dog", way.(not all people do this, but far more than I ever imagined). He is inviable to some because he is a Pit Bull. I wish everyone could see Buddy for how I see him, how I know him to be, a big lovable, kissy, funny, loyal, faithful and gentle soul.
    Blessings,
    Michelle
    And kisses from Bud.

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    1. That's interesting! My pit bull also gets ignored a fair bit when I'm out with both dogs. By herself, she gets lots of compliments on her behavior, collar, and/or coat. I tend to chalk it up to my other dog being really dramatic in his appearance, but interesting that other mixed groups have the same pattern.

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  14. You two were made for each other!! What a wonderful bond you have.

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  15. Beautiful photos! Such a sweet "sit pretty" too.

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  16. This is my Never Give Up on a Dog note. I got a note from KB when Shyla was quite new telling me she felt as though she would never be able to accomplish anything with this dog because she was so different. I love to remind her of this and help others to see what can be done with a "different" dog. Its an awe inspiring story!

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  17. We love you to death for exactly who you are, Shyla♥

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  18. That's so interesting that she worked out how to disappear (but stay close) as she feels the need. Is that something she's always done or did it develop out of more extreme attempts to escape people/dogs? So smart of her to find a way to control her environment!

    I feel this with both my dogs in different ways. Lilo is a very affectionate and downright silly dog at home with "her" people, but all business out on the trail. I was so happy when she stayed with a hiking friend for a weekend and they got to see her silly side! Titus, on the other hand, is an amazing hiking and training dog but can be hard to live with (not his fault and it's getting better; he just still finds it stressful to be indoors). I sometimes wish that more people saw that side of him so they'd understand why I manage his life they way that I do.

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    1. The hiding is something that evolved over time. She was an extremely fearful dog when I met her - more fearful than any dog I'd ever known. At first, she'd feel stuck next to me as other dogs rushed toward us with their people behind them. She'd be paralyzed with fear in these situations (and still is sometimes, if she doesn't hear the group coming). Her hiding technique took a couple of years for her to perfect. She's really good at it now so that even the dogs who I meet don't necessarily know that she's standing like a statue in the forest a short distance away.

      Isn't odd how we know such different dogs inside our dogs than other people know? Because I've always had classic outgoing Labs in the past, that's never been true for me before. I'm glad that Lilo showed your friend her silly side :)

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