When Shyla is just with our family, she's happy and relaxed. She's so affectionate. During our training yesterday, she suddenly was overcome with the need to leap into my arms and shower me with kisses! I feel so lucky that she has chosen to trust and love me.
This morning, it was pouring rain, and I suddenly had a change of plans. I had to be at the dentist quite early for a "surprise visit" (never a good thing!). I decided to squeeze in a quick bike ride for the sake of my spine before going to the appointment.
I contemplated whether to bring Shyla. I didn't have much time to deal gently with her fears. However, it was pouring rain so I figured that no one else would be out to scare her.
Lo and behold, someone else was out, including a rambunctious golden retriever. He bounded toward us, having run at least 100 yards from his family to greet us. He's big, goofy, and benign. Shyla turned and fled the other way. So, I grabbed my bike, turned it around, and went to find my terrified dog. She was lurking in the forest a short distance away. So, the two of us hid in the forest until the "danger" had passed. You have no idea how many times we've done that!
I keep thinking that there will be a day when Shyla will be more rational. For example, she's seen the rambunctious dog from this morning at least 100 times in her life. He's nice, albeit a little overwhelming. I know that I'm being unreasonable but, for some reason, my mind expects that someday Shyla will stop being afraid of dogs and people who we see regularly and have never hurt her.
I feel bad even writing that. I usually have lots of empathy for her fears but sometimes, like this morning, I have "empathy fatigue".
|A spider web with raindrops in it this morning|
I must end by saying that I love Shyla no matter what, and I'll keep working to bolster her confidence. I just have moments of weakness.