Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Early Stage

The days go by, between myself, Paul, Ruby and the cats we are all, confused and amazed to see how Annie manages to figure everything out. She doesn't seem to be aware of who or what her role is. She is still in survival mode, she uses her mouth and teeth to tell us to back off, this we learn very early.
Ruby is a confused 2 year old. She wants to make friends with this new little arrival. It doesn't take long before Ruby realizes Annie is the same but different.

We begin with the stairs. We need to teach Annie how to use the stairs as there are three exits in our house, and they all have stairs! She must learn this, and learn it fast, after all, once she can master the stairs, she will learn housetraining. Ruby watches closely as we coax Annie down the steps. Days and months go by, Annie has had more treats than you can imagine. Will she go down the stairs on her own? Not a chance, not now and sometimes it feels like not ever! So, we push from behind, wave treats under her nose, step step step.... No luck. We work on the stairs everyday 5 sometimes 10 times a day, I am getting very good at going down the stairs backwards myself. Without us realizing Ruby is right by our side at all times. Is it because she wants to help, or is it because she gets treats just for being there? Seems like a good gig for Ruby.

Another key training point for Annie, is she must be taught how to walk on a leash. That requires having to put a collar or harness on her first. Annie is 100% against anything that even comes remotely close to going over her head or around her neck. We won't let her get away with being bratty about it, that's just puppy stuff, so we think. Let the battle begin, we will get through this, perseverance, patience and time, that's all she needs. Annie is getting wise to us and learns very quickly how to back up faster than you can blink. I have had my hands bitten more times than I care to remember. Why the battle as I sit with a dogless collar and leash in my hand? I only wish she could get an understanding of what it is that we are trying to accomplish, that by putting a leash on her would result in a pleasant walk with Ruby, through the forest with birds, and smells and different sounds,she would love it if only we could get the leash training under control, so we think.

Next up housetraining. How do we even begin to master this one? Annie has no idea what the difference is between the outside and the inside. How do you even begin to explain to a sightless dog that there is a place to do your business and the hardwood floor is not one of them. She needs assistance to get down the stairs, she won't cooperate with the whole collar leash affair, she can't get through the night with out having an accident, we are almost at our wits end.

Paul and I are doing the best we can for Annie, we mop up after her, we take turns at helping her down the stairs, we devote as much time possible to her well being, we are exhausted at the end of the day. Our lives have been forever changed.

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