|Barked: Tue Dec 4, '12 12:53pm PST |
|I agree, Sanka, *rather* emphatically.
I think sometimes with systems we lose a sense of intimacy. I know on another thread someone said scared shelter/foster dogs need lots of food work. I didn't agree with that, and my experience doesn't really either. I can use it to lure a dog to me, but in terms of acclimating the fosters I always(past my initial stage of ignoring them, for approaches are scary....something for which Eldad Hagar has not the luxury of time to afford), going for sitting, close body interactions, and then trying to initiate play. In days (or even hours), and I find a huge number of dogs make take a miracle shift. Dogs love intimacy and play to me is the most light hearted/least stressful interaction. It really accelerates things in manners I think others close themselves off to. And I consider it a crying shame.
I have at times on Dogster reflected on a Bluetick we got in last year who came to us reported as extremely fearful. We under-estimated our cargo, and I elected her....although she was rather big .....to be the dog who sat on my lap for the four hour trip. And she was a BIG girl! That was intentional - of the group, she needed me most. She settled so nice, and when we stopped for dinner and to recharge, as we headed back she was staring out the window for me and was thrilled to see my return. She was basically close to a cure before I even got in through the door of my home. I've noted before she was supposed to have a phobia of men, but when my husband came home within a minute she was all over him like a cheap suit. I think she just needed to know her hell was over. And sitting on my lap with long strokes and gentle words....it was what she needed. And man oh man was she a MOST enthusiastic player!
HERE is a video I found that speaks volumes, regarding the dogs initial statement and her very quick softening. She just needed a friend. Not a behavioral system, but a friend. It sounds full of sugar and crap, but I find that many times with these dogs, this is true.
Particularly of the strays he deals with. Those are often very smart and thinking dogs. That's why they are still alive. To communicate vs rehabilitate often is a quicker stride. I have nothing but awe and respect for dogs who can make it on the mean streets. They are nature's cull, the ones left standing, and usually are balanced, insightful and intelligent.
With my own dogs, quiet time, just sitting with them and interacting with them physically is a part of our lives. With the others shut away, just those quiet me-and-them moments. I think it matters to them dearly.
Those are all reasons why you will find me flipping out for approaches that are more touch or handling apprehensive. I think it can be a tremendous part of communication, respect and bond.
It's why I always say functional vs dysfunctional ought be a huge consideration. Some dogs have every valid reason to want to snarl and try to bite you. Every reason to be filled with fear. Their hell has been real. It has been their reality. Conveying to them through your closeness, touch and lighthearted play (so often an icebreaker) that it is over is sometimes all they need. I think Chase, vs what she was saying back in her kennel, is a fine example of this. Very touching. She is very lucky to have found him.
Edited by author Tue Dec 4, '12 1:08pm PST
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