Challenges…

I haven’t posted here for a couple of days…

There was an… incident…the other day, after which I retreated into a kind of ‘radio silence’.

After that last post, when Tim and I had had such a good day, things took a dramatic downward turn.  I don’t even remember how it happened…  One minute all was well.  Tim and I were in the kitchen and I was standing next to him then I felt something on my back and I just reacted.  Next thing I knew I’d bitten Tim and he was saying that I had to go!

I didn’t know what to do!  The atmosphere changed completely.  I went into my crate and stayed there, wanting to hide away and be invisible.

For the rest of the evening there was a really tense feeling in the house…

The next morning Robyn got up first, as usual.  She seemed pretty normal and we went through our usual routine of breakfast and going up to feed the horses, but when we came back down and she went to take off my collar, I reacted.  I could see that she was shocked and I could sense her heart beating fast, but I was feeling so defensive, I just couldn’t help it!  I needed to tell her to back off!

Now, when she comes near me, I can feel her nervousness and it puts me into that feeling of needing to defend myself.

When Tim got up that morning he ignored me and has mostly been doing this over the last couple of days.  It was so confusing after we’d been getting really close and I’d come to see him as my friend and leader…

One of the better things though is that Robyn has been playing a new kind of ‘game’ with me.  She asks me to do something like ‘sit’ or ‘paw’, and now ‘down’ and touching either her hand or an object, then she gives me a piece of chicken.  She’s been really impressed with how quick I’ve been to pick up the game, but we only play it for a short time.  I think she can see that I can get myself in a bit of a fluster, but it’s because I’m trying so hard.  I want to do the right thing – and I’d also really like to have that tasty bit of chicken!  But it’s ok, coz I always get it in the end, along with lots of praise, coz I’m pretty bright and a fast learner!

This afternoon has been better.  Tim is talking and playing with me again and he even told me that I’m a good girl and that I’m very beautiful – right before he took my picture 😊

This ‘getting to know you’ stuff isn’t always an easy journey, I’m realising.  Even when you get to run around, and sniff out lots of interesting scents, and have toys to play with, tasty chicken to eat and a safe place to sleep…  It’s the learning how to trust again, the opening up and relaxing, the understanding what’s expected and knowing how to fit in – these’re the hard bits, the things that take time…

And I’m beginning to see that it might not just be me who’s having to adjust and finding it challenging.  But, if your hoomans are patient and let you try again, if they keep accepting you and loving you, it might just be ok.

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