TWIGGY!!! That became a common thing around my house as we worked really hard to raise Twiggy. It was similar to yelling "Oh my God!" or "Holy Cow!" or "Seriously!?". Twiggy became my Nemesis. I tried so hard to do everything right and she would come in and say, "Nope. That's all wrong." I honestly never thought I could feel so frustrated from a dog. I love dogs. I live for helping pets. I want to help all pets find good homes and pamper the ones that I am able to bring into mine. I never thought I would be considering "returning" a pet I had brought home.
Yet, here I was, just 3 months in to raising Twiggy and considering these things. I spent a lot of time venting to family, friends, trainers, my vet and his staff, and really anyone that would listen about the trials and tribunes of raising my ornery greyhound. I never expected to be shedding tears and feeling so defeated by a puppy!
Then I met Jodie. In one of my "I'm losing my mind" moments I decided to call Colorado Greyhound Adoption and Jodie answered. I really needed to find another person who had raised a greyhound from puppyhood. I felt like finding out if this was normal would make it a lot easier to deal with. Plus, I wanted someone to encourage me that it would not always be like this. Thank goodness for Jodie! She had raised a whole litter of puppies and immediately professed she would never do it again. I could hear the relief in her voice when she said that and it made me feel so much better knowing someone else had been through many of my struggles. Maybe they weren't so crazy afterall - which meant maybe I wasn't so crazy afterall!
Jodie spent several phone conversations helping me work through how to handle Twiggy and she even saved my butt when I had a vacation planned and Twiggy had nowhere to go. She was supposed to spend the days in the doggy day care program at my Vet's office and the nights at home with my husband, but 2 weeks before I was to leave Twiggy was booted from the program. Her separation anxiety was so bad that she could not stand to be left alone in the kennel - even for 5 minutes! She jumped, or rather she climbed, the 6 foot metal gate not once, but twice in a 15 minute period. And when a woman tried to get her back in for the third time, Twiggy nipped at her. So, Twiggy was now banned from doggy daycare and I had no idea what I was going to do with her for 10 days while I went on a road trip to a good friend's wedding. TWIGGY!!!
Jodie stepped up. Not only did she take Twiggy in at a most reasonable price, but she pampered her. She confirmed Twiggy's high level of separation anxiety and ended up just bringing Twiggy everywhere with her, including her dentist! Twiggy even came home with a new collar and new toys. And the best part about that time was that I got a little break to regroup my thoughts around training Twiggy, and Jodie reassured me that she was actually quite a polite pup. Twiggy knew how to sit and shake and she didn't beg. I guess in all the other frustrations I overlooked the accomplishments I did make!
So, it was back to training and working on the separation anxiety, which is a novel all on its own! And this time around with a better attitude about it. It's amazing to me how much my attitude affects my dogs!
Writing about all of my Twiggy issues really brings back the memories of her first 18 months, and I must say, at this point, I'm pretty proud of how far Twiggy has come - but there is always work to do! Good thing we love her like we do. :)