Friday, March 12, 2010

return of civilization

During the winter, when I go outside to play with the dogs, it is pretty much only us and the squirrels. Everyone else hibernates for 6 months in their houses.

Well, now that the weather is improving, people are emerging. Kids are being sent out to play.

Oreo was unnerved yesterday by the screaching kid noises from our neighbor on the hill. I sent him out to pee, and he came right back in the house, without doing his business.

The kids really hadn't bothered him last summer, since they are at quite a distance. Today, for whatever reason, they did.

I went inside, got my clicker, treats and a leash, and started from scratch.

It took about a minute of click and treating for "look at that", then Oreo calmed to the point where he could touch my hand or sit, and not seem too concerned about the shrieking kids. I walked him closer to the edge of the yard, and repeated. Then, we walked away and repeated, and finally went back into the safety of the house. Oreo did good. Oh yea, he also was able to "go potty". That says a lot for his stress level.

However, I don't think I'm done desensitizing for the season. My next door neighbor has kids too, with that darn tree house being built in very close proximity to my dog garden. Luckily, kids seem to be over scheduled these days, and they're not home much!

Anyway, I was proud of myself and Oreo for knowing what to do, and doing it.

Misty spent much of yesterday in the bathtub. Jeff had the day off and was working on the cabinets. I guess the air nailing was too much for my noise sensitive dog, and she sought refuge behind the shower curtain. Knocking over all sorts of shampoo and body wash bottles in the process. Meanwhile, Oreo slept through all the nailing, completely unfazed. Weird.

Tomorrow morning is our last league match. We'll go watch for a little while. It is supposed to be a rainy day. Oreo doesn't usually like the sound effects of the building on rainy days, so it may be a good thing he's not allowed to run.


Kathy said...

Well, glad you knew what to do to nip it all in the bud, but guess the season for kids to be running and playing is just starting ;-). Poor Misty....and how funny Oreo was not fazed by the whole thing!

Sam said...

I think your post really illustrates how fear can manifest itself so different. Oreo was afraid of the children, yet Misty was unnerved by the housework. It just goes to show all dogs have their demons that they need to overcome.

As you know, I'm totally going through the same thing with the "return of civilization." I've really enjoyed our quiet walks this winter and I'd be lying if I said that I'm not sad to see them go.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Good job with Oreo and the kids in the yard! But poor Misty hiding out in the bathtub!

I am reacting to everyone coming out of hibernation with lots and lots of alert barking! And tons of fence running - I need to do that whenever anyone walks by. Mom hopes I get it out of my system and can settle down soon. Doubtful! LOL!

AC said...

I've never thought about the trouble dogs have with seasonal transitions. After hearing about Marge's trouble with warm weather, and Oreo's challenge with the return of civilization, I'm realizing I'm lucky that I don't have to deal with that. (Some of us here like to say we have two seasons-dry season and fire season.)

It sounds like you did a great job with Oreo and your neighbor's kids this morning. Squealing kids terrify Kona. I'm super lucky that one of the only in-earshot kids by us is our nextdoor neighbor,who happens to be the little girl who lives with Kona's best canine friend. Now, Kona associates this little girl's voice with her friend and will go nuts when she hears her.

Diana said...

Life and dogs can be so challenging. I glad you were able to help Oreo. Im not looking forward to my neighbors to start walking agian in the mornings. Hey, if they cant hack the cold, then shouldnt be allow back out.Lol , just kidding. It just makes it hard on my dogs. They are use to being the only ones on the streets and then will have to start dealing with people passing all the time. Diana

LauraK said...

Living with dogs is always a learning experience. I think that's great that you knew exactly what to do and got out that clicker! Poor Misty spending the day in the bathtub :( It's interesting what bothers different dogs- they sure like to keep us on our toes!

Dawn said...

Wow! And I thought I had the only noise sensitive dog! Katie reacts differently though, she barks aggressively and runs toward whatever is bothering her. Till she gets there. Then she hides behind me. Silly girl. I don't think she even knows we have a bathtub! LOL!