Tuesday, September 18, 2012

brave boy

It's been a long time since I wrote about Oreo's fears.

I've been working real hard at avoiding stressors, to reduce his overall stress factor.

Honestly, I haven't seen much improvement in his fears, but he hasn't been getting worse either.

Oreo hasn't done any "public" agility, trials or classes, in about a year.  I've toyed with the idea of entering him in adpt rally trials, since I hear they are very accommodating with dogs like Oreo (plus treats are allowed in the ring).  However, I backed out each time.  I didn't want to go, worrying that Oreo could end up in a bad state of mind.

My motto has been, "If Oreo had a choice, would he choose to do this?"

If his answer would be "no", then, I opted out.

Yesterday, at Chewy's agility class, Oreo opted, on his own, to leave the car. I put him in his playpen with some food, while I went out to the course with Chewy.

After a few runs with Chewy, Oreo started barking!

OK, many people might be annoyed that their dog was barking in their crate, but not me!

Not when the voice was Oreo's.

That was a good sign.

The barking continued.

I asked my teacher if I could bring Oreo out to do some agility.  Of course, she said yes, kindly left the ring, and kept really, really quiet.

Oreo gave me lovely attention all the way from the crate to the ring.  He even offered a "line up" on the start line.  He did one long turn of his head to check out his surroundings, but then did the whole course beautifully.


I, of course, had walked the course with Chewy in mind, which threw both of us off a bit.  I planned rear crosses for Chewy, where Oreo would need front crosses.  But, we muddled our way around, and really, it wasn't about the course.  It was about the fact that he chose to do it (although, maybe the meatballs helped a bit).

After class, I put both dogs in the car.  I was feeding Oreo some treats thru the window, when my teacher walked up to the car. Normally, Oreo would have immediately jumped to another seat to get away, but this time, he stayed where he was, showing no signs of fear, and continued to eat.

Boy, what a great drive home we had.  Such a brave, brave boy.


Helen said...

Yeah Oreo!!! I've noticed that Keltic, who has shown no shyness at all, pulls Beckett out of his shell. Beckett's not fearful, just has that typically a little bit shy sheltie personality. Maybe Chewie is doing that for Oreo; that and the fact you've put no pressure on Oreo to do things he's not comfortable with.

Helen said...

And I love that happy face!!!

ra husky said...

Hawooooo! Way to go Oreo BOL!!!


corbinwooten said...

That is AWESOME. I am so happy for you and Oreo. :)

houndstooth said...

Aww! What a great moment! That is definitely worth celebrating!

Diana said...

Awww, that just warms my heart.

Reilly / Denny Cowspotdogs said...

Isn't it amazing how even the smallest step forward can make you feel just amazingly happy. Way to go Oreo.....you are the doggie!

Dawn said...

And look how proud he is! Awww Oreo...you're making me tear up I'm so happy for you! Wasn't it FUN!!! Wouldn't you like to do that EVERY week!? Well you CAN! You go Oreo!

Lassiter Chase and Benjamin said...

Yay Oreo!!! Meatballs -- YUM !!! Are those the Meatballs that Sara makes herself. If I remember correctly, there was a video once of Oreo impatiently walking around as Sara cooked homemade meatballs in the frying pan in the kitchen. If those are Sara's homemade meatballs -- then, count me and Benjamin in to do some agility with Oreo and Chewy too! There's no way we would sit in a crate if meatballs were involved!!!

Chris and Ricky said...

That is wonderful Sara! Yay for Oreo!

Priscilla said...

What a big brave boy, Oreo!

We are so proud of you too!

Cat Chat With Caren And Cody said...

YAY Oreo!!!!!! What a great break through! We can relate because Dakota is also more on the fearful and nervous side...great job!

betty said...

Oreo gets to wear the crown! I am smiling from ear to ear with tears running down my cheeks. Oreo is truly a smart, smart dog. What a wonderful evening and experience for you. Make more meatballs!

Lian said...

WOW! I think that is a big step out for Oreo! Sometimes, having another dog especially an outgoing one like Chewy can help to bring the dog out. That's such fantastic news! I can see before long, Oreo will be at a trial :)

Nicki said...

That's fantastic! Never to late to overcome fears.

andrea said...

YAY for you
and your "would Oreo choose to do this?" question is why I adore you - thanks for always thinking of them!!

Honey the Great Dane said...

OH, I'm So happy to read this!!!! :-) It's wonderful news and I'm so happy for you & Oreo. Hopefully, it's a sign of a big step in the right direction. Keeping everything crossed for you!