Sunday, June 19, 2016
Monday, June 13, 2016
I love my dog. I really do. She can be the sweetest thing some days but she takes her job very seriously - too seriously, sometimes. And her job - in her doggie brain - is to protect me from everyone who is trying to kill me. And goodness knows, those people can be anywhere.
Take a few weeks ago, for instance.
I was picking Bella up from daycare that Saturday at 4 in the afternoon. We had a short walk from the daycare front door to my SUV in the parking lot. The parking lot was empty except for one gentleman who pulled up just as we were exiting the daycare. I tried to be calm. I didn't want to telegraph to Bella that she needed to do anything but walk past him and on to our car.
But I was not so lucky. Just as we passed the young man, she started barking. I'm not sure exactly what happened. It's all a blur but Bella barked and then growled and then lunged. I didn't want her to get loose so I held on with all my might. Bella is no small dog. She weighs 65 pounds and is very strong. And keep in mind, she had her job to do.
Before I knew it, I was on the ground and Bella was still pulling and I was still holding on. By this time, the young man was upset too, thinking he had caused the accident. So he leaned toward me to see if I was all right and started to apologize.
That made Bella more upset. "Don't talk to my mother!"
I must have been a sight. I had hit the ground with full force on my left knee which was now killing me. Then, because Bella was still pulling, I fell further and hit my right hip and shoulder. So, there I was, sunglasses askew, holding my knee and desperately holding on to a barking and now growling dog.
I managed to settle her down, decided my knee probably wasn't broken, and hobbled to my car and got her in.
By this time, I was in severe pain and worried if maybe I had broken something after all. I was so upset I was actually feeling physically ill. All I knew was I needed to get home.
Home was about 5 minutes away but I wasn't sure how I was going to make it.
I prayed. I took deep breaths.
Needless to say, I did make it home. Thankfully, nothing was broken.
But I knew something had to change.
So I set up a training session with Tracy Bella's trainer the following week.
The training session was a success and Bella did great on the leash, even allowing complete strangers to approach her and pet her.
But Tracy noted that Bella is very strong, too strong for me to control safely.
So he suggested a harness with a front attachment for her leash. I immediately bought it and it has made a world of difference.
Bella walks very well now and is less fearful.