By almost every measure one uses to determine what makes a dog a good dog, Bella passes the test.
- She doesn't counter surf.
- She doesn't get into the garbage.
- She doesn't pull on the leash. (Well, at least she doesn't for me. She and Jan are still working on that.)
- She doesn't beg.
- She doesn't incessantly bark. (Understandably the postman would debate that point.)
- She doesn't chew stuff up. (Although she steals stuff, she does not ruin it.)
- She comes when 'chicken' is called. (It's our recall word. Don't laugh, it works.)
- She does not have accidents in the house.
- She doesn't jump up on people. (Although that may be changing. We'll work on it.)
- She's not destructive when left home alone.
She does sometimes resource guard but you might be surprised to discover that she does not resource guard her food. In fact, Jan and I often have to tempt Bella to eat her breakfast by hand-feeding her. I can take her bowl away from her while she's eating if I forget to put her medicine in her food without any hesitation at all. Does that surprise you?
Bella is a bright, curious and enthusiastic learner. Everyone who meets her from passersby to vet techs, trainers and interns absolutely falls in love with her. (They've even written comments on her intake/release notes telling us how charming she it. I kid you not.) She is a sweet and even sometimes cuddly dog. Who just happens to have some trust/fear issues.
When she attacked me in December, I admit it shook me up. She and I avoided each other for a few days.
It hurt, too. Emotionally, I mean. I thought she trusted me...
But the fact is, it's not personal. Bella isn't 'attacking' out of any emotion other than pure panic. In her mind, I believe, Bella thinks she is fighting for her life.
Over the coming weeks I intend to cover:
- What happened the night she attacked me, and why what I did played a huge part in making it worse than it should have been,;
- Our visit to Dr. Dodman, what we talked about and how he was the first person to hear what Jan and I were saying in the 2+ years we've been working through these issues with Bella,
- The options we were given for possible treatment plans,
- What plan we selected and what we've been doing to address Bella's issues since, and
- How she's doing on the new protocol.
I will tell you everything I think you should know. But let me know in the comments if you have specific questions and I will make an effort to answer them.