Friday, April 23, 2010

A Loss of Independence

Missaroo has lost some of her independent spirit. I really made the connection for the first time yesterday. When I was working overnight and sleeping during the day, Missy was forced to entertain herself for at least a couple of hours because it was so unnatural for her to sleep during the day. ((It was equally as unnatural for me)) She would usually sit down at the foot of the bed and chew a bone, and then she'd wander off to another part of the apartment to bury it. But then we moved, and a lot about the Missaroo changed.

Living with the wonderful Sims family was hard on both of us. They are amazing for taking us in and letting us live there, and there is no doubt we would have been homeless or at least living out of our storage unit if it hadn't been for their generosity. But we went from living in an apartment to living in a bedroom, with nothing we owned in it. Missy and I were four feet away from each other at all times. She lived on her leash when we were anywhere but the bedroom. It was hard for her. Plus, the rules had changed on her and anyone who knows a thing or two about a dog in training knows inconsistency is a recipe for disaster.

I did keep up with her training, but it was very confusing to her. She didn't have a concept of what belonged to her or where she was allowed and where she wasn't. She use to move things around the room because she just didn't get it. And she certainly went back to hating the crate. It was still never used as punishment but every time I turned around there was either a kid inside of it or the door was closed. Missy couldn't even go into her safe place if she wanted to.

Some of that has changed now that we've been in Spokane for nearly 8 months. You've seen the pictures of her going into her crate on her own. She's also reclaimed what is her's. She understands all of her things go into the crate. If it didn't start there it doesn't belong to her. We can do this again because she can go into the crate and get those things back out. But the one thing she's never gone back to is chewing on a bone while I sleep. Almost every morning she gets up bright and early to go to the bathroom, and the she waits. She waits for me to get up and does nothing but wait. Or at night, when she's not ready to sleep and I am she still won't get that bone and quietly chew by herself, she just wines at me instead.

I've tried taking her bone into the bedroom with me like I use to, but she just ignores it. It's a part of her independent behavior she's never recovered. We have definitely made strides and I'm proud of what we've survived and overcome but a lot of her training went out the window in those two and a half months. I'm not sure we'll ever get that part of her back, not to mention we'll never get our independence from each other back.

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