The wind is whipping through the house; I love it but Luke does not. Big storm watch on that started yesterday but we only started getting the rain at noon. The wind started earlier and has Luke on his toes all day. Luke spends much of his day on my bed while I'm on the computer which happens to be beside the big patio doors. Each time something blows his ears go back and he his eyes quickly dart to me for "this okay Mom?" I immediately go into my chill routine; often even whistling while I work. This calms him immediately; this is how you do it.
I have never had a dog that had so much outward behavior displays as Luke. And because of this he has taught me so much. While Jessie, Tilley and my other dogs may have been feeling strange their behavior was so small that you often missed it. So now I miss nothing; or at least I try very hard not to miss anything. This is done by watching; watching very closely. And this goes for anything; scary, loud, intimidating, startling or just plain weird.
Yesterday at the park our group of poodles was approaching a dog that was tied to a table. His guardian was exercising and her dog was anticipating our passing. He readied himself and started the all too familiar lunging and barking; it was a black sort of chow mix type. Knowing Luke does not back down when challenge and that we were going to pass at about a 10 foot distance I calmly said "leave it." He turned to look ahead and calmly walked by; of course he got a ton of praise. Had I opted to reel him in; telling him that it was all right and to ignore that dog things would have been far different.
My behavior in this situation let Luke know that I wasn't worried about this at all. Infact I never broke stride and continued to talk to my walking buddy. Tilley had no interest in this mad man on the end of the leash jumping and growling; she gave him a quick glance and fell into place as I called to her.
Lead by example!
Tomorrow's blog; over vaccinating.