Yesterday I thought that it was time to take Elsa out on her own. She's spent many a morning and afternoon out with Mom alone but that was before we moved. Since moving and losing two of our canine family members Luke was exhibiting some separation anxiety. What a heart string pulling behavior with all the loses that he has had to overcome. So we did everything together for a while. I've been wanting to get back to my usual routine for a while but haven't felt that it was the right time until yesterday.
I tried very hard to slip out but there is really no slipping with Luke, he is my constant shadow and always has been. So being that Elsa is my second shadow we head down stairs as I told Luke to wait and I'd be back soon. He stopped in his tracks as Elsa and I went to the front door. I quickly harnessed her up and exited. It is so very important to have one on one time with your dogs; especially the young ones. I cannot stress how essential it is. And if you happen to have two puppies at the same time? Alone time is even more important, it cannot be something that you will get around to. You must get them out alone at least 3-4 times a week.
Being alone helps to create a very tight bond as well as allow each dog to be all that they can be. They cannot go through life having back up and heaven forbid if anything happened to one, they must be able to cope. This is why I have always loved having three dogs; I could take one out and never had to leave one alone at home, they always had someone to hang with.
So, Elsa and I were headed to downtown Greenwich for some much needed "people" time. She's been to the beach and socialized with dogs a ton so we needed some humans to visit. She has already done lots of people socializing but you can never do too much of that. Being that she has spent a great deal of time off leash doing what she wants, basically running willy nilly at the beach we were going to work on obedience around humans.
We got there and started right away, she acts very differently away from Luke. She is much better when she is alone which is very normal for most dogs. We were heading to our second block when we ran into a couple with a black lab. They warned us not to go the way that we were headed. Their very friendly lab was standing hunched over and trembling like crazy. They told me that two dogs had just attacked him badly; they were up ahead and she described them for me. Being the very protective Mom that I am I obviously decided to turn around. I wanted to ask the couple what had happened but Elsa was doing her jumping bean routine which the obviously shaken Labrador did not need at the moment. They did tell me that the dogs had been leashed, that was a good thing.
Elsa and I headed up the way we had came; crossed the street and ran into the most wonderful kids. Two little girls and a caregiver; the girls were maybe 10 and 8 stopped and asked if they could visit with Elsa, YES. She adored every second with them and they with her. They told me about their dog at home; Pippin, a Portuguese water dog. They could not stop touching Elsa's coat, it is pretty amazingly soft right now which is why I have yet to take it off. We talked to these girls for a nice long time and then they went on their way; not before thanking me and telling us to have a wonderful day, great kids.
I then decided to load Elsa back into the car in case the attacking dogs were on their way back. Having your dog attacked can do such a great deal of damage; not only physically but emotionally. You can be left with a dog aggressive dog after an attack or a severely fearful dog. There are all sorts of fall out behaviors that can come from a bad attack. Although I did not witness the attack it was obvious from the literally shaking dog and the fact that the owners and passers by were checking the dog for puncture wounds that it had been severe.
This sort of thing is unacceptable; people know whether their dog is friendly or not. If not then keep them away from other dogs; tell people this fact. I don't know how many times I told owners that were coming my way that Jessie WAS NOT FRIENDLY. She was a very dominant female and thought nothing of giving other dogs a good lesson or two about who the reigning Queen was. If you have a very dog aggressive dog or two then you need to work with them in a safe environment. You must find a training facility that works with aggressive dogs and has other dogs to use as guinea pigs. You CANNOT use the general public to work and practice with; that is if you are trying to work on the issue at hand.
I was really mad, I'd finally left Luke at home alone and for what? At least we had got in some good kid socializing which is also imperative. But our trip was cut way short. As we head back to the car I saw a woman with a boxer that she was preparing to take out of her car and walk. I gave her the same heads up that the couple with the lab had given me. She thanked me and said she was going home to walk her dog.