Thursday, February 05, 2009

The trouble with blogs

The trouble with blogging is that so much and so little happens during the intervals when you don't post--making it seem at once overwhelming and underwhelming to compose an update to bridge the gap.

So I won't. Much.

I'll just say that the house is still divided and I'm working with a different trainer and part of my difficulty is not having a second human around to work the dogs simultaneously.

And of course the bigger problem still seems to be how overwhelmed I feel by this situation. I need structure and strength and the dogs need me to model that for them and I'm not doing it. Not consistently. Which is the whole point, right?

Since my last posting I've added the following to my repertoire and debt-load:
  • two sessions with an animal behaviorist (about 90 minutes outside of town--actually good because I was willing to drive out of state) who specializes in Tellington methods and says the dogs demonstrate the potential to be trained back into peaceful coexistence but they're not likely to ever be pals because what Petunia appears to want most from Buddy is to be left alone. (BTW I recently read online that Garbo said, "I never said, 'I want to be alone', I said, 'I want to be left alone'. There is all the difference." Yep. And in my continued empathy with Petunia I so get that. But I persist in believing I mustn't let my domestic history color my sense of what's needed for a reasonable canine homelife.)
  • 60 bales of straw, delivered to my house so I could make a barrier to prevent Petunia from fence-fighting with the killer rottie (I've mentioned this, right?, that the rottie--who can actually be very sweet to humans--killed a doxie four doors down from us, in its own yard?). But the straw was too loosely bound to stack and started to fall apart as we unloaded it from the truck and was clearly going to be a nightmare in many ways so I paid the farmer for his time (ka-ching) and sent it back
  • fence posts, a post driver (that was a new experience), wire fencing, cloth, and staples--my latest alternative to the above
  • enrollment for mom and me at an all-day Tellington workshop this weekend
  • kennel fees for the dogs while we're at the above
  • a collection of Bach's Flower Remedies and of course the book on using them with dogs
  • more gear (including some at-home agility equipt since we can't do the lessons for a while, and "balancing" stuff for the Tellington approach)

Yes. I hear myself. Yes. I get it. Yes there are people with children who do this and these aren't children. Yes there are two-dog households where everyone gets along and there's maybe two leashes and two collars and that's it. Yes of course this is all about me.

* * *

I have one of those families in which everyone talks over-frankly about whoever isn't around. It's the default cocktail conversation topic. All good people but always eager to critique and to recount epic failures. I used to assume all families did this but my ex-husband's family *never* did--in 16 years of holidays with them I never ever saw it happen. Over time, perhaps because of my exposure to the alternate universe of the other family (who, truth be told, often exasperated/bored me with their tendency to refrain from saying anything about anything) I found myself feeling badly for whoever wasn't in the room. Even so it really wasn't until very recently that this one bothered me: the periodic discussion about how it's just as well Aunt Divorcee never had children because imagine how screwed up they'd be . . . Backed up by stories of her married life centering around a couple of overly pampered dogs, especially after the miscarriage, and wrapped up with the comforting postscript: "The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways."

Year after year this discussion never bothered me.


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