Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Passably Normal

That's Tally. Tally is one of my Very Favoritist Dogs Ever. She's a former fighting bust dog from Florida, she's sweet as chocolate, and I got to hang with her in all her yodeling, flipper-footed glory for a whole twenty minutes in Therapy Dog class on Sunday.

See the little blonde dot in the background? That's Rubi. She's working with Tally's person, Ruth. Ruth is all kinds of awesome sauce, but Rubi has only ever met Ruth in passing, and Ruth, to the best of my knowledge, has never had a reactive dog before.

This did not prevent Rubi from being on her best behavior.

I can now add "hand Rubi off to a strange person in a room full of other dogs and expect her to not act like a crazy banshee beast" to our list of accomplishments. While we had other goals (post coming, I promise), I'm pretty sure this is our biggest achievement of Therapy Dog Class. Rubi did even try to pull any stupid stuff - her biggest flaw was repeated shifting from front position into heel position. I mean, that's not even on my List of Thing That Annoy Me About Rubi. She didn't even so much as look sideways at any of the other dogs.

When I got Rubi, I never even considered the possibility that I would be able to do something like this with her. Granted, I wouldn't expect her to be able to hold herself together if the person hadn't been someone as awesome as Ruth, or if she hadn't have had the last five weeks of class with these dogs. Somehow, that doesn't lessen my pride. Rubi and I have poured hundreds of hours into desensitization and counter conditioning, and here is our reward: she can fake normal when I'm not right on top of her.

It was a good day.

Photo of Rubi and I in class by Paige.


  1. "Somehow, that doesn't lessen my pride." - And it shouldn't!! We have a reactive dog, too and we take the wins no matter how small!

  2. Congratulations to all 3 of you! Enjoy!

  3. Love it! Such a "proud mama" moment! So happy for you!