The other night, I hit rock bottom. It was my fault. I failed. I caused it. I f-ed up. I am still really upset about it.
Basically I had Gypsy behind the x-pen in the living room and Apollo had the rest of the house. He had his food bowl on the floor. I forgot the bowl was there. I let Gypsy out so I could take her out to potty. She didn’t have a leash on. She ran toward the bedroom. I recalled her and she came half way but then turned around. I’m not sure where Apollo exactly was but she ran into the bedroom and jumped on the bed to where Apollo was when I walked in and she proceeded to attack him. Lucky I jumped in right away. She actually barely touched him. His fur wasn’t went and there weren’t any wounds or anything but she did go after him. As soon as I broke it up, I punished her. It was so fast I didn’t even think about it. I basically bopped her on the nose. I knew it was wrong but at the time I wasn’t even thinking. As soon as I did it, I just broke down crying. I couldn’t stop crying. I took the dogs outside for potty and Gypsy stayed on leash all night long on the bed. She didn’t seem to have any leftover aggression toward Apollo. I was still crying. I cried until I got a migraine. I hit rock bottom. Hard.
The next morning I was still really upset with myself, for setting up the situation for a major failure and for the punishment. Apollo seemed fine. Gypsy was completely over it. I was really afraid of fallout from the nose bop. I’ve worked so hard to have her trust me and follow me — and I ruined it. I really f-ed up, so I thought. Gypsy was a little distant that night but by morning I’m happy to say she was over it. No fallout. I still am upset though.
So we immediately started some relationship building games again. And they’re going well. We’re playing fetch with a toy she likes and treats when she brings the toy back and I’m starting a little perch work too. It’s going great and a lot of fun. She’s never really liked toys and she is having a blast with this little turtle or frog toy that we found on sale at the pet store. She plays fetch with enthusiasm and speed and brings the toy back to me and I give her a treat. She’s trusting me.
Tonight we had agility class and she was a rock star. She wore her thundershirt and I had her on a short ribbon — about 3 feet long. She rocked it. I even messed up a handling move and she didn’t bolt off. She looked at me, looked around like she was thinking of what to do, then looked back at me. She did fantastic and I’m so happy considering the last 2 days we’ve had. I’m smiling again.
So that’s why I missed posting the last 2 days. I’ve been too upset and didn’t really know what to write. I admit I messed up big time. I want this documented on my blog when I come back and read this in a few months. I also needed to clear my head.
On another note, Dr. Yin posted on her Facebook page that she saw a student of hers using what they’ve learned in class in other places in the park. I posted that I too use her methods whenever we go, and that I always am ready to reward at all times so I can capture behaviors I like. Dr. Yin wrote back that she was really happy to see that and that my dog is happier because of it. That made me smile.
Tonight I am thankful that the corgi laying next to me on the couch right now still loves me, and that Apollo still loves Gypsy.