Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sweet Murmurings for Slim

Sweet Slim continues to improve. I just finished holding and loving on him. His coat is that soft, velvety type that so many Chihuahuas possess. Chihuahuas are great for people with allergies because their coats have no dander and they have no "doggy smell." I love Chihuahuas. Slim knows this because I told him tonight. Snuggling him, I whispered to him that he was a good dog, a handsome boy, and he closed his eyes and relaxed against me. I believe that dogs can feel what you're saying. I believe that when you tell them they are handsome, pretty, good, sweet, wonderful creatures they feel this and take it on. I swear I have seen dogs improve their confidence and attitude after I have praised them. Likewise, I believe you can whip and beat a dog with harsh words.
Dogs deserve so much more than we give them. They are such clever animals and so very kind. Any dog could bite your hand and crush the bones in it. But they don't usually, unless they are terrified or have been abused (even then so many cower instead of fighting back). Any time I have "lost it" and slapped one of my dogs, I have cringed and wanted to take it all back when I see them tuck tail and move away from me. I hear a voice in me whispering, "You bully! You coward! Slapping that dog . . . that dog who adores you and wants nothing so much as to please you." I used to slap more often, but the more I learn about dogs the more I know that such behavior is the action of someone who would rather hit than think.
If I take a moment to think, I will discover a better way to let the dog know what I want and what I don't want. Some trainers insist that giving a dog "time out" by placing them in a crate and ignoring the dog for half an hour or so is pointless. I have found that for my dogs it works. They want to be with me, and when I isolate them, they calm down and are more eager to pay attention to what I want from them once I let them out of the crate.
It's so good to see Slim's tail wagging. Poor kid just got a rocky start in life and needs time to smooth off his edges. He will get there. We will get there together.

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