I have become aware that I have a lot of new readers, so I will have to stop presuming that you know anything about me. Well, I am a dog person. Naturally, there are cats that I can and have appreciated, but push comes to shove, dogs win every time. I have Buddy. Buddy is a comfort dog and has traveled with me all over the country. He even went to Joplin to offer support to the victims of their tornado strike in 2011. I do not think you will find anyone that could suggest that I am not a fan of dogs. The thing is, not all dogs are equal. Unless you are very lucky, it takes a lot of work to end up with a dog like Buddy.
Tanya has Hershey. Hershey is one of those designer dogs, a miniature long-haired Dachshund. Hershey is a typical small, constantly yapping little dog that tries to make up for his lack of size by being obnoxious. I completely understand why Tanya got him. Dogs can bring a lot of comfort to a person when they are stressed. Hershey is little, so Tanya is able to hold him if she so desires. When Tanya lived in Indiana, I got Hershey to accept me, but he was never really comfortable with the fact that I was now the pack leader. That is the thing; Hershey always figured he was the pack leader before I got there. Tanya just did not have time to work with him; essentially he had no rules. As you might have guessed, he was going to have to change or life was not going to be easy. He was no longer pack leader. He went from being #1 to being #4 . . . although he might suggest that he is still at least #3.
When we first arrived back in California, I had time to work with him, and I tried. The thing is this dog thinks he is a cat! He would much rather sit in the sun on the back of the couch than go for a walk in the park. I forced him to go on walks. I use a Gentle Leader with Buddy, because I found that I had much more control of him when he was being leash trained. It is a great tool, so Tanya got one for Hershey. Since Hershey resisted every attempt to go walking, the leader did nothing but cut into his face when he would fight with it. It was pretty frustrating. Eventually, we found a leash setup that works for him and he would join Buddy and me at times. Tanya is not always capable of going on a 45 minute walk.
When I had to go to Las Vegas a couple weeks ago, Tanya started flaring and Hershey’s routine was broken up. He easily reverts back to being a punk and sure enough he did. Yes, it caused stress and yelling. My attitude towards him hit a new low. I know that my attitude towards Hershey was causing distress with Tanya, but I find it difficult to act like everything is okay if it is not. Last night Tanya and I discussed Hershey and my attitude and how yeah, I like Buddy more. I reminded Tanya of all the work I had done with Buddy to get him to where he is today. It all started with two walks a day, every day.
As Buddy and I prepared to leave for our evening walk last night, Tanya said that she and Hershey wanted to join us. We went for a mile walk and sure enough, this morning Tanya’s hips were a little sore. That did not stop her from wanting to join us again this morning. The photo above was taken during our morning walk. Hopefully this can become a routine that Hershey will enjoy and Tanya can physically participate in. Nothing would make me happier than for Hershey to acknowledge his rank in our pack and for him to start bugging me to go out for a walk every evening like Buddy does.