Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sometimes All It Takes is Sadie

A week or two ago, I had a particularly bad day with Hurley in the shop.  One of the ones that prompted me to decide that he needed to stay at home for a while.  Needless to say, I was upset and feeling a bit defeated when I got home.  So I did the one thing I know will always lift my spirits:  Spending time with Sadie.

Sadie and I went for a walk.  Sadie's not perfect on walks.  She's my Excita-Bull and reacts to other dogs by barking.  Barking Joyfully.

Having one dog with resource guarding issues leading to reactivity, another dog with quickly fading leash aggression issues and a third with a history of fear aggression, I know one bark from the next.  Sadie's my joyful barker.

Sure enough, on our walk, we saw a couple dogs.  She immediately went into joyful barking mode.  Now, as a rule, I don't encourage any barking in relation to other dogs while on leashes.  I know all too well how this can quickly turn into going over threshold and bam! leash aggression.  We work on this with Sadie during our walks.

But on this particular day, it was so refreshing and soul-lifting to witness her expressing her joy through barking.  Of course, I told her "That's Enough" (which we are diligently working on as her stop barking cue, with mixed results).  So she sat at my side.  Lifted her snout.  Barked once.  Turned her head the other way.  Maintained her sit.  Barked a second time.  I couldn't help it.  I laughed.  And so there we were on the sidewalk, me laughing and her giving short, quick, joyful barks while in a perfect sit at my side.

I'm sure the people passing us by thought we were both nuts.  But I didn't care because Sadie gave me what she always gives me when I need it:  a reason to laugh.


  1. That's a great story. Somehow they just always know what we need, right?

    Delilah barks more aggressively and I haven't figured out if she just wants to greet (or eat) the other dog. I try and make her sit but she is Delilah after all so sometimes I just remove her from the situation. :-)

  2. So great that you know all the nuances of reactivity, and are able to even enjoy some of their manifestations! Reactive dogs aren't easy, but they can be funny and joyful creatures to be around. Sounds like Sadie did really well with the situation!

  3. My son once said,"If we can make mom laugh we can get away with anything." Dogs seem to learn that quickly. Great story.

  4. If you have several dogs, I guess one will always provide just what you need at a given time. Glad you and Sophie had such a joyful walk.

  5. Hi Y'all,

    Stoppin' to say "hello" and see how y'all are doing.

    Hope you have a fantastic rest of the week!

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  6. Cute! I always say that Cali is just announcing herself :) I'm glad that she helped brighten your day :)

  7. Sounds like Sadie has a little bit of sassy love in her. lol So cute. I can relate so many times with each of my dogs when they respond like that. That, I'm going to keep barking cause I'm happy, but I'll do it with some manners. So there!

    Glad you have Sadie to cheer you up! And more importantly she had no problem doing it. :)

  8. From reading your blog for awhile now, I love all of your dogs...but I think Sadie is my favorite! :)