We were having a problem with Jingle. She’d started to become aggressive with other dogs when we were out on walks. She used to love every dog in the neighborhood. Now she’s snarling at them, showing her teeth, the second they start to sniff. We deduced it had something to do with Yippee the Chihuahua. Was she protecting him? He’s full of bravado but he’s less than ten pounds. Does she think he’s in danger?
We started walking them separately, but Jingle continued snapping at other dogs she used to be thrilled to see.
I took her out in the back yard one morning to do her business, and as I watched her sniff around, I thought, “I wish I could get inside her head. I wish I knew what was upsetting her. I wish I could talk to some kind of dog whisperer.”
While were were out, while I was having this wishful thinking about Jingle, someone was commenting on my blog. Someone who had interviewed us back in July for a news station in Denver. Someone who is a pet intuitive, though I didn’t know she was a pet communicator ’til I came inside and clicked on her link!
I made an appointment for the following week.
Before I could keep it, the very next day, a neighbor was over and her sister happened to be in town, and the sister used to be a dog trainer. She gave me a lot of insight into what was going on.
She believed the problem behind Jingle was Yippee. And the problem behind Yippee, was me.
While out on walks, Yippee barks and lunges and it’s really quite ridiculous, since he’s afraid of his own shadow. I don’t take it seriously and don’t correct him, because I can control his leash with one finger, and just yank him back. The thing is, Jingle does take him seriously, and if he’s misbehaving, and he isn’t being corrected, then in her mind, he’s the boss. He’s the alpha. And even if she really wants to listen to me, she can’t, because in a pack, you listen to the Alpha. So Yippee has all this fear, and barks and lunges at the other dogs, and Jingle follows suit. And now she’s actually taken on the fear and the behavior. Our neighbor’s sister said we need to treat Yippee the same as we would if he were a Rottweiler.
Next, it was time to talk to Marianne, the pet intuitive. If you don’t believe in things like intuition or psychic abilities feel free to run along. I’ve personally had experiences which lead me to believe there is a lot more going on in the Universe than what we understand with our five senses, so I am open to it.
This is how it works. You send her pics of the pets and she communicates with them and asks them questions and also tells them things we want them to know. Whether it would turn out to be legit or not, it was not too expensive, so we thought it would be worth it to try.
She said Jingle is exasperated with Yippee, appalled by his bad manners and needs regular breaks from him. I can’t imagine why?
She said Jingle is overwhelmed and confused with the Yippee situation and also with her role as a service dog as Riley becomes more and more independent. We have not been taking her out in public as much because Riley has not needed her as much and she doesn’t understand why she’s being left behind.
Yippee: She said Yippee truly believes in his heart, he and Seth are brothers.
Like a cocky (yet inwardly insecure) frat boy, he is happily running the show, and could benefit from some time in training, learning manners, tricks, agility, etc. to challenge him and allow him to use his brilliant mind for good and not evil.
Sam is our gray cat, and as you can see he has an eating disorder. He eats anything and everything. He ate my curtains. He eats the rubber pad underneath the treadmill. He eats paper bags. He eats plants. He eats cardboard boxes. He eats shoe laces. He chews stuffed animals. We got him and our calico at a shelter as kittens and believe he was probably weaned too soon.
Sam also wants to go out. He tries to slip out the front door all the time. We made the decision to have Sam and his sister Tanya strictly “indoor” a fear based decision, after our beloved cat Crystal was mangled in our back yard. Then we had them de-clawed because they were destroying all the woodwork in the house. In hindsight, I would risk it and let them be outside, and not de-claw. So now, the dilemma, let Sam out? Without his front claws? It would help his restlessness (and his girth). Some of our neighbors’ cats are outdoor and de-clawed. They tell me cats use their back claws for fighting and the front ones don’t matter so much.
So I asked the intuitive this: Is it worth it to Sam, to take the risk and have the freedom? She answered for him, “Yes.” (I had only sent a face shot to her, so she hadn’t even seen his impressive derriere).
Tanya is our chronically pissed off cat. She’s the one who chased the stray kitten under Seth’s box spring and would not let it out. She terrorized the poor thing. She struts around the house, flicking her tail like she’s just so irritated. She is LOUD. Demanding. Strikingly beautiful. Marianne said Tanya feels like the leftover pet. The one we pay attention to last. She had Riley all to herself before Jingle and now she’s an afterthought. She said she doesn’t like having to sleep downstairs in the basement at night (we make her because she wakes up at the crack of dawn meowing and we were losing too many hours of sleep). Since talking with Marianne, we’ve been trying to give her more attention and it seems to be helping. We typically had to chase her around the house to get her in the basement and the past few nights she’s been walking downstairs voluntarily.
So that’s it in a nutshell. Lots to think about.
Overwhelmed? Me too. When you clump it all together like that, it’s a lot. But in the course of a day, two happy dogs keep two happy kids company. Two cats lounge lazily in sunbeams. It isn’t as bad as it seems. Yippee is taking direction, being forced to sit and mind, rather than bark at passersby. Jingle is getting breaks, and eating separatly from the “Rottweiler.” We still have a lot of work to do, and we’ll never get it all done. Everyone’s needs won’t always be met. Human needs will always come first, but we’ll do our best to make the critters happy.
We love our animals.
Pray for us.