I am having soooooo much fun witnessing kindness and love! Yeah! Why haven’t I done this sooner?!
Today I took my little Tater Tot to a park, then an ice cream shop, then another park. This is BIG news because up until a few weeks ago he barked at everything that came his way and taking him out to 3 different places would have been out of the question. He did so well today that he even let children come and pet him! (Trust me, that is huge!) So, when I brought him to the 3rd place, I probably should have thought it through a little more.
It was crawling with screaming kids. The energy there was high and he had already been out and about for almost 5 hours. I know I am not at my best when I am tired, so if I had really thought it through I probably would have realized that I may have been asking too much of him. Still, he was doing great until a very young lab showed up. Then the barking began. I worked with him and continued with his training but all I could hear were kids saying, “look at that dog. He’s so loud” “why won’t he stop barking?” With a deep breath I continued. And, I could get him to settle every once in a while. Knowing how far he had come, I was actually quite impressed by his control and behavior despite what others may have been thinking.
A woman was there with her 16 month old foster child. She looked at me compassionately and said, “I give you credit. I know how hard it is to work with chihuahuas. I have a chi mix myself.” She praised my efforts and we struck up a wonderful conversation most of which had nothing to do with dogs. After about 10 minutes of lots of patience on both our parts while trying to talk over Tater’s intermittent (LOUD) barks; quite a few more dogs started to show up. At this point Tater could no longer settle so it was time for us to go.
As we were leaving I heard the woman say, “I think it’s great what you are doing. It’s important to try to acclimate them to new surroundings. Forget about these other people and any stares you are getting. You are doing a great job.”
Imagine how much more we could accomplish in this world if we all just encouraged each other more. Thank you loving, kind, compassionate stranger.