Saturday, December 26, 2015

Thoughts on Amy and Andy

I've been thinking about writing a message to the adoption people locally, and in Kentucky where Amy and Andy's current journey started. I have been in touch with both, and contacted the head of the KY agency to try and discover a little background on A&A.

By the way, all in all, they are doing very well. Their health is excellent. They are happy, and their appetites are great. Their training is making progress, although sometimes it seems to be exceedingly slow. And sometimes we have moved backwards. A lot is dependent on the task.

Now that their fur has grown out, they are beautiful. I did not take them with this thought, but it is nice, when walking in a public place, and people's eyes get big, and they say "What beautiful puppies!". I can't say that doesn't do something for my ego! But they are still very nervous around strangers and in strange places. When talking to a new person on our runs, Andy will often literally hides behind me, like a child hanging on to Mother's skirts!

The reason I have been thinking about writing to the agencies is to put forth a "lessons learned". And basically, that may be this one message: it might have been better to adopt them out separately.

They are very affectionate to each other, and I suppose one could say they are "bonded". Which is certainly true. However, that same bonding, which probably kept them "sane" while surviving the previous adoption home, now works against them. When together, they have a significantly larger reaction to their sibling than they do to me, their human and their trainer. Which means that days and weeks of progress can be undone in a second.

Ideally, for me, would be to send one out to a rural family for 3 to 6 months, for socialization and training. If it were only 3 months, I might have to switch and then repeat with the other sibling. I don't exactly know. Never done the like before.

But the English Shepherd trainer that I got in touch with, second-hand? The comment I got used the word 'idiot' when talking about adopting the dogs out as a pair. Pretty harsh, eh? Well, they had not seen the dogs together, so that was certainly a generic comment. Meaning it applies in general - maybe not so much to this specific couple.

But I can see the truth in what they said. I mean, what is the most important objective here? The dogs' happiness? Or that they are happy and develop to something like their potential to work with their human compatriots? Obviously, a dog whose happiness is considered the highest priority by his humans is a spoiled dog. We don't want that.

But figuring out where the lines lie after that - that is the hard part.

Anyway, sorry, but I will have to finish this post tomorrow or the next day. See ya!


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