So it's been a very long time since my last post, and a lot has happened with Millie. She finally got spayed in June which was a big relief. Poor Millie had something wrong with her uterus and was perpetually in heat! No wonder she was so anxious!
For the last month Millie has been in Vermont boarding and training with Kevin Behan while I've been travelling for work. On the whole, Millie is a much more confident and happy dog since I met her in January, but she is sometimes unpredictable. Some days she barks incessantly at guests, some days not at all. Some days she will lunge at a passerby or running child, and others she will let strangers put their face in hers and pet her. Every time a stranger leans towards her, I'm crossing my fingers! lol. So I thought it would be really good for Millie to spend time with Kevin Behan, who Lee Charles Kelley learned from, as well as take a lovely break from the New York City heat.
Earlier this week I went up to visit Millie and see Kevin and it was a wonderful experience. I had missed her a lot!
Seeing Millie out there in a forest reminded me that she is a dog, an animal... All too often as owners we think of our dogs as people or try and relate to them on our level, but there is so much more enjoyment to be had just seeing them as an animal, as pure nature, and connecting with them on their level. Seeing her in her element actually made me understand what she is feeling and what she needs, as well as making me feel connected with my inner animal too!
And Kevin is so great with her and such a wonderful teacher. It's like music watching him interact with Millie and try to coax her to let go of all that anger/fear.
She certainly seems a much happier dog. She is softening up, looks a little less like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders, and has lost some of the excess weight she was carrying too. But she's still holding on to that bite of hers. No matter how much she is pushed (not physically!) , she still won't grab a toy and pull it lol. She is a tough cookie for sure. I think she's on the cusp though, and Kevin showed me some exercises he has been doing with her which I'm going to get going on when she gets back on Monday. It's certainly a much longer process than I ever imagined but I feel I understand much better now what Millie is feeling and what she needs from me to help her iron out those kinks.