Hello Wonderful Readers!
I hope this post finds you well and you are having a great start to your day. The first day of fall was yesterday and everyone in Ohio got to enjoy some beautiful weather. I had a great day yesterday and wanted to share my “ah-ha” moment with you.
Almost 8 weeks ago I fostered an American Pit Bull Terrier. He was past due on his euth date so unless someone stepped in ASAP, he was going to be “terminated.” Even though he was not on the adoption floor, a wonderful rescue group and I were able to save him. He came home Tuesday, August 5th and this is him on his freedom ride home.
We named him Romeo.
The first 5-6 weeks were great. He was a little stubborn when it came to listening and pulled a lot when being walked (and man, is he STRONG!) but otherwise, was great. He snuggled, was calm and loving towards my kids, loved sticking his head out my car window, could be crated with no issue AND he LOVED my first dog, Lily. I took him to the dog park daily and there he made a lot of friends, ran like a mad man and rolled around in the grass.
Happy as pie.
It wasn’t until about 2 weeks ago or so that I saw a change. He became overly protective over my kids and his rough housing with other dogs came on quicker and more intense than before. His bark is loud and deep, quite intimidating at times. He also charged a dog that was jumping all over my kids and since that experience I’ve been quite a nervous wreck. I shamefully questioned what I was even doing with him.
Could I handle him? Is he going to hurt a dog? Or worse, a person? Will I be able to train him and have him listen to me? I was very emotional over this. Here I did this great thing and rescued a dog that I wasn’t so sure I wanted anymore. Sadly, it just seemed that life was easier without him.
However, that isn’t the kind of person I am. I knew I wasn’t getting “rid” of him but I couldn’t deny the feelings of wanting to. He needs work. A lot of work but that’s what I signed up for when I signed the adoption papers. I’m a big believer that certain things speak to us for a reason and that I am meant to help rehab him and keep him until his time on Earth is over. What’s the reason? I’m not quite sure but I have faith we will both come out better for it though.
What’s the reason? I’m not quite sure but I have faith we will both come out better for it though.
But like I said earlier, yesterday was wonderful. I woke up to him resting his head on me. I decided it was time to take a break from the dog park because it became a source of negative experiences and stress for him and I. So we went for a walk on a trail close to my home with my son, he listened incredibly well and took a long afternoon nap.
It was the first day in 2 weeks where I wasn’t stressed. He wasn’t stressed. It was enjoyable. He even wagged his tail a few times which, let me tell you, is hard to get out of him! My heart was full of so much happiness I could have cried.
He still needs a lot of work- consistent training and structure. Maybe we will never be able to play at the dog park like we did before because the excitement is too much for him. Yesterday, I let go of my need to control everything and realized: that’s okay. And that’s where my big ah-ha moment came.
My need to control everything was making things worse. I was trying to figure out how to keep him integrated with other dogs and he was clearly telling me it was too much and was acting out. So I let go of control and seemed to gain exactly what I was looking for in the first place; control.
My only job is to create a loving, compassionate and safe environment that helps him be HIS best.
I don’t know his history but I do know he is truly wonderful and I know he’s here to teach me quite a bit about life so… here goes nothing.