Friday, September 10, 2010

Going the miles for Miles

Or...that sad Frost line arises: and Miles to go before I sleep. Such sadness underscores the beauty of our fragile at-risk Berkeley dogs. Beautiful, happy (once he's befriended you!) Miles epitomizes this beauty. Some of you may wonder why he hasn't been posted, and why he has a special 'HALTI ONLY' warning on his Red-Dot walk card.

Well, Miles is a doll. He sits to be collared, as he knows you're taking him out; and he runs like a stallion, with or without his toys, in the play area. (Almost knows "drop it"!)

But, as some may know, he was distressed at being left at BACS and can be high-strung and barky with strangers at his barrier. Then, he had to be sedated in order for the vet to check out his badly infected ears. Kate and Tim have done a wonderful job acclimating him to his probably lifelong ear meds. But Miles also has a drama-king's aversion to the prong collar (I've developed some ambivalence about using the prong for my dog, as there are effective trainers and training sites who have gentler methods and consider the prong a tool of torture--see below): i.e., he will start yelping and sometimes jump and roll around in a fit of civil disobedience. Humor aside, he's never redirected with me; but I know he'd get himself in trouble were anyone to try a pop correction with him.

Those who walk him regularly know he's amenable enough to the Halti--he'll actually slip right into it! though his affection for other dogs makes him a bit feisty when they pass.

But he did pass his temp test on that score: great with dogs; also with cats--but then! the old vet aversion kicked in when his paws were handled during his temp test: he tried to bite. He is probably set to be a 'rescue-only' boy.

Yet everyone at BACS seems to realize that Miles is essentially a great, loving, safe dog--with this handling caveat.
Obviously, though, that's some caveat, and it's important not to be complacent about his apparent ease, to prevent him from 'getting in trouble.'

So I am hoping other Miles fans will join me in experimenting with some Dog Listening (NOT Whispering) methods that saved former BACS inmate Mallory, an extremely dog-reactive lab mix who was otherwise a love. The day she was to be put down, she was rescued by Dog Listening trainer Penny Locke. Some of her and a colleague's video links listed below. And some lovely shots of a happy happy Miles in the doggie play pen. Please contact me if you're interested in working with Kyree, an Oakland -based Dog Listener, to help Miles--and maybe also help dogs like Bella, Noodle, Faye, Jasper--smooth out their mouthy kinks. BACS also has Jan Fennel's DVD, and I have a copy as well if you'd like to borrow. All part of our Red Dot Education! Alexandra (510) 849-2613

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxfP2O09bx0 Cali plays with a tire/early days

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELXqugUj9rA Cali sharing space

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEjPOpIgrXQ But it's mine today

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNRDHpNtFk4 (22bradshaw's rescue of a 'vicious' South African Dutch shepherd)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nN84oAl8tCA (part 2)




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