Rich and I found a dog whisperer to work with Honey. For those of you who don’t know, we bought Honey from a family that said they were raising English Retrievers (a smaller white colored golden retriever) and using the money to help their daughter pay for cancer treatment. OK, we believed they weren’t a puppy mill, but unfortunately, what you don’t know can really hurt. After we got Honey, we realized that with coon hound puppies, black lab puppies, Newfoundland puppies, and others we couldn’t see, they were basically just throwing food and water at each mother and puppies, and that was that. Honey had no interaction with humans, was terrified of Rich and his deep voice, had mites from cats being in her (I’m not sure what it’s called) kennel? It was a barn that I think they just threw hay in an area and the mother and puppies stayed in that part of the barn. Honey had to fight for food, for water, for everything. She had terrible fleas and a parasite that took months to get rid of, because it comes from a dirty (again, not sure of the term) kennel. We had to take her to the vet every week for almost three months, and of course, when I called the breeder, they’d never had anyone else call about their puppy. The Humane Society doesn’t have anyone to help with puppy mills or neglected animals, and AKC wanted nothing to do with my questions. It took us a year to potty train her and she’s more afraid today than she was a year ago.
The vet told us that it would be a long hard road for Honey, but since we’ve had so many dogs and all have lived to be over 15, the vet knew we could handle her. But as time goes by, her anxiety has gotten worse and worse. I didn’t want to take her to just anyone to help, and this woman came very highly recommended and I can see why. Although she noted Honey’s anxiety with her, Honey sat at her feet almost instantly. I never knew when a dog was anxious, their tongue gets wider in the front part, so it hangs over both sides of their mouth. Honey’s tongue was like that through the whole training session, until the trainer let her rest. She immediately crawled onto my lap and settled in…It was the first time her tongue fit inside her mouth. It was hard to watch.
She gave us some good training and I’m really hoping it will help Honey. It’s supposed to boost her confidence and help her to focus. I wonder if there’s a training exercise to help me focus….probably not..some old dogs, you just can’t teach new tricks.