When owners come to collect their beloved dogs there is generally an air of unconstrained excitement on behalf of both parties - and this is the natural order of things because no matter how much we love them while they are with us the dogs must be bonded more strongly to their family. However, there have been several occasions when this reunion has not played out the way we all expected...
We have had a young dog (no name or breed to protect the family) visiting us almost since we started business and his behaviour has been the subject of previous posts. He is a fantastic energetic, lovable boy who absolutely thrives on activity and of course mental stimulation and long cuddles. This is not unusual to any degree but what we also provide is time for the dog to just "be" without any unnecessary play or "bother". This regime seems to work for him because after a few days of acclimatisation he calms down and is just gorgeous. The trouble seems to be when the family come to collect him he is generally not that enthusiastic and that is an understatement! On one occasion we had to push him out of the door. The issue from our standpoint is that at the time there is embarrassment all round - although no-one would ever say anything.
Very recently a very young dog came to stay for weekend for the very first time. There was nothing unusual about his time with us other than he did like to cuddle in at night-time So we were astonished when the owners turned up desperate to say their boy and as they sat on the couch together the dog ignored them and sat between my legs on the floor. What do you say?
There are a number of owners who have reported that since their dogs have stayed with us, they always pull to come into the drive of our home whenever they walk past - whether they are due to stay or not and whether we are in the garden or not...
Of course these instances are great for the ego and they help to confirm that we are doing something right but my gosh, it is very difficult to manage the disappointment that the dogs' behaviour generates.