[IRLGuideDogs] Viv

  • From: "Alison Flack" <flack@xxxxxx>
  • To: <irlguidedogs@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006 22:26:16 +0100

Just to bring you all up to date on my news.  The big news is that Clint has
been matched with a lovely lady who, I think, is a first time guide dog
owner.  They tell me she is a lovely lady who is tall with long fair hair
just like Clint but I think they may be pulling my leg!  Either way I wish
them all the best together.

I now have my work cut out with Viv.  I was delighted to get a German
Shepherd pup again as I really love those dogs, they are great fun, always
with you and very intelligent.  The down side is they are awful as pups as
they need constant attention and stimulation to keep them amused, in fact
they demand attention which is great when you are not busy doing something
else like cooking or cleaning and as for gardening it is a disaster as they
continually want to help and insist on doing some digging for you.  Viv is a
demon for water and is also very intelligent, she knows I do not allow her
in the garden pond but you can see her walk past and just accidentally slip
in.  she then climbs out looking contrite only to run off with a smile on
her face and I feel she has just got one over on me again.

Her house training was a disaster initially but suddenly one day it clicked
and she is now great except for night time and that is another battle but no
doubt it will come.  The big problem I have with Viv is she is very car
sick, I have tried the Dap spray which Ken Brydon gave me, initially it
seemed to work but is not so great now so I have attached a static strip to
the car bumper and we will see how that goes.  At the moment it is just too
hot to have a pup in the car anyway.  

When I do get her to the shops she is excellent and loves to parade around
and inspect everything.  She is the complete opposite to Clint as a pup as
she has no interest in talking to people at all she just wants to observe
things and people.  Just wait until she grows a bit bigger and everyone will
avoid her, people seem to be very afraid of Shepherds particularly the black
ones yet children really love them and come over to hug them with no fear at
all, but their parents are freaking.  It is a big problem,as the children
really need to be taught to respect dogs but parents seem to think teaching
the children to fear dogs is the way to go which is sad.

The other problem we are battling with Viv is her mouthing, she still has
needles for teeth and wants to chew everything including your hand, she is
better but we have a long way to go.  I keep getting her chew bones and toys
but she hides them all over the garden and only 'finds' them when she want
to and not when I need them to amuse her.  As we have a large garden this is
becoming a problem. I really need to train Poppy to find them all for me.
Poppy is now 12 and is finding the heat a killer, she will go for a walk
with us in the morning but has no interest in a second walk in the evening
and if I insist she comes she manufactures a limp and pus on a hang dog look
until we give in and leave her at home for some peace from Viv.

Our poor cat is also suffering from Viv's attention, she has tried
everything to stop Viv from annoying her and trying to pull her off chairs
by pulling her tail and now at last has started to retaliate and take out
the claws in order to win, one of these days Viv will get a good scratch on
her nose and it will serve her right and I hope teach her a lesson. But
being a typical shepherd when anything hurts her she just howls and howls
till you think there really is something badly wrong with her and when you
give her some attention or a hug she is miraculously cured.

Hopefully by the next time I write we will have cured some of these problems
and moved on to others!!  

She is a street angel and house devil and we love her.

Alison and Viv

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