Tuesday Training Tip: Special Needs Dogs Need Patience…Part 2

Rugby James:  I gotted to come live wif the Mama on December 1, 2007.  I like to fink that I was a early Christmas gift to her….what just keeps on giving!!  I didn’t getta choose her….she commed to the last house what I was living at, and played wif me for a afternoon, and then the foster Mama what lived at that house picked me up and putted me in a crate in the backseat of the Mama’s car and the new Mama taked me home wif her.

It was dark when we gotted to the new house, and I didn’t know anypawdy.  Nuffing looked or smelled familiar, and I didn’t see any udder doggers, what was a lil scary on account of I didn’t have nopawdy what understood what I was saying wif my body and face.  I peed all over when I very first commed in, on account of it was new and I was scared, only I didn’t wanna let them know.  When Uprights know you is scared, sumtimes they do scary fings….like hug me, what always makes me more scared!  So I tried really hard to be brave, only I just didn’t know what was gonna happen next or why I was there.

Over the next few days and weeks, I started to figure sum fings out.  There was free Uprights what lived there, and two Evil Troll kitties what didn’t like me, even though I tried to be friendly by barking and chasing.  Pfft!  Kitties just doesn’t get how to do regular stuff.  Pfft!  The Mama gived me tasty kibbles and I gotted my very own toys what I didn’t even have to share!  The Uprights all played games wif me, and mostly everpawdy was very kind, and they treated me good.

The Mama snuggled wif me in the early mornings, before anypawdy else gotted up.  I liked that.  I gotted a Nylabone, and I chewed on the Mama’s lap and she snuggled me and petted me.  She was nice, and I felt good when she was doing stuff like this wif me.  She teached me commands and tricks, and I lubbed working wif her on account of it was fun and I gotted kibbles.  I could tell she really liked doing this stuff too, and when I figured out what she wanted me to do….she was so so happy wif me!

At home, she maked me wear a leash all the time…even in the house!  I didn’t like that at all!  When I heared scary stuff like the neighbor doggers barking, I always liked to run and bark sos I could stay safe.  The Mama scolded me when I was barking and running if I didn’t stop when she telled me to stop.  She would step on the leash and make me get close to her what was scary.  I know what happens when Uprights gets mad at their doggers, and I never felt safe when that stuff happened, even though the Mama wasn’t mad.  When I was running and barking, I knew I was safe, on account of I had did this same fing over and over and nothing bad ever did happen to me, so it worked to keep me safe!  And the Mama wanted to make me stop and I didn’t know how I would be safe then, so it was very scary.


The Mama would call me to come to her, only this was really scary, because I know what happens when Uprights call you to come!  They isn’t always nice when they call you.  Sumtimes when they call you, it means the fun stops and you gotsa get in your crate and they leave you all alone what is very scary.  Sumtimes when Uprights call you, they get mad, and yell at you or even spank you when you come, so I learned to stay away  on account of it was just safer.

Sumtimes, I founded a treasure on the floor or on a table, and I grabbed it and ran off wif it.  The Mama would step on my leash sos I couldn’t run away wif my treasure, only I didn’t fink this was fair at all.  I always wanted to hide wif my treasures, only the Mama maked me give them to her for one of my toys, but that always seemed a lil bit sneaky to me.

She taked me for walks every day what was very scary.  We walked a long time around the neighborhood, and there were Uprights and doggers and kids and all kindsa stuff what really scared me.  The Mama scolded me when I barked at fings, but I hadda bark sos I could make the scary fings stay away from me. I was telling her I didn’t like this stuff, only she just keeped making me do it every day, and I just got more and more scared.  It maked me not wanna trust her on account of she keeped making me get really scared and then she scolded me for doing what I knowed to do to make myself feel betters.

It was a really, really, long time before she finally figured out that I was so scared.  She just keeped telling me I was being naughty, only really, I was just scared.  It was a happy day when she decided to keep me at home and not make me go on walks every day any more.  That maked me very, very happy!!  She taked me in the car sumtimes, only she never did make me get out in new places what was a really safe fing for me, and I liked that!

She started to do new stuff wif me in the house….like lotsa tricks, and she gived me lil jobs what I could do to earn extra kibbles.  She didn’t scold me so much for barking, and when she tugged the leash to come to her, she letted me snuggle right next to her when I was scared what maked me feel betters.

When stranger Uprights commed to the door, she leaved me in my crate sos I didn’t hasta meet them and I liked that.  I gotted to just stay wif my family and that was a really good fing.  I could tell that she was trying to make fings the same over and over for me sos I could start to relax a lil bit wif her, and after a long, long time, I decided to try trusting her a lil more and a lil more and a lil more.


We started to really do lotsa tricks and puzzles what I really lubbed doing!  The Mama was always patient wif me and I never did get into trubble if I gotted fings wrong what was really good.  I expected to get in trubble, and every time I gotted sumping wrong, I waited to get in trubble, only that never did happen.  I just didn’t get kibbles.  That’s all.  I just didn’t get kibbles.

The Mama has been doing this kinda stuff wif me for a long, long, long time.  I get who she is now, and she stays purty much the same wif me.  She still doesn’t make me go places what are scary very often, but when I tell her I’m really scared, I know she will make fings better for me.  She’s really good that way.  We try to work togedder like a team, and mostly this is a good fing.  It has taked us a really long time to get to the trust place where we are at, but it’s sumping very special to bof of us!  I highly recommend it!!



    • Sally says

      Rugby thanks you for reading and commenting, Mama Deborah!! It really has honestly been quite a journey with this little dog, and I'm so glad he was willing to stick it out and be patient with me while I figured out what he needed from me! 😀


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