A Depressed Dog, an Overprotective Guard Dog Sherpher Mix, and an Impaired American Staffordshire
Season 3 | Episode 2 | Buster, Holli, Spike & Belle
Cesar cures Spike's depression with a new friend. Buster, an eight-year-old blue heeler/Australian shepherd mix, is supposed to play the role of family alarm dog, but he does his job a little too well. An American Staffordshire terrier's unconventional skin graft gives Cesar ideas for a different kind of rehabilitation—as a "Biker Dog."
Overprotective Guard Dog
Some scientists believe that guarding and alarm barking were among the many reasons humans and dogs “joined forces” thousands of years ago. The dogs surrounding the humans’ camp would bark and alert them to danger. Today, we often take advantage of that quality in dogs. But it’s important from the beginning of the relationship for the human to set limits and determine how much is too much regarding guarding.
Guarding is an activity, just like digging and barking. So as pack leader, you have to condition him when to start and when to stop. A police dog, for example, is conditioned to go after bad guys, but when there are no bad guys around, he must know he is not allowed to attack. That behavior is controlled by the handler.
A dog with three legs, one eye, or hearing-impaired does not see him- or herself as disabled—they just instinctively learn to adjust, as you will see with Holli the Motorcycle Dog. And it is important for those of us who have disabled dogs not to feel sorry for them. Remember, they do not think of themselves as victims unless that is the energy we are projecting onto them.
Grieving a Lost Friend (Virginia Madsen)
I can’t even begin to count the number of clients who call me in with problems they’re having with a dog they’ve brought home right after another has died. This segment features one of them—my friend, actress Virginia Madsen.
In the natural world, grief is a very weak energy. What happens when the new dog meets his new family, who haven’t finished grieving their previous pet? He reacts to their very low energy level, often leading him to feel the need to protect and dominate this weak energy.
How do you know when the grieving process is finished and you are ready to take a new pet into the family? Well, I think of grief like a glass of water. Only when you are finished do you want the glass to be refilled. And like some people nurse a drink, people can nurse grief for weeks and months until it finally subsides and they are ready to move on.
The difficult truth is that we simply live longer than our pets. The key to learning to deal with the death of a pet is not only accepting it as a part of life, but also knowing you provided them a life that they enjoyed to the fullest.