Today after agility class I was chatting with Ann (who does all the intakes for Labs 4 Rescue organization). Ann is very complimentary about Delilah and what a good dog she is. Today Ann said, “Delilah would be a good role model for any rescue organization.” I take that on behalf of Delilah and our entire family as one of the highest compliments I could ever receive about Delilah.
I am all for encouraging people to rescue animals, but as I was discussing with Ann, rescuing is not always easy. When you look at Delilah and see the amazing dog she has become, you are looking many hours of blood, sweat and tears (mostly my tears!)
You don’t always get their history, the dog may have behavioral issues that are very steeply set in their past life. Some dogs will be able to put their pasts behind them and move on, while others may always carry their issues with them. The best we can do is to try to work around those issues so the dog “wins.” For instance, if you have a counter surfer (someone who likes to take food off the counter) you may never break them of this habit, the trick is to not leave anything out on the counter that the great Kahuna can reach. When you leave something reachable out on the counter; you are setting your dog up to fail.
When we are running agility, even if we haven’t done as well as I think we can, I need to end my run with a task that Delilah performs well. Then I reward her. She ends her session on a positive note and feels like she has won.
Delilah isn’t the only one who has won, we have a wonderful dog that would be an awesome role model for any rescue group.