We did indeed go a-traveling this weekend: to my parents’ house. Since we’re not going there for Thanksgiving, we decided it would be good to see them now. Also, Sammie loves Boomer and we thought they’d have a good time running around.
Boy, were we right!
Unfortunately, Sammie always manages to get into trouble when she is there and unsupervised for the least amount of time. We were both really upset with her because she knows what is expected of her at home. However, it seems like when we go to my parents’ house, all bets are off and she thinks she can do what she wants. She tries to get up on the couch. She chews up pillows. She jumps on everyone. She eats all the other dogs’ food. She DIGS (when did that become appealing?)!!
So we talked on the way back home, and we’ve decided we need to approach new situations and places as training opportunities. We’ll bring extra food and remind her that ‘sit,’ ‘down,’ and ‘stay’ are awesome! That we can have fun with our friends OUTSIDE, but that coming in means we need to be calm. We want to be able to leave her unsupervised, but we also realize that she needs to learn what is expected of her when she is. We need to make sure our parents and others in the house are on the same page as us and won’t be complicit to her antics.
We’re trying to be the best dog parents we can be! It’s tough. Don’t let anyone ever tell you any different.
There is some good news in all this! (1) We had one exhausted pooch, which means we had a quiet rest of the evening.
(2) We’re determined to take her to the dog park more often. Even if it’s dark (which it will be). Even if it’s cold (which it will be more nights than not). Even if there are no other dogs there. Should the latter be the case, we’ll work on walking with her and we’ll work on training in a new place. She’ll get a chance to expend that energy in a healthy way and not build it up until she feels the need to do something destructive.
(3) Communication is key, and we’re more committed than ever on being a team when it comes to training Sammie. Neither of us knows it all, and we have to be willing to come together and agree on goals for her. I can’t be the only one applying her antiseptic spray, and he can’t be the only one who gets after Sammie for getting up on the couches.
We’re learning, and I’m glad we have Sammie along for the ride to learn with us. Thankfully, she loves us as much as we love her and forgives us when we mess up (just like we forgive her when she messes up). Hopefully, having this blog will keep me motivated and accountable for all these goals I have for myself!