It's True, Pride Does Go before a Fall
Topics: Humor

Today I'm aching all over, especially in my neck, shoulder, and chest. It's my own fault, really. I also am experiencing another ache--this one is spiritual.

But I am getting ahead of myself. 

The saga starts a few years ago, when I started watching Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, "rehabilitate people and train dogs." Cesar Millan makes it look so easy. He maintains that dogs follow calm and assertive energy, ergo, owners need to be calm and assertive. Learning to walk the dog is vital, he says. Dogs needs three things: exercise, discipline, and affection.

I can follow that regimen, or so I thought. My husband, who had owned dogs before, was dubious. But I persisted in my prideful opinion of my abilities.

Making a long story short, my husband and I decided to give my son an early Christmas present. Last weekend, we adopted a cute 13-month-old chocolate lab-mix who has lived most of her life at a dog rescue ranch. Yesterday, Cameron renamed her Theia.

Since my son is working nights, I've decided to take her for morning and evening walks for exercise. Like Cesar instructed, I've waited at the door for her to calm down. I'm outside first, and we're pretty good going down the front steps side-by-side. However, the moment we hit the sidewalk, Theia tries to gallop--not run, gallop--taking me with her. Calmly, I rein her in and sit her down and check my breathing, re-adjusting her collar, and make sure I'm holding the leash correctly. But as soon as I take a step, it starts all over again. 

As for my idea of a quiet time with God while walking Theia, well, it hasn't been so quiet. Twice I've gone out with a cup of coffee in one hand, her leash in the other, and a prayer on my lips. Both times I've spilled the coffee, and my "praise God" has quickly turned into "Stop! Dog!"

In the few days since we've gotten her, I've had other disasters. Monday, thinking I was in control, I took her to meet my auntie, who lives in an assisted living apartment.  After our quick visit, I had to inform Auntie's care-givers that she might have a bruise or two on her arm from Theia's exuberant greeting.

This morning, my pride is in shambles and my body is aching. Despite it, I'm certain that God will use this beautiful animal to help me in my spiritual growth. As the writer of Proverbs says, pride goeth before a fall. Ouch!

Today, high on my Christmas wish list is dog training lessons. 



I'm doing to do as you said--make her heel inside the house. However, I still need to take her outside to do her business. She is still too rough for me to walk her. I'm in pain.

Cameron is going to get her a harness, and my brother is going to lend me his gentle leader. I'm a bit dubious about the harness--I think that will give her more running power.

She's such a friendly dog, so she tries to gallop over to see and jump on the nice people.

My goal for greeting people is for her walk calmly to them and lower her head for pats.

Cheers, Kim
Theia's workout!
Kim, I apologize for completely forgetting to tell you: a warm shower/bath (for YOU, not Theia) will work wonders on that sore arm/shoulder/neck! How are you coming on the training? Remember, she's an adolescent! And, your son should be training her if he is going to be the "master". She's his payback for everything he put you thru when he was an adolescent! ;-) Hang in there!
A rather tacky suggestion but can the rug turned over so the spots don't show? I mean even if the cleaners don't get everything.
Carol, That is a great suggestion. I tried walking her again this morning. Same results. I held the leash in one hand and looped it behind MY hind quarters to shorten it to keep control. No go, she had me walking sideways until we go back to the house. My shoulder is really aching.

Jason, I'm taking the good rug to the cleaners and laying it in the guest room. She isn't allowed in there. As for the other spots...

By the way, keep the suggestions coming. I need them!
Why not keep the rug in a closet until you want to display it?
From Cesar's blog:
You are jumping the gun by attempting to teach the dog to walk FIRST! The first lesson in dog training is to teach the *sit* command. Once the dog sits on command, you then teach her to *heel*. Do this by attaching a short lead to her collar and walking her around the house with you. Say *heel* and use the lead to keep her next to your foot. Take only a few steps and, if she stays with you, give her praise and a treat. If she doesn't stay with you, stop immediately, tell her *no* and begin again. When she stays with you longer, THEN you are ready for a walk. Make her heel while walking outside, and tell her *sit* whenever you stop (like at a crosswalk). Always remember to praise and treat wanted behavior. Her reward for learned lessons is to be taken to a dog park or other safe enclosure where she may run off all her excess energy!
Dear Theia, Sorry, but I only go at one speed. I'll try to pick up my pace.

From Theia,

On a brighter note, Kim's husband worked with her last night on how to get me to potty outside instead of inside on her carpet or Persian rug.

However, I'm keeping my options open.
From Theia's blog
"I'm hoping God will give me the patience to deal with how slow Kim is. I try to get her to run, and she stubbornly refuses. Training her is going to take a lot longer than I thought."

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