Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My problem child

Yesterday I made a trip to the vet to pay Choco's boarding bill. Suffice it to say that I'm not telling Tetsu how much I paid!

My vet has known Choco from the day I picked her up on the street. When I came across Choco in the middle of a busy street I figured she was an escaped dog and someone would be wanting her back. She may have been an escaped dog but the owner did NOT want her back. In fact the girl who had raised Choco asked me if I would take her because her father had told her to drop the dog off in the hills. Choco reminded Tetsu and me of our old dog and so we agreed wholeheartedly. My vet was a little concerned because it was obvious that Choco had been an abused animal, but Tetsu and I were adamant. That was 7 years ago.

Choco was nothing like our old dog no matter the physical resemblance. While Shoko our old dog was quiet and forlorn looking, Choco is hyper, barks constantly and cannot learn a whit. She has so many issues it is depressing though in 7 years she has learned not to attack cats. (Choco's one major success.) My vet has been supportive and he has boarded Choco before so he knows her well.

In spite of that, yesterday when I went in his comment about Choco was,

"Taihen. (Hardship) Choco barked the whole time she was here starting at 5:30 am until evening. Partly she just wanted attention, partly she wasn't happy in her surroundings, partly she just likes to bark at movement or noises."

You're telling me? I'm living with getting up by Choco's barking at 5:30 am. I'm the one who has neighbors complaining and who struggles to stay vertical when taking her for a walk. I'm the one who has to stay alert when Choco crosses paths with other dogs and even people. Choco is my bane and blessing. (Well, blessing because thanks to Choco I get my daily exercise. She's my own personal walking coach.)

"You really might try a barking control collar, Tanya. One of those that emits odors might teach her to be quiet for a time. You notice how she never looks a person in the eye? Choco probably has an Attention Deficit Disorder. She's lucky she found you to be her owner. I don't think many other people would be as patient."


Sort of like being told your child is a hellion and handicapped in the same breath.

I repeated the vet's "diagnosis" to Tetsu this morning and for all his complaints about how this dumb dog doesn't listen, doesn't behave, costs a lot of money and doesn't give much love back in return, his comment was,

"Well, the vet's opinion doesn't change what Choco is from yesterday to today. She's still the same dog as we've had for 7 years and we've managed with her. She's not completely without virtues. She has her cute sides too... (he couldn't think of any right offhand.)

Here we are on our morning walk. Choco has ONE doggy friend that she can meet without going berserk. This is Sasuke-kun, a lovable, QUIET dog that exudes friendliness. Too bad he can't teach Choco a few tricks.

We love you anyway, Choco!


Marcia said...

Thank you with all my heart!

QuiltinLibraryLady said...

It's good that you love Choco, even with all her faults, because I don't think she would have survived otherwise.

Margaret said...

Maybe I need a "Choco" alarm clock and personal trainer too. Not sure how she would get along in a small apartment though! Congratulations on being so patient

Amanda said...

I don't think many people would have been so patient with Choco for so long. Perhaps it would be worth taking the vet's advice and trying the anti-barking collar, I believe that they can work really well.

Mary said...

LOL..Choco needs the Dog Whisperer. Don't know if your familiar...He's a dog expert on TV that goes to troubled dogs and teaches dogs and owners to over come problems.

Anyway, Choco looks like he has some Pointer in him, aka hunting dog. It would explain a lot of his behavior. He's a gorgeous dog, and looks to love you very much!

Marlene said...

I know you love Choco, but I too wish the Dog Whisperer could visit you and make all 3 of your lives more compatible.

You two are amazing people!

Alice said...

Have you read 'Marley and Me'?:)

There are gentle educators out there. He looks like a very loveable dog.

Julie Fukuda said...

My kids sent us a set of videos of the "Dog Whisperer". I can't recall if any of the programs dealt with excessive barking. I should check. Nikko has managed to overcome most of her issues by now, but the program was helpful.

twebsterarmstrong said...

We have our own Choco right here in Kansas. I named her Biserka. I should have named her Calm Down or Hush Up instead.

Patty said...

I know just how you feel! My dog Gina lived for 13 years with the same
problems and, thank goodness, never
bit anyone. The day she died I felt
very sad and just a little relieved.
She also taught me more about patience and compassion than any other animal. You are a good person!

diane said...

Bless you and your hubby for caring about your not so well behaved dog. My son and DIL had one like Choco. Came from a rescue place and couldn't be taught hardly anything. but a big beautiful retriever he was and I loved him as well. A collar to make him stop barking didn't work. All the attempts at training classes and doggy drs and medications didn't work. So bless you for loving your dog.

Anonymous said...

Awww, Tetsu understands and that is such a big thing, when you have a pet who doesn't do what everyone wants him to do...you both love Choco and that's the most important thing and you saved his life, and I'm thinking he knows that...hugs, Pat in IN

Anonymous said...

My daughter found the barking collar which emits a puff of scent when the dog barks to be very useful. I am not a fan of the techniques of the dog whisperer.

Jan said...

Choco makes you smile and laugh (sometimes) and that is a good thing. Having a problem dog can teach you patience and compassion and give you a problem to focus on that helps you to focus less on smaller problems. Your next dog will be easier but maybe not as memorable.