There's a reason I was blessed with one of the naughtiest dogs on the planet, I am still able to find the strength to love her during her most naughty moments...
I say that probably more in reference to previous naughty episodes... As for today, we had another blow, as we still have them every now and then. But Acadia is a dog so I really shouldn't expect her to be perfect, and as much as I don't understand her I know she frequently feels the same way about me. Now that we have grown out of the attention and dominance seeking puppyhood behavior, I am now finding that most of her adult naughtiness is Acadia's way of trying to protect bear. This morning was a good example of that-- we were approached by a wondering, unleashed, no owner any where to be found, dog while we sat on the lawn outside. As soon as Acadia saw the dog she went nuts! I mean real nuts ~add a bouncing tigger and a dash of a mama grizzly and you've got yourself a nutty Acadia... Just before the dog showed up, bear sat by one of the trees out front, digging, and exploring. I sat next to bear and Acadia sat on the opposite side of me, with her leash. Acadia instantly jumped up as the dog approached and began to bark, a loud threatening bark, and tried as hard as she could to get towards the dog. Acadia is a very large dog, she weighs somewhere around 75 pounds, which is pure muscle. I only weigh about 45 pounds more than she does, with more fat than muscle, so this was no easy feat (for a lack of better words...) for me. It was the first time in a long time that I had trouble controlling her and getting her to snap out of it and listen. I did not feel at all threatened by the unknown dog in regards to bear, she sat by the tree, laughing at the whole circus-like event that was unfolding in front of her as I tried to regain control. And amidst my struggle, the obtrusive dog, who annoyingly ruined our morning play, never once came up towards bear. It stayed down the hill on the side walk, barking back at Acadia as it's collar jingle-jangled a merry tune with it's tags and jewels that hung from it's vibrating neck ~ Perhaps Acadia was really doing her job, those barks obviously were telling the dog something. I'm guessing she was saying: "back up!"
As the whole episode continued to played out, Acadia just wouldn't back down, she was throwing her body all over the place and I eventually had to march her towards our stairway, with all of the strength that I had. I then quickly zipped my head back around to check on bear, she was still happily watching everything pan out and the little dog was still down the hill. And just as I started to walk back to the tree, bear started to take some steps towards the hill, I yelled for her stop and quickly rushed after her. Luckily bear listened and my neighbor, at the exact same time, came out to help me. The neighbor grabbed bear and then watched her while I put Acadia inside. And once the chaos had ended, I immediately regretted my actions, In hindsight I should have just let Acadia go and grabbed bear. Though this could have led to another type of mess, I would not have been putting bear in any sort of danger. My instincts, during the event, told me that the dog was only interested in Acadia, but now I feel like an idiot mother! I should never have assumed that any dog is safe around bear, just like I should never assume that Acadia will behave around other children. I am terribly angry with myself, all I can do now is learn from this and remind myself that next time I will do things differently. Though there will NOT be a next time because I will no longer be bringing Acadia outside for bear's playtime. It just isn't safe to have Acadia out with use while we play on the lawn, at least if Chris isn't there with us. I just hope my neighbor doesn't think I'm a total nut job... She does not own a dog, and is terrified of them. It took her about two years to get comfortable with us passing her on the side walk while we walked Acadia. It really means a lot that she was willing to come out and help me. It is a nice reminder that we are surrounded by wonderful, caring people.
And just like this incident, there is always a lesson to be learned. Whether it's a sock she stole or a late night bark ~ Acadia is just doing what she is meant to do. We have come a long way from puppyhood. One of the most amazing things about Acadia is that she always loves me at my least lovable times so how can I not give her the same? I need to remind myself that this was a circumstance, it is the way things panned out that flustered me, not my dog, she was doing her job. And I will praise myself in the fact that I can see some positive in this not-so-positive episode.
Please forgive me for sometimes I am an idiot, too!