I think everyone who wants to serve people should watch Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer. He’s on CW (dfw ch 33) every Saturday morning. He’s a dog psychologist, rehabilitator, and their person trainer. With most dogs it’s a simple fix of controlling their dominance behaviors by exhibiting calm assertiveness to redirect their energy. Timid dogs are more difficult. Today there was a real stumper. A doberman had been on the kill list 3 times and given reprieves for sweetness at the shelter before a cat rescuer lady adopted her. She was too nervous to even eat unless the lady coaxed her for about an hour every day. With firm direction she would leave the house and get in a car, but she was not enjoying it. Cesar took her to his concrete dog facility – before he acquired his rural ranch – and she perked up a little with the pack of dogs, but still didn’t want to eat. He helped her attitude with physical activity – a treadmill and swimming, but she was still not enjoying life. Until he took her to his newly acquired, undeveloped property, where she came out, leaping and bounding over the hills with the pack.
My theory is that dogs know when their friends’ lives are ended abruptly, and she had prepared herself three times for the same fate. Maybe she even was given a glimpse of her awaiting happy hunting ground. People with whims kept that from happening, and a lady took her away. So if she was going to live, the lady had to work at it, and it was draining her. Once you’ve seen the other side it’s hard to come back. I’ve heard astronauts experience the same thing upon re-entry. I’ve seen it in the eyes of people who’ve had terrible almost fatal accidents and their families will them back to life. To live on someone else’s will is very hard. But there are people motivated to keep you motivated. And there are heavenly places you can go where it’s not so hard.