The Shiva Has Two Faces

I am so proud of my puppy. She never ceases to amaze me with just how good she is. She tries so hard to do the right thing. Sometimes her control slips and then other times she seems completely bomb-proof.

Take yesterday, for example. On our morning run down the power line trail, Shiva was so happy to be off leash for the first time in over a week that she forgot her training. She ignored a very easy recall to try to entice a disinterested Border Collie to play. When he turned her down repeatedly, she ignored me again and jumped on the Border Collie’s surprised human, causing her to trip. It was all very circa 2009. Needless to say, I felt about three inches tall.

However, last night at home, Shiva was so focused and so calm, I actually risked letting the foster kitten walk around on the floor in front of her. Not only did nothing happen but she controlled herself enough to look at me for a reward every time she felt herself getting excited. It was a major success!

I find myself struggling to reconcile the nutty Shiva of the morning with the solid Shiva of the night. I never know which I am going to get these days. She is either going to be awesome or she is going to lose her mind. It’s always a gamble. Exercise is definitely a factor but the stimulus doesn’t seem to matter at all. Sometimes she barely looks up as a jogger passes us on the trail, other times she goes insane over a blowing paper bag.

Shiva has two faces. I guess I just need to keep on my toes and be grateful for the times she keeps it together. That way, when she does behave, we can party all the harder.

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17 thoughts on “The Shiva Has Two Faces

  1. She did so awesome with the kitty! I think I find the most unnerving part with Gretel is the unpredictability. If she was always nutso at least I would know what to expect. If she was always good then I would know I could trust her. It’s when I think I can trust her and she goes nutso that frustrates me.

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  2. Georgia is the same. She’s been so good lately with all dogs. Then a few days ago, she started getting cranky again and we still don’t know what triggers it. They do like to test us, don’t they?

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  3. Good job with the kitty! I know what you mean on this one, Kaya still jumps on people once in a while and I find it SO humiliating! But you’re right that a lot of it has to do with exercise…my dogs act like maniacs if they’ve been cooped up too long or it our walks are too short:(

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  4. I’m not an expert but I’ve been owned by a dog of one sort or another for the past 54 years and I think what you have with Shiva is just a little girl with tons of personality and she has moods and feelings about things very similar to our own. Don’t you have days where concentration and staying on target for work or a diet or a goal is just easier than others. I think that is Shiva , she is a special girl and she has good, bad, excited, sad, happy and glad moments just like we do!
    Diane(one of the Shiv’s biggest fans 🙂

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  5. Bender is similar, sometimes he reacts strangely and sometimes he doesn’t, he is good in almost all situations though except for being out and about on the leash (he is great off leash). Unfortunately he has had a few bad experiences with loose dogs attacking him whilst he was on leash. I am thinking now that maybe my reaction to the first situation (to get in a yelling match with the dog’s owner after her dog ran through the open gate and ripped Bender’s ear open with it’s teeth) may have rubbed off on Bender.

    Now that he’s on endep his sound phobia is nowhere near as bad, and he seems to only react to pretty large/close bangs now (not the faint ‘pop’ of a car backfiring kms away).

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  6. I love Shiva. I would be proud of her too. I think she likes keeping you on your toes. Maybe she is less aroused in a controlled setting and thus finds it easier to listen? Either way, watching her look to you while the roly poly kitty bumbled by was awesome. In all honesty Kristine, it reminded me of how some of the dogs looked to Suzanne Clothier and their owners this past weekend. She was so focused in the video!

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  7. I think any dog can have two faces as you call it. Once when Storm was doing something particularly different from what she normally did in training, I said out loud, “Why is she doing that?” A pro siting next to me calmly said, because they are dogs. It stuck with me….lol.

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  8. She did an awesome job with the kitten! My dogs are hit or miss with the cat, sometimes they leave him alone and sometimes they chase him. **SIGH**

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