The hardest part about my first year with Shiva is that I felt so alone. I worried she really was the monster all my neighbours said she was. We tried many different things but none of the usual methods made any difference. I scoured the internet and all the training books I could find in our local store. I asked the advice of friends and family. No one understood. No one was able to offer anything I hadn’t already thought of by myself.
Somehow my search never led me to blogland. Not until long after we were already on the road to recovery. It’s unfortunate because I know the support of other dog owners going through similar struggles would have made me feel so much better. It turns out Shiva’s problems weren’t even that bad in comparison. If only I had known how fixable most of her issues were. If only I’d had the encouragement of others who understood why I wasn’t willing to return Shiva to the shelter.
As we all know, one of the largest reasons dogs and cats are in shelters and rescues is lack of training. Even I was suprised by how much work was involved and I had done all my homework beforehand. It’s hard to really prepare yourself unless you’ve been through it before. First time dog owners are often blindsided by barking or housetraining issues. Even the good ones. Even the ones who get up at five in the morning to take their dogs for two-hour jogs. Pet ownership is never what one expects. I like to think it’s better, but that’s only after two hard years of work.
Now that I think I’m on the other side, I’d like to do something to help all those who are still wondering what the heck they got themselves into. I’m not a professional dog trainer. I don’t know all the answers. I admit to still needing a lot of help myself. However, I can offer my support to those who are unsure they have what it takes to be pet owners.
If you have any questions about animal training or pleas for reassurance you would like to pose to blogland, fill out the contact form below, I will post them on my blog, and those readers that are able can respond with advice or commiserations.
It doesn’t have to be expert opinion; most of us are still figuring this stuff out. But I think everyone’s experiences are unique. Maybe something someone else comes up with will resonate more. Maybe someone else will know of a great website or book I’ve never heard of before.What worked for me may not work for everyone. I firmly believe one can never have too much information.
All submissions will remain annonymous. Any reader comments I deem judgmental or offensive will immediately be deleted. The point of this is to help, not to tell others what they are doing wrong.