When I was a young girl my favorite books and movies were the most heart wrenching. For some reason girls of certain age like to suffer. I would watch Old Yeller, Where The Red Fern Grows and all of the other sad stories over and over. I read the books over and over. When my cat Esmerelda disappeared, I would listen to that old Bread song I Would Give Everything I Own over and over wailing the words to my cat with tears streaming down my face. I guess one would say this can be cathartic.
At any rate, I was destined to have a yellow dog of my own. I had convinced my now husband Sean Julian that we should just "go look" at a litter of puppies. Knowing that nobody looks at 12 lab puppies and walks away.
We left with Sawyer. And then all hell broke loose. He was adorable but such a pain in the butt. Constantly biting us, ripping our clothes, tearing up an entire Berber carpet. This list could go on but I think that I have made my point. I was advised to scruff him and show him who was boss. Needless to say that did not work out and he became worse. Poor baby, I was truly confusing and terrifying him. He still loved me. At five months of age, I sat down and cried as I did not want this puppy anymore. And then I read The Culture Clash. I knew as I was reading that I was soon to change my evil ways and save many dogs from being rehomed as I had briefly contemplated.
I worked very hard with Sawyer to teach him in a way that would help him to succeed. It was not magic and not without struggles. I made many mistakes and he was in a sense my dog training Guinea Pig. He was very patient with me and very forgiving. His heart was so big, he always tried to figure me out. I learned very quickly that any time I became frustrated or yelled at my perception of his wrong doing, he would get worse! Barking at me, jumping on me, biting at me again. It occurred to me that I was the jerk, not Sawyer. When I stopped blaming him and looked at myself everything changed.
Keep an eye out for more of our journey together and all that he taught me.