So a most unexpected (and unfortunate) turn of events occurred today at playdate. This morning was the first time we have been back to the site of the collision from last weekend, between Jovi and Dru.
The girls and I strolled into the fenced area as we always do, to be met with many, many pointy noses and wagging tails. (Can I just say how much I love playdate! (Well, yes actually, I can because it is my blog.)) I unleashed the dogs, and away they went; Breeze, Dru and Willow right in the middle of the mix. Within about 20 feet, there was a small “yip” and Dru came slinking back to me, tail tucked, hunched in on her self, head down, ears back. She was behaving as though someone had taken a stick to her. She wouldn’t enter the grass, she wouldn’t go to any of the people and she certainly, no way in hell, would run with the dogs. Huh?
Then it dawned on me…she was remembering last weekend’s collision. My next thought - can dogs suffer PTSD? She sure as heck was not anywhere like how she was before the accident and we have been to a different dog park this week and she was just fine. This morning, she wouldn’t even run with Breeze and that is unheard of. (On a whole ‘nother aside, Breeze was thrilled to have the parasite removed from her neck for today)
I spent a good portion of the morning working with Dru to get her over her fear of running with the pack, hell even being in the middle of the fenced area with dogs running by. I started by walking the exterior of the area and she followed along behind me, I wanted to get her out there and not hiding by the gate and leashes. We then started to just get her running by following me as I jogged a bit. A few of the other dogs joined in and she would back off and out of the group. So I turned and ran backwards encouraging her along. She finally trotted with us a little. When she looked like she was past her limit, we would take a break so she could recoup.
There was a time or two when the pack would take off and she would start to run, then remember where she was and that running with other dogs = pain, and would stop. She spent the majority of her time off the side, huddled near the fence, tail tucked, and worried. She did do one nice run, but it was by herself.
At least there was some progress, she came to me out in the middle of the area and stopped shaking by the end of playdate. I guess it is a good thing I’ve had so much practice working with a fearful dog. We’ll see what happens tomorrow and how much progress we can make.