Monday, January 5, 2009


Someone asked me this weekend, what happened to Shaker and why we didn't have him there? Well, chalk it up to Onofrio and not getting their heads on straight. His entry was cancelled but they didn't get the correction made in time.

Now let me back up a little for the history on this. Yes we did originally have him entered and yes we did show him in Skokie. Susan showed him one day there and I can't thank her enough for taking over that day as he needed someone with no knowledge of his history to work with him as well as me getting a little better view of what's going on. He did a little better but needs a little more work.

As for his removal from the show this last weekend, unfortunately Shaker had a run-in with one of the neighborhood big dogs in early December. Talk about fear stage tragedies. The poor boy is taking a nice walk with his mom Kim and two huge ill mannered Saint Bernards coming charging from behind a house at him. Luck has it that their underground fence stopped them, but barely and right at the edge of the road. That's another post about those evil fences. Then let's talk about the airedale and lab the tried to get him when they walked the other way in their neighborhood. This has set up a series of off timed events that have left him shaken and us humans trying to bring his confidence level back up. Taking him to this busy show would not have been in his best interest. All we needed was him to get excused or even worse, freaked out even more.

Most dog owners or at least those with a heart, understand that we have to put our dogs safety and sanity first, not the show, the wins or the points. It's been done before, it will be done again. We were pretty open about his entry being pulled and the super just didn't get his act together. There's always another dog show, another weekend and more points out there to win. Break the major and save the dog or wreck the dog just for someone's ego? Choose the latter and what kind of dog person are you?

For now, Shaker is just being Shaker and working through private lessons, more obedience classes and not going to dog shows until we feel he is in a mind set that the world is not out to get him. Let me tell you, dog attacks are not something to be laughed at. Meredith almost got bit in the ring when another junior lost control of her dog. Now I have a collie that is always on the look out for evil St Bernards and it makes it hard for Meredith to show her-over protective dog is not always good. I was a show chair when a dal tried to eat the judge, a special of all things. Again, sanity and safety first. Not egos.

Later gators....



Sherilyn said...

Amen! We're still dealing with 2 of those "dog attacks" and the repercussions. Most everyone knows about Ruby being jumped by a Boxer when she was 9 months old, going into her first season. Talk about traumatic! It's hard enough dealing with that first season, but then to be jumped ringside, she's never totally gotten over that!

Phantom was jumped last spring by another of those freak things where the Cardi broke his leather lead and got him from behind. It took several months for him to regain his confidence, and there are still times that he will react if something moves quickly towards him. Luckily, he has a fantastic temperament, and with a LOT of love and re-training, and tons of patience, we were able to get him back to about 95% of his confident self, and get him to where he enjoys showing again.

I hate to break majors, but I am 115% with you on getting the dogs mental health back in line... safety first! Poor boy! They are just at that fear factor age, so with love and patience, I'm sure he will get there. I know Kim will not give up on him...she's the best! :)

Cindy said...

Tuli is the same way as Ruby. First a husky tried to go through it's crate ringside at a show, then a boxer, then someone running into the table in the ring, while she was one it! I refuse to show a dog just to keep other's happy and even more so subject a dog to something it clearly isn't comfortable with. Others might but not me!!

Shaker will come around, when he figures that every dog in his path isn't out to get him. He's coming along but it will take time. And yes, Kim is just the person to do it.

Now for that hormonal Russ thing....

Kathy and Kim Gibson said...

Thanks Cindy for posting the explanation. And yes you are 100% correct about putting the well being of the dog first. I will NEVER put points ahead of what is best for my dogs. To even suggest that I should have put points ahead of my dog's needs simply suggests to me that their are folks out there that don't know me and how I operate very well! My dogs will always come first and dog shows come decidely second. k

Sherilyn said...

Definitely!! We wouldn't have it any other way!

Hormonal Russ...hehe Poor baby!! Bear is still feeling the effects of being around so many girls coming in, in and going out...he's driving Dreamy nuts, and that's a very short drive!! LOL

Sarah said...

I don't know what prompted the post, and I don't know any of the background, but I think I've pretty much made Syd and her history an open book, and as I said in one of my posts, "I think I'll print up a t-shirt!" The more recent posts on Syd's blog are about what's happening in her life, but the beginning of her blog was ALL about her very long, ongoing journey to cope with being reactive. I still post some of our adventures in reactivity on there when the need arises. Kim, if it helps, please go back to the original posts and read about our steps forward and back, and my successes and blundering failures in trying to help my dog. I started the blog because I know there are other dogs who struggle with this, and other owners who have successes and setbacks too. One day in September, Syd won Best in Sweeps and her regular puppy class at a supported entry. The very next day, she flipped out, freaked out, and acted like she was possessed. It was an awful day, and I remember like it was yesterday. One day she was fine, and the next, I had pushed her too far, and she was over the edge. It took almost 9 months for me to even consider entering her at a show "for real," and when I did, it was outdoors, open spaces, and I feel like I made GOOD choices on venues and shows to set her up for success and not failure. I think the key is to balance getting the dog out and around other dogs to keep building on success, but not putting him in a situation where he's going to be pushed over the edge. The first night of agility class, I stayed over to the side with Syd, and I had toys and treats enough to set up shop. She was my focus, and I didn't bother with trying to keep up with the class, I just wanted to keep Syd calm and happy, and teach her to work through it. Over a year later, I'm happy to say that Syd continues to improve, and every time we have a successful adventure, I'm as proud as if she just won Best in Show!

Kathy and Kim Gibson said...


Thanks ever so much. I have begun reading your blog from the beginning. I am sure I will pick up some helpful ideas. I have to say that when the day comes that Shaker can interact with friendly but unknown dogs--I will cry tears of joy. The same tears of joy I shed when my Russ won his first BOB at 6 months! Kim

Cindy said...

Yes, Sarah, I think we are all on the same wavelength here. I've been an avid reader of Syd's blog and it's been a God send. Being open and honest is the best way to educate people and help them have a better understanding of their own dog. Thank you!!!!

What prompted this? Easy, people having a snit because the major broke, though we were open and honest about #1 the Super not getting his entry cancelled--duh, won't have been a major anyway! And #2-for the sake of the dog. Personally I do care if a major gets broke, by snippy, rude and uncaring people that just do it for spite. But if for the dog-mental, phyiscal or what ever reasons, then it's justified. Hello--I was the one that lost out on the majors two of the 3 days. For goodness sakes, it's just a damn dog show, life goes on.

It would also help if there was better communication between all of us, but again, I was open and upfront, that just leaves it to the rest to be the same.

Hugs to everyone and this is the first step in getting the Baby his shimmy and shake back!