We usually try to keep our blog posts light-hearted and cheery.
I mean, that’s pretty much how our lives are. But occasionally, there will be certain dog-related encounters that pisses Mummy off (but again, a lot of things pisses that lady off.) and get her really upset. One such incident happened during our night walk today and we just felt the need to mention it here….
For those who have met me and Mummy at doggy events (Thanks for saying hi!!!), one of the most common questions I get is: “Where’s Pecan ah ma?”
Don’t let her cute (PUI~) little face deceive you.
Unlike me, Pecan ah ma is actually not dog-friendly, at all.
While she is the sweetest little thing to humans (even to annoying kids), she cannot handle the sight of another dog.
Things weren’t easy from the start. Since bringing ah ma home with us, Mummy and Daddy had to deal with the endless little squabbles that happened between us which usually ended with me screaming like a girl. We fought at least once a day for a good whole month. Worse of all, our walks were constantly disrupted by Pecan screaming her lungs off at any other dogs that is in her vicinity.
(This is the real reason behind our lack of pet-friendly brunches as she just couldn’t handle any other canines)
It also took our parents a while to understand her rather subtle triggers. In fact, my parents actually engaged the help of a professional trainer, Kristina from Puppy Colours to work with Pecan ah ma one-on-one.
We focused on identifying her triggers, catching her before her behavior escalate and getting her to focus on Mummy through positive reinforcements (e.g. treats).
Kristina was amazing and really patient with ah ma!
And after three training sessions and a lot of hard work, Pecan ah ma has officially graduated and does not need any more classes!
But that doesn’t mean that she is fully sociable and can be placed in a room of dogs.
Instead, the work continues every single day through our daily walks!
Each walk we have is an opportunity to help ah ma learn. This is one reason why Daddy always gets dragged to go on strolls with us. Mummy will work with Pecan while I trot along with Daddy. While I am usually well-behaved on my own, I have the tendency to react when ah ma does too. Hence, Daddy has to ensure that I am not affected.
Meanwhile, mummy stays attentive towards the environment and will always make sure that Pecan doesn’t over-react when she sees other dogs.
And trust me, while it was no easy task, we were accomplishing mountains.
Those who have known Pecan from the very first day have complimented us on her vast improvement.
Despite our hard work, every once in a while, we would meet someone who would ignorantly disrupt our walks by assuming that all dogs are as friendly as theirs. And tonight was such a night.
We were strolling around our neighborhood as usual when ah ma stopped to poo in a dark grass patch. Due to the lack of light, Mummy couldn’t find the doodie she left behind. So she handed Pecan to Daddy and tried to find it. Just when Daddy was holding on to us, we saw a young boy (primary school) running full speed with his Poodle towards us. Being caught off-guard, and with a hand in a poop-bag (it was quite a funny sight though), Mummy had to pull Pecan back and step between Pecan and the other dog while shouting for the boy to not approach.
Meanwhile, Daddy had his hands full handling me.
Even though Ah ma exploded into her full bark and attempted to lunge at the dog, Mummy had managed to pull her away in time. Being the kpo me, I had to join in the barking too and started shouting at the Poodle! Our parents ended up having to calm us down while dragging us away. As we walked away, we even heard the boy telling other people that his dog doesn’t bite, unlike us. (By now, Mummy was fuming.) To make matters worse, he lingered around and kept made ‘barking noises’ to irritate us.
Mummy was so annoyed that she actually told him off.
While Mummy was rather upset, it also got her wondering: why on earth is the kid walking the dog on his own and even so, why isn’t he aware about how to approach other dogs??
Firstly, not all dogs are as friendly as yours, so maybe you shouldn’t assume that. And even if you want to approach others, do it slowly. Running full speed over is just gonna make things worse!
Most importantly, when you see another dog with his owner, take a while to observe what the owner’s reaction is. If he turns around and walks away, please don’t chase. He’s just giving his dog the space the dog needs (okay, maybe he’s just unfriendly). Move on and your life isn’t worse off for not greeting that one dog.
This incident was rather unnecessary, and how the boy reacted after that didn’t help either. He might just be a kid, but still, he needs to know how to handle such situations to protect his own dog.
Anyway, we would just like to say that we are doing our best to make Pecan a better behaved ah ma. We just need a bit of help from everyone else.
For a start, if you see us in the streets walking and have a dog with you, please trot away and not approach us.
But if you do not have a dog with you, feel free to come over and let ah ma kiss you with her stinky mouth~
On the other hand, if it’s me alone, please come and say hi! And if I like the furry you enough, I would roll over and let you sniff my wee-wee.
I do the same for humans too! But please give me a belly rub k?
Meanwhile, give us some time while we continue to work with Pecan ah ma to be more tolerant with other dogs.
While we do not dream of the day that ah ma can interact freely and happily in a dog run, we are aiming towards her not giving a damn about any other dogs that she encounter on our daily walks.
So wish us all the best and we will keep you updated on how the grumpy old lady is doing!