SoCS — Rope-a-Dope

Rope-a-dope with not my dog.

After we had to put our cat to sleep in January, my wife said she wanted to adopt a dog from a shelter. I said no, I didn’t want to get another pet. But my wife can be very persuasive and she roped me into visiting a local dog and cat shelter just to, you know, look.

Big mistake! My heart melted and my wife and I adopted a rescue dog just over two weeks ago. She’s a 14-month-old, 60 pound, yellow Lab mix who was picked up as a stray dog a few months back. She is our sixth dog since we got married nearly 44 years ago. Some we got as puppies, some as older rescues. Our last dog before this one was a five year old Lab/shepherd mix that we rescued from a kill shelter. So we’re no strangers to training and caring for dogs.

We really are happy that we got a new rescue dog, but she’s proven to be a handful in the two weeks that we’ve had her. I think she may have been abused as a young puppy and who knows how long she was on her own living on the mean streets before she got picked up as a stray?

She’s still relatively young, is full of energy, and loves to play. But she can, at times, be quite rambunctious. One of her favorite things to do is what I call rope-a-dope (or what may be more commonly called tug-of-war) with her rope toys. But she also likes to do it with her leash when we’re trying to walk her. And that makes walking her a bit of a challenge.

She also seems to need constant attention, and if she doesn’t get it, she’ll start nipping at us, grabbing our clothing in her mouth (while we’re wearing them) and tugging, and even biting us. This behavior has us at the end of our rope, and we actually started thinking about returning her to the shelter. But we just couldn’t. That would be heartless with what she’s had to endure over her first 14 months of her life.

So today we met with a professional dog trainer. It’s not like we don’t have any experience training and working with dogs. We do! But we realized that with this dog we needed help. The guy has been a professional dog trainer for four decades and we signed up for six weeks of in-home obedience sessions.

He warned us that he’s going to focus his training more on me and my wife than on our dog. He said dogs instinctively know what they should do, but it’s often dog owners who need to be taught how to bring out the best in their dogs.

The guy is not cheap, but when the choice comes down to sending our little lady back to horrors of the dog pound or spending six hundred bucks on obedience sessions, the decision was a no-brainer.

So yes, we were at the end of our rope, but I’m highly confident that two months from now, we’re going to be thrilled with the newest member of our family.


Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, where the word is “rope.” Photo credit: thesprucepets.com.

28 thoughts on “SoCS — Rope-a-Dope

  1. bushboy March 26, 2022 / 5:27 am

    You are already trained to fetch and sit but rolling over will be difficult and getting back up even more so 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gr8BigFun March 26, 2022 / 6:35 am

    I was wondering how the new addition was fitting in. Just seemed odd asking in the comments from an unrelated rant post. 🤔
    As for training the “I’ll be training the pair of you” speil, I suspect that was directed more towards you Fandango. Everyone knows that a wife’s leash skills are already well honed! 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango March 26, 2022 / 6:44 am

      I think you’re right, Greg, although after more than 40 years of marriage, I’m pretty much housebroken.

      Like

      • Gr8BigFun March 26, 2022 / 7:43 am

        Regardless of how well housebroken we are, sometimes they still need to take the whip out and put the choker collar back on… Ohhh wait… that’s something completely different!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. bikerchick57 March 26, 2022 / 7:12 am

    Thank you, both you and your wife, for rescuing your furry baby and keeping him from further horror. The training will be invaluable to you.

    A friend of mine rescued a Cheagle 10-month puppy last year and although the little girl is super smart, she has her own behavioral issues. We think she may have suffered some abuse as she is deathly afraid of black boots or black shoes that look like boots. Perhaps someone kicked her. I have never understood that kind of abuse, but then again, that is why you and your wife and I have a big heart for our pets.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Irene March 26, 2022 / 7:43 am

    Awww, yes, once you look into the bright eyes of a dog, the deal is sealed. When we got our dog 13 years ago, I asked the breeder if we could return him if I got severe allergies; she said yes with a half smile on her face, and explained that after my daughters had held the puppy, she was sure there was no way I was going to be able to give him up (I was not allergic to him, but the breeder was right anyway). Best of luck with your training!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Susan St.Pierre March 26, 2022 / 11:40 am

    I hope you keep us posted on how things turn out. I’m pleased about your level of commitment to your new girl. That is beautiful and sadly, rare.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango March 26, 2022 / 11:43 am

      My heart won’t permit me to do anything but commit to her.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Susan St.Pierre March 26, 2022 / 11:48 am

        Your heart is beautiful. I would do the same thing. (My daughter has a dog that had been returned 5 times in her first two years! She’s been a part of their family for 10 years. Needless to say, she has separation issues. She comes to Grandma’s house (mine) while they work or vacation. ❤ )

        Liked by 2 people

  6. cagedunn March 26, 2022 / 5:06 pm

    It’s worth the effort and cost. Mostly, I think it will be about the socialisation issues – they were the main reason I got foster dogs [which never went back, thanks to foster kids needing the same lessons on socialisation and boundaries].

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lauren March 26, 2022 / 9:52 pm

    I think a professional is the right way to go. The poor dog has had a rough life and anything that can help is so worth it. Best of luck on the journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Nope, Not Pam March 27, 2022 / 2:39 am

    We had to do this with two dogs, it worked wonders and we often used the same knowledge with future pups 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Marilyn Armstrong March 27, 2022 / 1:21 pm

    We adopted one dog who had never been housebroken. She had been a show dog, had had two litters, but had never lived in a house. Always in a kennel. We almost gave up before one day, like some kind of miracle, she “got it.” And after that, she was perfect. She had never been abused, but she had also never been loved.

    Duke, our insane who-knows-what-he-is dog had been in three different homes until we inherited him. He has issues including being both a bully to smaller (male) dogs — AND a total weenie if any dog fights back. We would usually get a second dog — they like company, after all. But Duke doesn’t want company. He wants to be THE dog. He’s not vicious. No killer instinct — but no exactly enthusiastic about company coming over.

    I know everyone is supposed to rescue dogs and I approve of the concept, but rescue dogs can be difficult and many people adopt them only to find they have no idea how to deal with them and of course there are some breeds that are a lot more “interesting” than others. We’ve owned a fair number of them too, but we have had a lot of dogs.

    I loved having a pack of dogs and I especially loved having both hounds and terriers (if I ever open a bar, I will call it “Hounds and Terriers”) because the hounds could really sing. They would sing every morning and even though it woke me, I love hearing them.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. leigha66 April 25, 2022 / 11:40 am

    I am sure you have later posting on this but I hope the training helped.

    Liked by 1 person

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