Yesterday was not a normal Saturday. Firstly Alfie sat and talked to the behaviourist for ages. It was nearly two hours before they called me in. He said it was a bit like going to see a psychiatrist. He had to talk about everything from how he’s feeling now to his puppyhood and the issues he’s had with other dogs over the years. He told them all about the Jack Russell that jumped on him when he was sixteen weeks old and the Labrador that bit him when he lived in Belgium and really carried on from there. He said it was a bit like peeling an onion, not that he’s ever done that. He would talk about one thing and then realise there was another layer underneath. He said it was good to get it off his chest and the lovely lady then talked to him about what he can try to do to help. In fairness she isn’t sure that he will be able to get that far on his own. Some of it seems to be medical and other of it due to him getting older and losing one or two of his cognitive functions.
Then she asked to see me. Oh dear. I did my best. She could see immediately that Alfie was feeling stressed just being around me. So she talked to me about how I could behave when he’s around that might help him to relax and I have to say it went pretty well. On the bright side it looks like I’m going to be getting an increased treat ration out of it, which is always a good thing. I guess I’ll get old one day and I suppose I’d like to think that the young dogs around me would try to be supportive, so I’m going to have to give it a go.
Wilma had a play date with Bernie and got very muddy after that. She says he barks a lot, but she enjoyed it very much. What is really exciting, given he’s my half-brother is that I’m going to see him next month. It will be great to be able to pass on advice to a younger brother on my dad’s side for once.
Then in the horribly blustery weather we went for our walks. The good thing was that I enjoyed the first of my improved treat offering while we were out which helped to reinforce the idea that cooperating in helping Alfie might actually be in my interests. By the end of that lot we were all worn out. Today should be a bit quieter except for having to help Wilma choosing the competition winners.
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