The Fifth Wormald

Emma grows with us…

The only dogs I’ve ever had are ones I raised from tiny puppies, or one we inherited from a family member, that was raised right, and at 16 years old left very large paws to fill. : (  Emma is my first foray into taking on someone else’s neglected pet with ingrained bad habits.  It’s been a road…

Keep in mind that I have that mojo…y’know, the one that if I go bragging too much, LOOK OUT LAURA, it will bite you in the butt!  This said…

4 mos down this road, she’s family now.  She gets the trust she’s earned.  This now means most nights she gets to sleep on a bed with a person.  Mess around–in the crate you go!  She likes the bed, so I think she really tries to be worthy.

They’re like little kids in so many ways.  She’s developed some coping skills for some of her bad habits.  We’ve found a type of bone she really likes that is made for power chewers.  We keep about three of them around.  I can actually see her use her bone to cope with the stress of wanting to eat a shoe, or a piece of furniture, or a door.  Do I trust her? NOT A CHANCE! But we’re getting there.

She still has a trash fetish, particularly bathroom trash (ew).  I want to choke whoever paper trained her, but great progress is being made.  Weeks go by, then we have a day of scrubbing carpet all over the place, then more weeks go by.  Baby steps…

I could not have imagined what Emma was going to do for my sons.  There are places in some children’s world where dogs can go that people just can’t.  The value is immeasurable and I am blown away by what she has brought to this family…

All of Emma’s training comes from humanely but firmly commanding respect, and rewarding it with love–NOT TREATS!!!  She gets treats every day, but not as blackmail for good behavior.  She is made to behave because that’s required.  She is never hit.  Never chained up.  The crate is her safe haven–not jail unless it’s for her own safety or someone else’s.  Yes, she’s in there when we’re not home–for our safety and hers.  She can’t be allowed to eat my house. I can’t take a chance she gets into trouble she can’t get herself out of safely.  But we go to great lengths to make the days OK for her.  I come home for lunch a few days a week.  She gets a limited amount of treats because we love her.  Have you ever read the ingredients on the average dog treat package?  They’re horrifically unhealthy.  I buy healthy dog treats (Newman’s Peanut Butter Heart-Shaped).  She also gets some cheese, or peanut butter, and believe it or not she likes carrots!

I wasn’t too sure about this back in December.  Now we’re the Wormald 5 and we wouldn’t have it any other way.


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