When Life Gives You Lemons: Friday’s Thursday Thoughts with Tiffany

“If they respect you, respect them. If they disrespect you, still respect them. Do not allow the actions of others to decrease your good manners, because you represent yourself, not others.” ― Mohammad Zeyara

As I’ve learned dog body language and canine behavior, it’s easier to identify what’s going on in a situation and interpret interactions. I’ve re-watched many videos and now see things I was oblivious to before. I follow many wild canine accounts on Instagram which have foxes, wolfdogs, and coyotes. One of the accounts notes that wild canines are more prone to resource guarding and very vocal and showy in their displays. It is fascinating to watch and learn since I do want to work with wild canids.

About five years ago this crazy girl at about a year old joined Bella and me on our adventures and it was supposed to be temporarily. We included her in our training, photos, outings, and adventures. Not even a few months later, Kronos joined the family and I adopted Kronos as my second dog. I think I had hoped Terra would go back to her initial owner and held on to that. Terra is a high-energy dog that is from working lines which means she has a serious desire to work and a high prey drive. She used to kill small animals such as birds and lizards and eat them and had recently maimed a friend’s pet mice-one which later died. She would chase a cat and then later be found holding that same cat between her paws cuddling. I have always loved Black Tri Aussies, but would have done more research and been better prepared before committing to adding an Aussie pup to my life.

Terra did not like Bella initially and still at times can be very particular about what other females and dogs she likes given that she is very much an alpha (leader) personality. She has been on pack walks with over twenty dogs and stayed with up to fifteen dogs. She has even let baby rats and rodents climb on her under supervision. Terra used to jump up and bite while she ran playfully by, run after and nip kids if they ran, used to steal food right off people’s plates and to this day is a counter surfer if left unattended without a clean environment. She was super overweight and hadn’t ever been groomed. She’s learned to bring forbidden objects over and drop them instead of gleefully playing keep-a-way and quickly eating it. Her attention span has increased past three seconds.

An ACDR volunteer is fostering an Aussie and noted that she had some resource guarding with the other dogs and that she honed in especially on the little dogs which means she has some prey drive.

Terra’s come a long way from the out of control dog she initially was. She’s achieved her Advanced Trick Dog Title and Canine Good Citizen. She’s learned a lot of tricks, loves lure coursing, and was a super easy traveler when just the two of us road tripped across the country to Tennessee. And yet, she’s definitely been a challenge and reminds me a lot of miss Marvel of The Super Collies with some of her behaviors. I’ve yet to reach the same level of trust that I do with Bella and Kronos which could also be that I didn’t have her since 8 weeks old like the other two. After adopting Kronos, he got 99% of the attention. training, and focus that a puppy requires with Terra occasionally getting it too.

It’s been said that every dog teaches us something and teaches us a lesson. With Terra, maybe it’s patience, maybe it’s resilience, maybe it’s moving forward, maybe it’s understanding, or maybe it’s never giving up; I’m still listening to figure out what that lesson is, but when life gives you lemons, the best thing to do is make lemonade.

This saying has been around and to me means that if you’re given a tough situation, you make the best of it and turn it around. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. And challenges, while seemingly insurmountable in the moment, are meant to be overcome. Going uphill is a battle, but once you reach the peak, it’s easygoing from there and after the tempest, it’s mostly smooth sailing from there.

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