Monday, May 4, 2009


I've had Dharma for 7 years now. We both went through an extensive K9 training course together. I've put a ton of time into her. I love her so much. She changed my life and the way I look at it. She is the reason I was able to allow Heather to get close. It saddens me to say that she has begun to exhibit some behaviors that I am not happy with. She soaks up the attention from people. She's always loved playing around with other dogs. Last year when I was in the pre-ride meeting for the CTR, Heather and Dharms were outside and another owner brought their dog up to Dharma. Heather said the dog was sketchy and instigated things and there was an altercation that made Heather uncomfortable. No damage was done and both dogs were on leash. I get mad though because I truly believe that the dog looks to the owner and trusts that the owner will not put them in a position where they will get hurt. I believe (or worry) that it impacts the trust with the dog. Right after we got Bodhi, we were having a coffee and another gal brought her dog (that she had just rescued) up to both dogs. Right away I noticed that her dog's hackles were up and I didn't dig how things looked. Before I could put my cup down, they were growling and snapping at each other. Again, no damage. Tonight, a neighbor from up the street was going to walk her dog right when we were and she wanted them to say hi. Things were fine for a few seconds and then Dharma went after him. I don't know what the hell to think.

Did I ruin her by getting Bodhi?

Is she being protective of Bodhi?

I've been walking Bodhi so I can work with him (Dharma's great on leash while walking). Would these events have happened if I had been handling her? I very much believe that the dog senses whatever energy the handler is sending out. Was Heather putting out a vibe b/c of the incidents she had dealt with? I told her right afterwards tonight that I want to put Dharma near a friends dog while I have control of her.

People will say what they want. I've heard it a million times before. Insurance companies consider her a pitbull. She is actually an American Staffordshire Terrier. Every once in a while I engage with someone on the street about her after they make a comment. As stupid as it sounds, I actually became interested in the breed b/c of the bad rap they got. I used to work with kids in residential settings that could have been killed and no one but me and a few others would have given a rats ass. I always likened my students to this breed.

If I did something to change her, I'd never forgive myself. For me, the sun rises and sets around her.


Dan Schmatz said...

Its a mystery. Trixie went from fun loving girl to don't get near me bitch between 3-4. She never went after anyone or anything but if a dog or person rushed up to her she would let them know is a less than friendly and sterotypical way she wasn't down with it.

You love this dog and it loves you.

Chris said...

Thanks man.