Especially when we have a birthday (or when we just simply can’t stand the irresponsible dog owners and all the deaths and suffering caused by stupidity and selfishness). I usually take a break from the world in November (I share my birthday with Dorian Gray from Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’). This escapist habit of mine keeps me relatively sane for the rest of the year. I used my break to bond with Brian-and it was worth it, he seems to know he’s mine. Brian doesn’t like people. I’m not happy about it, we’ll try and change his attitude as much as we can, but he does not trust anyone. He’s not easy to train and he might never listen to anyone else but me (and, hopefully, one day, to my husband).
The thing is, I kind of love him even more, despite (or, perhaps because) of all the issues (barking at people, herding, nipping at ankles, chewing everything-including the walls and my £300 shoes).
He’s castrated now – not because I believe it makes a dog calm and trainable (all the behavioural issues need to be addressed anyway, the castration is not a miraculous remedy for all ills) but because there are too many unwanted puppies and he’s not going to father any more. And because of the health benefits.
He’s full of energy and he’s very much a ‘mouth’ dog, so I provide as many safe things to chew as I can. And, of course, I have explained that chewing on people and/or cats is not acceptable (verbal cue and ending the play).
And Lily is just sweet and lovely (well, she is a little monster, but nevermind).