I was going to be smart. After all, it had been at least 25 years since I’d owned a dog. I was going to Foster. Figure out if I really wanted all the responsibility of owning a dog, gain experience with different breeds to determine the right fit, try my hand at adult dogs AND puppies to determine which might be best for me. In March I submitted several applications.
On April 30th I adopted Monkey! SMH. And boy was I in over my head! Monkey was a handful! She had serious impulse control issues and when we were playing she got over excited, caught me as I turned away from her and put me in a full body wrap…standing on her back legs, front legs wrapped around me and head right next to mine as she air snapped and growled….I found out later that she’d been on Prozac and there had actually been conversations in which it was suggested she be euthanized. Not for aggressiveness, just for being “uncontrollable”. I was extremely fortunate to find KD Mathews (Socratic Canine) who taught me how to establish a great relationship with and train Monkey! He is amazing and gave us a very strong foundation upon which to build.
By November, Monkey and I had done extensive training and were venturing out quite a bit. We tried paddle boarding, hiking, trips to Home Depot, frisbee and were looking for something new. At the time, I was thinking fly ball or agility. Then I ran across Terry and Action K9 Sports and saw the video of Reegan Ray herding with her Boxer! I thought, “I didn’t even know herding was a thing! Boxers can herd? Well, what the hell, let’s give it a try!” And we did.
When I met Terry I didn’t know what to expect. I immediately loved her no-nonsense style and the fact that she teaches you how to train your dog. I also loved the whole mentality behind owning a “working” dog. Initially, I thought Monkey might be afraid of the sheep. After all, she got flighty when facing a big leaf, a bird feather, men with hats, men carrying fishing poles, men…etc.
Boy was I wrong. Monkey LOVES sheep! Maybe too much initially, but we got past that.
Monkey and I have made big strides since starting training. Her obedience, and our relationship, continues to grow and I’m now very comfortable having her off leash. I swear, the first time I saw that big, open field I thought to myself, “If we go out there it is very possible I’ll lose the sheep AND the dog!”
Monkey now recalls to me even when I’m opposite other dogs, sheep, or chickens! The other day I was super proud of her when she entered a holding pen off leash and had the self-control to walk up on the sheep, without causing a panic, while I held the gate! Baby steps…but we’re making progress. And having a blast while we do it!
Lori & Monkey