Darla's dog wash

Darla's dog wash

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Darla's dog wash

Monday, September 1, 2010

September 1st, 2010 marks the first anniversary of the death of two-year-old Darla. That afternoon, five months earlier, my husband, Jeff, found Darla with her head buried in the dry dog food. We had a good relationship with Darla, who lived at our house from September, 2008 until March of 2010, a period of about four months.

We adopted Darla, a German Shepherd, from a friend of mine, and it has been an interesting journey, to say the least. At the time, when we got Darla, she was seven years old, not an unhealthy dog by any means, just aging. The trouble was that the rescue dogs at the shelter had done her some damage. They had found a spot on her back, where someone had tried to give her a backriding.

At the time, I was working as a receptionist at a small law firm, and we didn't have any other dogs. I thought we'd have the dog at our house for awhile, until we could get her treated for the backriding. Instead, I spent the summer making sure she had proper feeding and grooming. She ate and drank a lot. I gave her a lot of attention, and let her know that I loved her, and she loved me right back.

We kept in touch with her rescue group and she was adopted, by a good family, to live happily ever after.

However, the family had changed. They were busy with their own children and work, and they rarely had any time to play with the dog. I think it was inevitable that Darla would become a needy dog. As we got older and had more stuff to do, and as Darla saw that her adopted family was always doing something, she became increasingly needy and demanding. She needed attention constantly. Every day, she would run over and try to get into our laps and lick our faces. She was a real "troublemaker" and she got into things.

And if we didn't pay attention, she would chew on everything and we'd have to wash dishes and fix a broken appliance just to stop her from licking up some other piece of furniture.

By the time we finally could afford to put her up for sale, I was so frustrated by her constant begging and needy, it was almost impossible to walk away from her without having to put up with some kind of behavior.

In the end, I didn't get any offers for her. No one seemed to want to adopt a needy dog. I got a check for her, and she moved into a rescue group in another city. After she lived with that rescue for awhile, she got adopted by a couple who had another dog in the house. She found a new, happy home.

So, if you're thinking about adopting a dog, you should think about doing it slowly, with time, patience, and persistence. There will be challenges and they may be frustrating, but once you have some experience with your dog, you can figure out a way to manage the situation and find happiness and balance with your new companion.

## **Chapter 3

Getting to Know the New Dog**

Once your new dog arrives at your home, the first thing you'll want to do is go into your backyard or run and let her sniff around to see where you live. If you live in a place with more than one house, go into your neighbor's backyard first. After you do that, you may want to go into your own backyard and see if she shows interest.

### **Introducing Her to You**

The next thing you should do is meet your new dog. This is called a _meet and greet_ and it's what most new dogs go through. A "meet and greet" is a term used to refer to the introduction of two individuals. People use it to describe the first time that two unfamiliar individuals meet.

In this case, your dog meets you in your own backyard. Let her sniff you, so that she can get to know you a little bit. Have a conversation with your dog, so she can decide whether or not she likes you.

If you have a dog with separation anxiety, you can have a "meet and greet" with your new dog, or you can have it later when you take your dog outside to take her for a walk.

One of the best ways to get acqunted is to take your dog outside in your backyard or on a nearby sidewalk. If you and your dog have an enclosed yard, you should walk around it and let your dog sniff your fence. If you live in a single-family home, you may have a back porch or patio that you can walk through and invite your new dog to sniff your legs, shoes, or other stuff. In your yard, you and your dog can sniff each other's front paws, ears, etc. You and your dog can sit down together and simply enjoy each other's company.

Another alternative is to take your dog for a walk in your backyard or to another public place. When she sees your dog, your dog will want to investigate, sniffing all around your dog. You and your dog should look and act natural, as if nothing is unusual. Don't try to play with your dog when you meet her for the first time. Let your dog be the one to introduce herself, as this will help her know that she is in charge.

### **Introducing Them to Each Other**

After your dog and you have been introduced, you can bring your dog over to your backyard and greet your dog with a big wag of your tl, and some happy and welcoming noises. When your dog has met your dog, you will need to ask her if she wants to play. Be careful not to rush your dog. Make sure she is comfortable with your dog before allowing her to play. If she is afrd, take it slowly.

There are many things to consider when introducing your dog and another dog. Make sure your dog and your dog's new playmate are at the same level. If the other dog is more dominant or aggressive, do not play with your dog. Playmates should be at the same level in their energy and size. Make sure your dog is comfortable with all dogs. If your dog has never been around other dogs, you may want to consider enrolling her in a doggy daycare or trning class. The other dog should not play rough with your dog. Do not attempt to play tug of war with your dog.

Your dog should never be allowed to pick a fight. Some dogs are aggressive and have an undercurrent of aggression that comes out when they play. If your dog behaves aggressively with another dog, take it out and play a different game. Never let your dog fight with another dog. If your dog acts aggressively or is bitten by another dog, see a veterinarian. Always teach your dog what is and isn't acceptable behavior for him, and help her learn that he can and should be gentle with other animals. It is best if the other dog understands the rules. Your dog should learn not to chase or bite other animals.

Dogs need to socialize. If you are having trouble socializing your dog, consider signing up for doggy daycare or enrolling her in a canine trning class. Your dog needs to know how to interact with other animals. If you take your dog to doggy daycare or other places where there are other dogs, you will need to show your dog how to approach and greet the other dogs.


If your dog jumps or bites someone while off her leash, you

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