Hadley – work in progress

I am spending Wednesday and Friday mornings with Hadley. We are working on a number of areas and both of us are making progress! Hadley came to us as a very small puppy (7 weeks old) a couple of years ago. She was thought to be a Lab or Golden mix of some sort and was adopted as a first-dog experience to a wonderful family; Mom, Dad, two young girls and a cat. As Hadley grew, she played well with the kids but the cat soon decided to stay on a different floor of the house (probably a wise move) and excused herself from family life. After a recent, unfortunate skirmish between Hadley and a small dog, the family decided that with two small children who are not reliable about closing the door after themselves when they go outside to play; Hadley would be better served with a different (i.e. more vigilant/experienced, non-cat) home. Because we had adopted Hadley out and because we ask that all our adoptive animals are returned to us if something doesn’t work out, Hadley came back to us and for the first time – Hadley and I met each other. It is so much easier to look at a DOG and determine breed than it is to look at a young puppy and try to determine breed. I don’t know exactly what Hadley’s mix is but her temperament and boxy head scream Chow. Hadley is an absolute clown – so funny – she loves to tease! She also likes to have her own way and needs to be reminded of which end of the leash is calling the shots (correct answer: MINE). I have been giving her weekly baths – which she endures but isn’t thrilled about – and we’ve been walking – and walking – and walking. So far, it is just the two of us building a solid foundation. Soon we will work with a Trainer in a controlled environment and introduce her to other dogs so that we can see what (if anything) will happen. There will need to be some failures in order to correct any unwanted behavior. The good news? The cat is back interacting with the family. These are horribly difficult decisions but kudos to the family for realizing that something needed to change both for Hadley and for their family…ultimately, I suspect some sort of subtle mind-manipulation originating from the cat. Onward!