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Doggie Inverse

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My old boy Buddy was fearful and reactive. Meeting other dogs was a problem his whole life, and meeting people was difficult, then tolerated, then accepted. I used to feel like Buddy walked around with body language that said, "Stay OUT OF MY FACE!!" I'd be so happy when we met that one in a hundred dog that he chose as a friend; seeing him play and have fun was such a joy and so rare, especially in his early years with me.


My new dog, Cricket, came from a hoarding case (50 dogs removed into a local shelter after the owner was evicted from his property). The first few weeks with me she was very fearful of other dogs - would pull to the end of her leash to get away from them. But living with 50 dogs, she obviously learned dog mannerisms and behaviors. As time has passed, she's shown that she loves meeting other dogs, and I feel like her body language says, "It's cool, guys! I just want to be friends and play chase!"


We met a pitt bull mix yesterday. Her owner was really tense because the beautiful young dog is fearful and reactive to most dogs and people. Cricket approached and then backed off, slowly moving in until she did a play bow. The other dog was nervous, then relaxed, then playful. They had a game of leash-tag. Best of all, the other dog came to me, and eventually gave kisses and cuddles. The other owner was so happy and excited that her dog had been able to make a dog and a human friend.


It feels like the universe has given me the exact inverse of the dog I had before - a perfect complement - and that my experience with Buddy lets Cricket be a little joy in the lives of dogs who are anxious and fearful. It's been a really lovely gift these last couple months!

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