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My reactive dog -

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She turns 5 next month.  

When she was a year old she couldn't hack walking down the street and seeing a piece of garbage blowing in the wind, much less classes.

When she was 18 months she was freaking out at things at HOME, so she went on meds, took a couple of months off and we started over at 'take a walk'.

When she was 2, she was able to attend some agility club things (outside but in a group)

When she was almost 3 she started trialing - with lots and lots of management..

Today?  Lots of agility titles, but more importantly:

That's her. In a public park, playing with one of my friends.  She doesn't know those other two dogs or people at all.  There's a bus driving by.  There is a BIRTHDAY PARTY setting up. 


It wasn't fast, but my god I don't have a single regret  - not about the path we took, not about where we are.   The journey isn't over - and I'm excited to see where we wind up.  Patience pays off.

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Oh, she was never entirely right in the head.  She could have passed for normal, if somewhat shy, as a young puppy but by 4 or so months old she was losing her crap at the vet - big time - and got steadily worse from there until she was put on an SSRI.

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2 hours ago, D'Elle said:

Thanks for such an encouraging post. I have no doubt it will help others who can't yet see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I hope so.  This is kind of a brag, but the primary purpose of the post is just that.  

I remember, so clearly, being kind of frantic and trying to work out what to do and where we were trying to go/what the future looked like and I found about four billion other people having issues, and a whole bunch of half joking 'we walk at 3 a.m and dive into the bushes' accounts, but almost nothing about dogs who actually got BETTER.   Like - not even normal but dogs just... happy and living life. 


So, I try to put it out there in hopes that it gives someone a little encouragement that there is an 'on the other side', at least sometimes.   It might not be a totally normal dog by lab standards, but 'dog happy living life and being in the world doing dog things' is certainly within the realm of possible.


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