Saturday, November 10, 2012

Good girls get the cookies

I learned an expensive and good lesson from BeBe the other day. People don't give you cookies if you misbehave. Hmmm. For years I've been claiming it's no accident I rescue pit bulls.

I've never been one to back down over things that matter to me. There's an old saying, 'if you stop to fight with every barking dog, you'll never get to town.' That has come back around to bite me in the ass more than a couple of times. I guess the trick is to qualify what really matters.

Peanut sits for a cookie!
So how can I expect BeBe and the other dogs to behave, not bark, sit pretty and be nice without a reward? They all want a cookie. And...the nice girls get the cookies. A little secret, I call them all girls. Little Peanut from Alvin who was salvaged from the Spindletop raid had the hardest time learning a sit, but today he became a man. Today, Peanut offered his first sit for a cookie. Huge.

Peanut has the slim build of a habitual criminal. You know, the guys you see in prison, somebody's punk, like a Barney Fife who just fell in with the wrong crowd. Peanut came here very stressed out. He'd survived the high kill animal control in Alvin only to be pulled by Leah Purcell of Spindletop under Reunion Rescue's 501(c)(3). Slight problem, Reunion didn't even know until long after the raid and Peanut, then known as Feo, was being held at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds by the authorities.

Since I'd written the initial story about Feo, I felt responsible for him. After all, he was a Reunion dog. Full here with the defacto no kill shelter we had to set up with limited resources, Feo was placed in boarding.

Angel, now Hub, was adopted by a longtime Reunion adopter who has relocated to Minnesota which opened up a spot for Feo. When Feo arrived, he was a total mess. He vomited everything and has terrible diarrhea. This went on for a couple of months. After several recent horror stories with conventional vets, I was certainly reticent to subject poor Feo to a battery of tests and what I knew they'd prescribe, nasty ass Metronidazole (Flagyl) which would leave him certainly worse for wear in the long run.

I held true to what I've learned homeopathically and started Peanut on a quality kibble diet, even though all the rescued cats and dogs here at the sanctuary are fed organic raw. I knew the jump to raw diet would stress his system and patience would win in the end.

It took a few weeks and slowly Peanut was transitioned to raw. First he, like Nolan, started on chicken necks and a beef blend, but eventually, he was chomping down on a chicken quarter like the best of them. Little narrow-ass Peanut had won. I knew he was truly on the road to recovery.

I also knew that Peanut would be a hard sell on the sit. For weeks, I could only get one sit per session from him, truly a half-ass sit, if you get my drift, by use of the tennis ball. Peanut is a ball freak. Loves to fetch.

He was not food oriented for obvious reasons. Who knows what and when he was eating at Spindletop and his gastro-intestinal problems dogging him from place to place had been very hard on his little system. Food was not Peanut's friend. He needed time and good nourishment on a steady basis to learn that food was a good thing.

Also, and very importantly, Peanut had probably never even seen a cookie. I had to remember this. Here is a poor boy whose system has been ravaged by bad food and some crazy lady waving more of it in his face saying, 'sit' which sounds like something in German. Poor baby.

But, today, he made the final step. Peanut sat for a cookie. And sat for another cookie. And again and again and again. I was ecstatic. I had to stop, because I knew I'd give him an upset stomach if I kept it up. Peaunut is a winner. He is going to be a wonderful pet someday when he learns he can trust people. I don't blame him for being a little slow to believe. I'm still trying to learn to trust people.

I'm also learning to be a good girl since good girls get the cookies in life. It works on people, too.

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