It's not like Maisie's behavior has completely changed...she still does a lot of this:
I have noticed some differences though. The last few times we've gone to the park, Maisie's main interests have been eating grass and rolling in the sprinkler puddles. But she still ran or wrestled with other dogs for at least a bit. Last weekend when we went, she chowed down on grass as usual but other than that, she seemed kind of scared and refused to leave my side. She wouldn't go near other dogs unless I literally walked her up to them and turned away (at times even running away) when other dogs approached her. She sat right next to me (nearly on top of me sometimes) and ducked when other people tried to pet her.
It was a concerning change and one that I hope will be temporary.
Since she won't run at the park and is no longer going to daycare, she isn't getting much exercise which I know is not helping the situation. So as I previously mentioned, I hired a professional dog runner service to take her out once a week (at least while I can still afford it). Maisie had her first run last week and I was ecstatic to have a VERY tired dog return home. Here's the email I received from her runner that night:
"Maisie did well on the run today. We covered 3.8 miles. We kept a pretty easy pace and stopped for water breaks. She wouldn't drink much water so I poured some water on her back a few times to keep her cool. I also took a few walk breaks with her to allow her to cool down a little. We ran over by the lakefront and she ran right alongside me without getting distracted. Even with bikers whizzing past us at times and going by other people, she didn't really react at all so all in all it went well and I think she'll do great on future runs."
I was thrilled that it seemed to work out so well and look forward to Maisie's second run on Thursday. Hopefully the activity will help alleviate some doggie stress, and therefore also some mommy guilt!
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