Friday, November 6, 2009

Any Connection?

*Warning* This post contains a rant.

For some reason I have been having a lot of trouble connecting with Betsy. I mean I love her to death, but I don't feel as close to her as I was to Gabrina. Maybe it's because she is my second dog, or maybe it's because she would rather just stay home and sleep. Gabrina was always ready to go, it didn't matter what time of day of what she was doing. I could open the door while she was eating dinner and she would come running. And Gabrina was fearless, she went basically everywhere from day 1. We were always together. Betsy doesn't like going anywhere. I will pick up her vest and show it to her and she doesn't even get up. She has no interest in going anywhere with me. Now if I sit on the floor with her she will come and cuddle up, but honestly, I don't have a lot of time to spend cuddling. I need a dog that is eager to go everywhere and do everything. A dog that will do anything to please me. Betsy isn't that dog. Everyone falls in love with Betsy. What can I say, she is a great dog, but I guess the point of this post is to say...she isn't my Gabrina.

[Betsy and me being silly]

[Gabrina and me sleeping. I have a ton of pictures from all different days of us like this]

Wow, I just reread what I wrote up there and that is not at all what I meant to say when I started this post. But I can't bring myself to delete it, because it's the truth. The point of this post was to say that I don't think you can effectively train a dog that you are not connected with. You don't have the desire for them to succeed. I haven't been working with Betsy nearly as much as I did with Gabrina. Maybe that's why we aren't as connected. We didn't have that "love and first sight" connection so I gave up. It's my fault. I need to try harder, make things funner, and give it my all. Betsy needs to succeed.

I think that Betsy came to me for a reason. I have this strong belief that every puppy raiser is given the puppy that they need at that moment. Gabrina came "brave" because I needed someone strong to get me through my crazy freshman year. But Betsy is a softy because I need to slow down. I am way too busy. Betsy is here to force me to slow down, to stop over committing myself. I need to "stop and smell the roses" enjoy high school, I only have 2 more years and I'm done. That's it, game over.

I have thought about transferring Betsy, but I can't bring myself to do it. I love her. She may not be my soulmate dog, but I love her. And I can't cut my time with her short. On top of that, my dad loves her. Sure, she's not my soulmate dog, but she's his. He has spent countless hours working on her commands and taking her on outings. She is the perfect dog for him and I can't take that away.

Betsy and I just need to find something that we have in common. Something we both love. For Gabrina and I, it was being busy. But Betsy and I haven't quite found our interest yet. It will come with time. I know it will. Even if it's the day before recall, I will connect with Betsy.

End rant.

If you stuck it through that, thank you.

Maddie and Betsy


Heather and Ellie said...

It took me a long time to connect with Ellie. It was harder with her being a weekend puppy where I didn't hang out with her much, plus I already had something against her--she was a female black Lab. I absolutely LOVE the male dogs, but I don't connect with females so much, even less so the black lab females.
So, I trained her because I like training but for quite awhile I didn't love her at all. I liked having a puppy around, but there was not even a little bit of love (besides that she was just a dog and I like dogs!).
And it's true, like you said with Betsy, Ellie wasn't thrilled to work on commands and go into town. She liked hanging around the house chewing on her bones and going for walks in the woods.
But just recently, she's started getting attached to me. Now she is always excited to see me and loves going out to play and fetch the ball. Now that she loves me more, I love her a LOT more.
I got her at 4 months. It's just now that she's 8 months I'm starting to love her.
Maybe it's that I like older puppies more? I don't know. Maybe once Betsy gets older she'll be more excited to go on adventures. I know Ellie is definitely way happier going out now that she's older.
OK, was that too long? Sorry......

R said...

Again, I'm amazed at what puppy raisers go through. When it gets frustratig, just remember how many lives like mine you are touching. Hopefully she'll get more excited about the work, but maybe you're right, maybe she's here to tell you to slow down. I just had that same aha moment the other day. Keep your chin up, keep ranting because I know for me, its incredibly theraputic ;)

I have to say too, that I'm amazed you're in high school.Your writing and views on life are so mature.

Kate Richardson said...

I completely understand where you're coming from on this post. After having 6 dogs in my house, I know for a fact that you have more connection with some dogs than other. Really, you are doing nothing wrong! Each dog is very different and Betsy will go at her own pace. If it becomes a bad thing for Betsy, that's the only time that you should consider transferring. I transferred a dog that I had that kind of non-connection with to someone else in my club, so I still got to have her on trade and watch her go through the program and succeed. I know that you'll do what's right for Betsy and I promise that you'll have another soul mate connection with a GDB pup again!

Erin and her Dogs said...

You are not alone!! I went through those EXACT SAME THOUGHTS with my 2nd puppy Rei. It don't think I ever really "got along" with her until she was about 14 months old...she was way more energy than I wanted, she didn't like to hang out; and I too thought about transferring her to another raiser. Now I'm glad I didn't. Rei taught me so many things that have come in handy with the many dogs I've housed over the last year.
Think of this as a learning experiance! :))

OSU 98 said...

I can relate somewhat..sometimes, I think Chelsie's injury was God's way of telling me I need to slow down...and I feel terrible that she has had to suffer to teach me that it is ok not to be going 100 mph all the time. She needs me so much right now, and I can't imagine not being here for her. Part of my fear of getting another dog is I because I am afraid it would damage the bond we have.

As far as "game over" for HS, it is definitely not "game over", more like "GAME ON" in college!!!

Thanks for reminding me it is ok to stop and smell the roses. :) You will find your way with Betsy.

Ally, Teddy and Kira said...

Don't feel bad, my pet dog "Kira" and I don't have much in common and I'm not as attatched to her as I am to Teddy but the connection is different. You bond with each dog differently and sometimes it doesn't feel like you bond at all, but when they leave, you know you have bonded. I was in a similar situation with Eclipse and Eola but I wasn't as strong with you and with all the other things going on I gave up on her and gave her back. I admire your strength in keeping her. There will never be another Gabrina, there will be polar opposites, like Betsy, and those that will come along who are similar but there will never be another dog like Gabrina. Remember that, and while it doesn't seem to help, I find it helps me, especially in dealing with Charlie.

I know you have a hard time with Betsy at times, and it's part of puppy raising but like you said, keep looking for that one thing you two have in common, whether it's hiking, walks in the park, chilling in front of your computer, whatever it is, it will make it all worth it!

Stacie said...

I think what you are feeling is normal and I have to admit that I am not nearly as bonded with Anthony as I was with Gardner. I think there was something extra special about the G litter. Hang in there you will find that bond, I have bonded with Anthony but It will never be the same as with Gardner. I think every dog is different and special in its own way and because of the we bond with them differently.