It’s Them or Me

It’s them or me, and my money is on me. I’m the one with the opposable thumbs. I have the power to reason through a problem. I have tenacity. I also have osteoporosis. I was diagnosed in the fall of last year. Me with osteoporosis, no way. I’ve taken calcium religiously for decades. I was devastated when I found out. I’ve always thought that I was unbreakable. No matter how many times the dogs knocked me down; (and they knocked me down a lot) I would get right back up with nothing more than a few bruise to show for it.  Well there was that one time I tripped over the dogs on a walk and tore the cartilage in my knee.  Mitch had to walk home get the El Camino then come back and get me sitting on the side of the road.  Not now.  I have 5% bone loss, which I was told is significant bone loss. So now I’m taking my weekly dose of Fosamax and have realized that I’m quite breakable.  I’m now afraid of falling and breaking something.  I don’t like feeling this way.  I don’t like fear. 

I’ve not taken the lunging or the yanking the dogs do while walking seriously until now.  It’s been a source of entertainment and fodder for my stories.  But now I’ve realized that together the three dogs are much bigger and stronger than me.  I was five foot two before osteoporosis and losing a half inch, which makes me a great boat anchor dragging behind the leashes, but little more than that if the three choose to charge after the object of their interest. 

Basically they’re good dogs, fairly well behaved, but tend to feed off of each other’s emotions.  If one gets excited about seeing someone, the other two join in and I can’t hold them back.  Not anymore.  So now the serious training begins.  I know labs are hardheaded and stubborn, Orso especially seems awfully thick at times, brilliant other times.  We call him “Box of Rocks”.  Charlie is just hardheaded and willful.  When it comes to a battle of the wills, he will not budge one iota.  The thought of violence is often considered with him.  AJ is soft and submissive, but when no one expects it, he will instigate trouble then stand back and let the other two get yelled at.  Sneaky.

Training three dogs at once is a challenge.  One at a time would be easier, but I don’t have the time to work with each dog individually.  So three at a time is our only option.  I’ve given Mitch the ultimatum, “It’s either they get trained to exhibit patience and not lunge or we can’t have the dogs”.  And I have no intention of not having the dogs.

So it’s them or me.  Bet on me.

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