This blog is primarily used to document the daily successes and challenges of the dogs that come to me for boarding and training. One of the reasons they succeed is my dog. So, I’m going to introduce you to my angel-girl, Glimmer.
This is Glimmer with me and husband last summer . She is a Golden Retriever/Shih-tzu/Cocker Spaniel mix, and she is 9 years old. She is loving and joyful, and she loves humans – especially, babies. She is incredibly gentle with babies.
Glimmer has been helping me teach other dogs for the past 7 years. She has served as an assistant to a now-former trainer who worked with dog-reactive and dog-aggressive dogs, she has been in service as an unofficial emotional-support dog to several people who suffer with anxiety and depression, and she has assisted in teaching other dogs proper dog-to-dog and dog-to-human etiquette. She has even served as an paranormal investigator.
Glimmer came into our lives at the very tender age of 5 weeks. Her dam had stopped nursing her and her siblings. The owners’ vet advised them to put the puppies on a soft diet, and when the puppies were about 4 weeks old, he cleared the owners to adopt the puppies out. When we got Glimmer, her eyes and ears had only been open for a couple of weeks, and she was still learning how to walk.
The first few weeks of Glimmer’s life with us was challenging. She had to be nursed with goat’s milk every few hours and supplemented with mushed up food. As she grew stronger and she was able to take on a more solid diet, the challenges changed to those of teaching her all the critical social skills she should have learned from her mother and siblings, introducing her to as many aspects of daily life as possible, and helping her through potty training, crate training, house-breaking, teething, and all the other things every dog goes through as they grow and mature. Fortunately, our cat Charlie – the initial reason we adopted Glimmer – came out of his depression over losing his pair-bond mate, Rascal, and helped me teach Glimmer the important social skills she needed to learn.
Over the years, Glimmer has become an extraordinary dog. She has retained her love of humans, she is incredibly tolerant of other animals that come into our home for training and behavioral help, she has continued to serve as an emotional support dog to people who visit us that are suffering from anxiety, depression, and other emotional struggles… She has been one of the most precious, most profound gifts the universe has ever given me and my husband.
When I meet with clients whose dogs are overly excitable around other dogs, I bring Glimmer with me and she follows my lead while doing what she does to put the other dog at ease. When I take in a dog with behavioral issues, Glimmer takes the lead and I follow her. Sometimes, the best way to help a dog is to have a calm, stable dog there to lead the way. Over the past seven years, Glimmer has been that source of calmness for many dogs, and because of her, those dogs have been able to become more calm and stable themselves.
Now you know more about my beautiful angel-girl, Glimmer. Over the coming days and weeks, I am going to be writing about her more often. The challenges of training a senior dog, the successes she has in different aspects of practicing her lessons, and how she’s doing generally speaking… Working with a senior dog is often much different from working with a younger dog or a puppy.
Have a great day, and remember: Stay calm, and lead on…