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Balancing Priorities

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Old May 24th 04, 03:51 PM
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Default Balancing Priorities

Had hubby's family over last night to celebrate family b'days. Prepared in
advance some yummy kongs, and had some bones on hand, because I knew Macula
was going to be exiled to her crate (or at least another room) for much of
the visit. One nephew (turning 7yos) used to be terrified of dogs and even
know his tolerance really depends on his mood. Sometimes he's playing with
Macula, next visit he's frightened again. His younger sister (turning 5yos)
is a drama queen: she's not afraid of dogs except when she realizes that
one's presence allows her to make a scene--screaming in fright, running
around wildly, imagining Macula is going to eat her just 'cause Pupster's
sitting there watching her with a look on her face like "What is *wrong*
with this child?" I also figured that Macula would be, in the long run,
happier not to be in the centre of things: while she *hates* being
seperated from her "pack," she has always found it difficult to settle down
in the midst of a crowd--any time someone goes behind her she jumps up--I
think she's afraid someone's going to step on her tail.

So anyway, everything was ready to give Macula a seperate but equal good
time, and then a thunderstorm broke. Now Pupster has never "freaked" at
storms, but she certainly doesn't like them. She's quiet about it, but
she's clingy: you'll notice her lying *on* your feet instead of at them,
or leaning against you instead of simply standing beside you. We've never
made a big deal about the storms, we just kinda let her snuggle and not say
anything about it. But last night, she couldn't cling, because she was in
her crate. I listened to her barking and crying to be let out, but I knew
the family couldn't handle her at the dinner table: besides, I was afraid
that letting her out would validate her fears. I covered her crate with a
blanket, hoping it would make her feel more secure, but it didn't seem to

We are continuing with the crate training, but I'm not sure she will *ever*
view the crate as a "refuge." But I'm wondering if I did right last night,
or if I've now given the crate even more negative connotations in her mind.



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