Marshall Chapter 28. His Very First Walk


Marshall has gotten more and more brave with strangers and odd situations. So today I thought I’d put the leash on him, something he’s been terrified of in the past and take him out in the front yard with Charm just to see what his reaction might be. I was completely prepared to take him back inside if he was overwhelmed with the neighborhood.
 
Charm always seems to give him courage so the two of them marched around the grass for about ten minutes marking every corner. A car went by and he was startled but didn’t run. He looked up the street and down the street and seemed to be perfectly comfortable in the open space. He didn’t wince at the leash; I purposefully moved it about and retracted it in a couple of times without incident.
 
So, with little leash training I wasn’t about to tackle any sort of distance. If we had trouble I wanted the space to be able to work through how, exactly, a dog is supposed to walk on a leash. So when he was comfortable with the sidewalk we began. We passed two houses without incident, then three then we were at the corner. He was actively looking around and his tail wasn’t tucked quite so tight. Charm took her good old time smelling everything she came to. I could still hear Sharkey howling from the house at being left out of this equation. 
 
So we continued around the short side of the block and back around the opposite long side to the park. There I let the leash full out and he and Charm trotted about! He seemed happy, thrilled, didn’t start or wince when a truck rumbled by. I gave them about ten minutes and we continued around the last short side to home. He’d made it. Happy, interested and able to overcome new input with relative ease. I was so proud of this big step as small as it may seem to others. 
 
To see video of Marshall on his first walk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4weESZ9P9I

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Susan, Marshall is m...
Comment from: SFC MAC (Guest)
Susan,
Marshall is making amazing progress.   Up until you adopted him, he only knew humans that  inflicted harm and pain.  It takes patience and lots of love to turn that around.  One of our adopted pets (a dog named Lady) never fully recovered from the abuse she suffered.   My mom was the only one she really trusted, since hers was the first face she saw that took her away from her personal hell.  If I ever found out who abused that dog....well I've already told you my methods of retribution.  In any case, I'm really glad to see Marshall doing so well.  Kudos on a job well done!
Suzanne - delightful...
Comment from: Susan (Guest)
Suzanne - delightful blog - I'm so enjoying your story about Breeze and am always open to ideas from others that have dogs that have suffered such horrendous trauma!  I will stay updated with her progress and blessings on your willingness to take a dog with so many special needs!  :-)

Susan
Thank you so much fo...
Comment from: Suzanne (Guest)

Thank you so much for sharing Marshall?s story with us. I have a rescued greyhound who displays very similar behaviors that Marshall does. The folks at the rescue group said she was the most fearful dog they have ever seen come through the door. It was wonderful to read of someone going through the same things we are and how you are working through all of it. Well done on getting him to cross the thresholds one step at a time. What progress!

I completely understand the smallest events celebrated as a huge (but quiet) victory; coming into the house, taking a treat, accepting touch. If you would like to read some of how I worked with Breeze please visit my blog ? Cult of the Greyhound. The direct link to the first rehab posts is: http://cultofthegreyhound.blogspot.com/2010/03/starting-point.html. Maybe some of what we did will give you extra ideas on how to work with Marshall. (Not that you aren?t doing a wonderful job; that is obvious. I just found whenever I read about someone else working with fearful dogs, I was able to apply a part of it to how I work and interact with Breeze.)

I truly look forward to reading the next installments in Marshall?s recovery on his journey to becoming a dog.

This is great to see...
Comment from: Tucker (Guest)
This is great to see.  Phoebe, too, was afraid of the leash when she first got adopted, but with lots of praise and practice, she's now a pro!
Go Marshall!  H...
Comment from: Elizabeth (Guest)
Go Marshall!  Happy blog hopping. :)
Wow...that is great....
Comment from: Paulette (Guest)

Wow...that is great.  It is wonderful to see Marshall being able to embrace the good life.  You have been the perfect mom for Marshall. :)

I'm still laughing a...
Comment from: Robyn (Guest)

I'm still laughing about Sharkey howling at being left behind...

Look - he has some m...
Comment from: Shanon (Guest)
Look - he has some muscles!
"Rooty Toot Toot,   ...
Comment from: Staci (Guest)
"Rooty Toot Toot, 
                                      open the shoot"



 Way to go Marshall.......
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