Ok so you knew this was coming sooner or later…more of the dog blogs 🙂
As many of you know I have always loved dogs and been a fan of this breed and prior to having my current 2 Weims Pip and Savannah I had Miss Chelsea.
When I first got Chelsea I took some flack because I wasn’t training her to hunt, I didn’t want to breed her, nor did I want to show her. To many of those in the purebred Weim world this was as much as sacrilegious. But that wasn’t important to me; what was important was to give a long healthy life to a buddy; and she had just that. Bless her wee heart she made it to 15 yrs old and up to the end she would walk up to 7 km a day and not miss a beat. She was a traveled, brilliant, funny, playful dog for 15 years. As time went by Pip came to live with Chelsea and I and then after Chelsea passed Savannah joined our fold. I thought adding to the brood would be good and that Chelsea could teach and have a house/playmate. Just like any pet Chelsea could never be replaced and had a personality all her own. She gave me all she could and I loved her dearly, and she spoiled me into thinking all would be as fabulous as her! I think we make the mistake of assuming that when you know a breed; you know a breed and it’s all good. All that goes out the window and “knowing “a breed doesn’t mean a thing when you bring in a rescue of that breed or any other. I highly underestimated and was not prepared for what was coming my way in doing rescue: Pip gave me a wake up call to that very quickly! Here I was with this fabulous, placid, stoic, brilliant beautiful old gal and in comes “Pip” a.k.a. Cujo.
It was a whole new world I had embarked on and yet it’s interesting because in keeping in touch with the rescues and foster parent I don’t get that she was problematic at all. I very quickly became a trigger for Pip and she would try to dominate me and if she felt threatened by Chelsea she would go at her. When that happened so may people said to me that she was a write off. A very prominent local dog trainer told me she “couldn’t be fixed” and “needed to be put down”. Ive heard similar opinions along the way because it took awhile to work with her and she had issues to say the least. I would never visit the notion of relinquishing her or worse yet putting her down. When I rescued I was in for the long haul; barring injury to a child or adult, she wasn’t going anywhere. Before I brought her home I knew in doing so I was a making a commitment and it just turned out to be a challenging one.
Savanahh wasn’t quite as volatile but she had her own stuff going on. I remember on the way home she snapped at my friend “S” who was in the backseat with her. And “S” had been bitten years before so needless to say I wound up in the back seat and she drove home; all 14 plus hours. All the while Im thinking…..”oh Lordy Lordy Lordy….here we go again: but this one is actually snarling and snapping at people”! There were a lot of issues she came with and there are still some residual problems like her fear of storms or even flickering TV’s. But she has come so far from the chewing Weim with separation anxiety, terrified, spoiled and stubborn to still stubborn (but that Im sure is the Weim thing), afraid of storms, trainable, cuddly and socialized.The motley crew of agility 😉
People are quick to assume Pip and Savannahs problems lie from their deafness and I am here to tell you that’s not true. On the contrary as you can see they are still just as capable as a hearing dog, learning everything from ringing a bell to go out to running agility courses. Clearly being deaf adds elements and learning curves that you wouldn’t otherwise have with a hearing dog. But it doesn’t make them fearful to the core, it doesn’t make them vicious, and it certainly doesn’t make them “less”. These attributes are part of their history and experiences that brought them to rescue. Lotsa love, patience, training, consistency and commitment to them will help them turn around and see life in a new light. You can only hope that one day they will be happy, and I now believe they are.
My hope in my pipe dream world would be for others to have just even a molecule of understanding and acceptance for dogs (much like people) that you believe are different. Show them the same love and kindness you would with your own whether they are from a breeder or rescue.
I no longer question (nor have I for a very long time) my decision to bring these gals home. When I see where they have been and where they are now with the bounce in their steps and the wags of the tails…it makes me smile and I like to think they do to.