Small victories

Navi has been scared of getting in the car since we got her. In fact before we adopted her, when I just knew her at the dog park, she didn’t like riding in the car. So I knew that was an issue. Unfortunately it’s kind of a big issue, because of where we live we can’t just head out the door and go for a walk. Rural roads with no sidewalks, just speeding cars with a ditch along the side of the road are not conductive to going for relaxing dog walks. So to get out we pretty much have to go for a drive to get somewhere safe to walk. But poor Navi would strain at the leash to stay away from the car, and then when put in it she would sit in the back seat, head hung down, drooling and miserable. That miserable experience was making every trip a bit more difficult than the last.

Since Navi didn’t like the car, I tried desensitizing her to it by letting them play around the van, hopping in and out freely for treats. Once she felt better about that I would close them up in the van while we hung out and had treats, then let her go. When she was comfortable with that I would close her in the van and back it up the length of the driveway and drive back up to the house. Last week I took her in the van into town (a nice short drive) for a fun walk at the park with our dog friends. Today I took her for another ride just to go pick Dave up at work, and she did fine again. We even stopped at the feed store and she went in with me and said hi to the cashier. Then we came back out and she jumped right in the van with just a little encouragement.

So the car issue is slowly becoming a non-issue. I’m looking forward to being able to just take her for a ride, then we can go for more walks, and go to dog training and stuff like that. Because right now she’s just having fun around the house:

Here she is eating an egg. I think it’s the first time I’ve given her a whole egg. It took her a while to figure out what to do with it. 
 Barclay knows how to get into an egg. It’s one of his favorite perks of living on the farm!
 It’s hard to get pictures of Navi, they always seem to come out like this!
Or this! Fuzzy dog!
Unless she stops to chew on a giant bone.
Barclay’s favorite thing in the world is playing with his flirt pole, or as we call it ‘stickball’. He gets a hold of the ball and doesn’t want to let it go, but when I get it back he loves chasing it and jumping in the air to snatch it back! 
Navi likes to get involved by getting between him and the stick. Notice how Barclay keeps a foot on the rope, just to make sure I don’t get it away from him.
He never gets grouchy with her, he just patiently waits for her to get out of the way so he can play some more.
So I get the ball back and swing it around, and all eyes are on the ball.
Barclay is not only acrobatic in his leaps and spins to get the ball, but he does an amazing job of calculating where the ball will swing to, and is often in mid-air waiting for it. And then Navi gets involved…
They make me laugh all the time!

3 thoughts on “Small victories

  1. I can see why….with their zest for life and fun!
    Is that Navi with the foot on the rope in the last photo? Very clever! hehe!

    What a good dog owner you are to help Navi work through her fear issues in the car. With time and your help, I bet she will overcome her fears.



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