Here is another testimonial sent our way re: BHRR's Dana! The support being sent her way has been PHENOMENAL and I really should not be surprised for she is one FABU dog!
It took a few days after coming back to BHRR; before she felt 100% comfortable; she was very unsure of what is and is not expected/required of her and was not playful or her 'ALVIN' mischievous self. 🙁
YET, just this past weekend after getting back into the routine plus structure of life at BHRR, she began to work the ice cube maker on the fridge again! YAY! YAY! BHRR's DANA IS BACK in the house! 😀
I will have to take more videos and photos of this dog living in complete harmony in a large multi dog home; thriving under consistency plus dedication AND her happy tail is healing beautifully! THUMBS up BHRR's Dana!!!!
Testimonial #3: From M. Bird – approved wonderful BHRR Volunteer; very animal experienced, knowledgeable plus another deeply respected member of their own community!
April 25th, 2012
I wanted one of "THOSE DOGS." You know what I'm talking about, those dogs that walk nicely on loose leashes, seem bomb proof, share their beds, welcome new dogs into their homes, sit nicely when they meet new people while their owners are relaxed and enjoying a good time. You know…one of THOSE DOGS! The ones that most people think only exist in movies or the very rare occasion see one walking down the street or playing in the dog park and wonder what breeder that it came from or what trainer pulled that miracle, or perhaps what medication the vet has that dog on? Yeah, wake up folks. While passing along full kudos to quality/reputable breeders, trainers and vets (ok not the medicating for behaviour ones) for doing their important part in things…THOSE DOGS aren't born. They are made every day for their whole lives. Made with lots of love and patience and tons of hard, determined and consistent work, AND knowledgeable people like Gwennie Boers. You know the trick with knowledgeable people like Gwennie Boers? – if you don't listen to their advice, your don't get one of THOSE DOGS. And even if you are handed one of THOSE DOGS, they won't stay that way because you won't have met their needs.
I think that it all comes down to the reality that most people think that they know a lot more about dogs as a species than they really do. They aren't people in fur coats ya know. If you don't believe me feel free to read up the first few chapters of books like "Inside of a Dog" by Alexandra Horowitz which is my current self imposed reading assignment. Guess who inspired my quest for a better, more realistic, understanding of Canis Domesticus? Yup, Gwennie Boers that's who. Like many other very fortunate people, Gwen and Sean have been right there for us with our Honourary Giants who aren't even giants nor from BHRR. BUT, that matters little to Gwen when a home is out of kilter and dogs and people are suffering for it. Yes, I too, despite a life time of working with dogs, had to swallow that bitter reality pill. I wasn't seeing what my dogs were trying to tell me. Well, perhaps I was seeing it, even slipped into complaining about it and rationalizing it to anyone who cared to listen when strolling through the dog park all the while throwing wistful glances at people fortunately enough to have found the cabbage patch where THOSE DOGS come from. But really, I knew better, as my Dad always said, if there is an issue with your dog – go look in the mirror because chances are pretty high that you'll find your problem looking right back at ya when ya get there. I'm thinking Gwen and my Dad would have gotten right along! Long story short my mirror is well used and while I still don't have one of THOSE DOGS….yet, I will because I am learning who my dog really is what what he needs. AND, I am loving every step of the journey to get there.
Dogs, like people, are a lifetime work in progress. You need to work with them, and yourself, every day.
And now onto the main theme of this missive. Cue music to The Sounds of Music's, "Maria, (The Nuns)"….
How do you understand a Dane like Dana??
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you understand a Dane like Danaaaaaa?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp!, a clown!.
Yes, if you will forgive the hazards of anthropomorphizing, this is in fact the song that comes to mind when I think of the wonderful Dana. I got to know Dana during my time at BHRR in March and fell head over heels for a smart, sassy, beautiful dog who loves with her whole heart and soul, just like the Maria in the movie. But my time with her taught me that just like the Maria in the movie, if you don't pay attention to what she is telling you about what is going on in her head, you may find all your dogs hanging from trees wearing the curtains, or in her case lounging on the person couch wrapped in toilet paper! Dana, like all the dogs, was happy to see me and was literally at the front of the pack to show me lots of love AND to find out just how much love she could show me without Gwen around. A jump up with a hug perhaps? Ever feel like a new toy being tried out to see how much fun you are?
I'd like to say a word on her behalf..
Dana, makes me, laugh!
There were quite a few speculative sets of canine eyes observing to see how things might develop let me tell you! But I was armed with Gwennie rules and determined to be worthy of the trust placed in me by Gwen and Sean to mind their dogs for a short time. So I tore my gaze from those gorgeous eyes of hers and popped her firmly back to 4 on the floor along with a "nice try Dana!" which, I laugh to remember, got me a full blown body wiggle of a wagging tale from her! And that was the beginning of a most wonderful relationship! During my shifts at BHRR I learned that Dana is, above all things, devoted to those she loves. And she loves freely and openly. During her rotations she followed me everywhere and was quite happy to try to help with anything I was doing and snuggled her head right into my stomach if I didn't appear to have other uses for my hands.(Don't worry Gwen, my hands were usually quite busy! lol) She puts her whole heart into everything that she does. But, it is important to remember that she does that because she is safe and secure and knows exactly what is ok and what isn't. Like any living creature she will test those rules sometimes to make sure that they are still there, snugly around her keeping her world safe. And she will need all dogs in her home to follow those same rules. When I let her know that house rules stand when I am there, she relaxed, was happy and just full of joy. Boundaries checked and in place, her world would remain stable and secure while I was there.
She'd out pester any pest
Drive a hornet from it's nest
She could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl
She is gentle! She is wild!
She's a riddle! She's a child!
She's a headache! She's an angel!
She's a Dane!
Dana has had her own journey in life. When she arrived at BHRR she was not the dog that she is today. With Gwen and Sean by her side, she has faced ups and downs, persevered through challenges, received and given knowledge. Her right matched home, if they are smart, will set themselves, their family and Dana up for success by following the rules that have made Dana who she is. Who is that you ask? Well I'll tell ya! She is a dog that will always have a place in my heart. She is a dog that will provide endless love, joy and laughter to the home wise enough to learn who she really is and keep her challenged and happy. Dana is, and in the right home will continue to be, one of THOSE DOGS!
How do you love a Dane like Dana? Easy
With Dana you CAN hold a moonbeam in your hand!