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Lessons from our hounds

December 24, 2019

I have to share this story of these two: ever since we adopted Bonnie (the black whippetx) 4yrs ago (at just under 1yr old) she’s been terrified of dogs she doesn’t know. This manifests in her shouting at them Very Loudly when on walks and if she’s off the lead she does a sort of fly-by shouting a them At Great Speed. We’ve tried everything, taken various advice from trainers, even a muzzle (which we all hated so that didn’t last long). Just recently we’ve been learning to surf and we’re on a quiet(ish) beach where the only thing for the hounds to chase is rabbits in the sand dunes. So far so good. We decided to see how the hounds would cope with coming surfing with us – and they’ve been brilliant. Sitting at the side of the ocean, watching us; not straying too far away. BUT the absolute unexpected bonus of this has been that Kit (the blond lurcher x deerhound) is teaching Bonnie not to shout at other dogs. We cannot believe it. We are out in the ocean waves and can’t do anything, so when other people walk past with their dogs and Bonnie takes off towards them Kit cuts her off at the pass Every Time. He shouts at her, points her in another direction and remains running alongside her to keep her away from the dogs. And Then (I kid you not) he goes over to say hello to the other dogs and she kinda follows. Tentative. But still… she stays put. No running. Minimal barking. This is incredible. He’s taught her more in the past two months than we managed in four years. And she listens to him because she respects him and always has in a way that doesn’t translate to the relationship we have with her. I just feel that this whole exchange had taught us so much about the intelligence and beauty of all animals – if we’d just give them the space and trust and love to grow into themselves instead of stamping our ownership on them. So much love for this pair of hounds and everything they had to teach us about life ❤️❤️❤️ 📷 @andyrgarside

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