Not surprisingly, she has some problems. Sara is extremely shy. She used to be afraid of everything, people, cats, dogs, firehydrants, the wind, mailboxes, poles, tree branches, motorcycles, bikes, rollerbladers, children, and, quite literally, her own shadow. In addition, she is very submissive, and she would submissively urinate if anyone so much as looked in her direction.
Sara has come a long way since she came to live with us. She almost never submissively urinates, and she is learning that the world is not such a terrible place. She is still afraid of strange people; she will not allow strangers to approach her. She is terrified of children. But she no longer is afraid mailboxes, cats, other dogs, and most stationary objects. A pole, however, must be treated with caution.
I have hope that, someday, Sara will be able to approach new stimuli and new situations with caution instead of fear.
The people on the shy-k9s mailing list have been an invaluable resource. I cannot thank them enough for the support and advice that they have given. To subscribe to shy-k9s, send mail to email@example.com or visit shy-k9s at Yahoo!Groups Shaman was another dog on shy-k9s. His page is sad, so have a tissue handy.
The shy dogs links page has more shy dogs homepages and links to other useful information for helping your baby. Check out the shy-k9s FAQ and this article on building confidence in a shy dog. I wrote the 12 step program for shy dogs tongue-in-cheek, but there is a lot of truth in the program.
Sara 2 and 1/2 years later.
More mastiff information.
Pictures of Henrey.
|Sara's page is a Junction on The Canine Line.
That island of England breeds very valiant creatures; their mastiffs are of unmatchable courage.
It is cruel and unfair to breed dogs that are fearful. Sara was a
beautiful mastiff. Her lines were great. Her coloring was
wonderful. Her head was perfect. None of that was worth her being
afraid of her own shadow, and she certainly wasn't showable with a
fearful temperment. A cowering, submissively urinating dog makes a
very poor impression on a judge. Much as I loved Sara, she never
should have been bred.
If It Should Be
If it should be that I grow weak,
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Than you must do what must be done,
For this last battle cannot be won.
You will be sad, I understand;
We've had so many happy years -
Take me where my needs they'll tend
I know in time that you will see
Please do not grieve - it must be you
Fight for your right to web standards!
This page was last modified Wednesday, 22-Mar-2006 12:39:58 PST