I've been watching The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, lately, on National Geographic Channel. His show has become an addiction of sorts for me from 5:00 - 6:00 PM (EST).
Friend B., who finishes work at 4:15, comes over to watch it with me, and we marvel at this man's technique. B. had a dog that was very insecure/dominant.
Millan has taught me ways (several years too late) on how to handle dogs: what he calls the mind-body-heart rule.
My #1 dog, Laika, was an apparently beautiful, well-behaved retriever/shepherd mix. She was rather dominant though, with other dogs.
So yeah, now that I see what I've just written, she could have used some of Millan's techniques. We used to avoid the municipal dog parks because Laika got upset when surrounded by strange dogs sniffing her butt.
My #2 dog, Stanzie, which I thought was a lab/schnauzer mix but turned out to be an exotic breed the name of which I can't remember, was a nervous, poop-spewing wreck. And I did all the wrong things with her. I know this now. Although I felt badly while recently watching the first eps of DW and thinking of Stanzie, I have come to realize that dogs are, in Cesar's words, "all about the now." And the dear lady who adopted both my girls has since rehabilitated Stanzie with several years of calm energy and love.
If I ever have another canine companion in my life, I will know what to do from the outset, thanks to Mr. Millan.
Shout out to Cesar, alpha male!
*above: Lily the majorly scary looking pit bull terrier, who lives with friends in the next town. Pit bulls are outlawed here in Cow Town, and I don't really mind that too much.