Orion Goes to Bootcamp
March 2006

I love Orion with all my heart. At home he is a very sweet guy who loves to keep me company and lies at my feet wherever I go. But outside he's a totally different dog and he's become a very big boy with a couple of very bad habits. One of them is, he doesn't like other male dogs. The other is, he likes to pull me right off my feet.

Recently, in the last two months, Orion has knocked me down twice. The first time he knocked me down and dragged me on my back across the front lawn just so he could stand on the side walk and watch the neighbor's Corgi bark at him. He didn't bark back, growl, or raise hackles. But, he did have to get close enough to see him, regardless of how he got there. The second time he knocked me down, it was to go see "something" he saw in someone's yard. Took off like a bat out of you know where, and I ended up with scrapped knees. Do you want to know what was so important he had to go see? The empty plastic container from a plant store. When I was back home cleaning up my scraped knees he came to see what I was doing. I was so mad I told him "you did this to me", "you hurt me" he hung his head and went into his crate!

But, I knew I had to do something with him, before he hurt me or worse, hurt someone else. One of the anesthesiologists I work with has a trainer he goes to in Virginia Beach (a 4 hour drive from here). He goes to her almost every weekend to train with his dog and he highly recommended her to me.

So, a couple of weekends ago Linda Williams was very kind and accompanied me down to Carla's place in Virginia Beach to drop Orion off. I went fully intending to bring him back with me if I didn't like her or her place. But, the woman totally impressed me as someone who really knew what she was doing. I watched some of the people train with their dogs. The dogs were all happy, tails wagging. The owners were nice to the dogs, no sharp corrections. And most importantly, Orion liked her immediately. Orion doesn't always take to strangers.

So, with a very heavy heart I left him with her. He will be with her for 4 weeks, at the end of which I go down for 3 days of training. I told her it wouldn't do me any good for her to turn him into the perfect dog if I didn't know how to handle him once he got home. She said, don't worry. After the 3 days, you'll know what to do.

The first week he was gone I had a weight sitting on my chest all the time. Every time someone asked me how he was doing I teared up. But, I knew I had done the right thing. I think about him all the time and worry as to how he's doing. But, I still know I did the right thing.

I wasn't the only one missing the big guy, Precious refused to eat some of her meals and I had a heck of a time getting her to eat even a bit. She can afford to loose some weight, this winter has been bad on all of us. But, I just felt so sorry for her, she doesn't know where he went or if he's coming back. She's doing much better now. She likes having the house to herself to run around in. LOL

I hear from the trainer occasionally. Orion has shown some of his dog aggression to her and she's working with him, teaching him "he has to listen".

I can't wait to go down again and see what progress he's made. I miss my big guy so much!




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