Benji - 3/27 - 3/31

March 27 - Why did I adopt the most anxiety-ridden dog on the planet? He follows me around the house, shadowing my every move, obviously thinking I am the Alpha Dog of his pack. But put a leash on him and take him for a walk? No way. He cowers and shivers and acts like I'm a demon on the other end of the leash. I’ve been reading Caesar Millan’s books, and I know how important the daily walk is, but what do you do if your dog is terrified by the mere sight of the leash?

March 28 – We’re still working on going for a walk. I’ve tried all the tricks – treats and praise – but Benji refuses to accept the leash. He will follow me from room to room. I can’t make a move without him right at my heels. He never even thinks about getting in front of me. In fact, if he accidentally gets in front of me, he stops and corrects himself, dropping behind me. But the minute I put the leash on him, he freezes and refuses to move. He stands there and visibly trembles. Aaarrrggghhh! What is wrong with this dog?

March 29 – Benji went to the vet to re-check his ear infection, and got a clean bill of health! He lost 1/10 of a pound, but the vet wasn’t worried. Then he went to the groomer’s for the first time and got a schnauzer cut. What a cutie! I had a meeting at my house tonight, and I thought he would freak out with 17 people in the house. Not so! Though he was still extremely anxious, especially while people were arriving, he eventually calmed down and got used to everyone. He even came into the room and stood in the center of the meeting circle, the center of attention. Of course, he also pee pee’d on the living room floor (we were in the family room), but I think it was because there were people sitting in front of the back door.

March 30 – Not only do I have Anxiety Dog, I also have Picky Eater Dog. This dog won’t eat anything! No wonder he loses weight. I’ve taken to mixing wet food in with his dry food to get him to eat. Even then he doesn’t eat even a half cup of food a day – and he should be eating a cup a day.

I hid Easter eggs this evening, and Benji LOVED it! He followed me around the yard, leaping on the plastic eggs to open them. I eventually had to put him inside the house so he would stop opening eggs! He has made himself at home with us, and is getting used to us.

March 31 - Easter Sunday – We had 23 people (including 7 kids) at house. We were so worried that Benji would freak out, but he did okay. After a while he actually started running around the yard with the kids, and seemed happy, though still cautious. Then most of the people left, except a couple-friend of ours and their 4-yr-old granddaughter, Brooklyn. She is a great kid, very calm and quiet. But she was very, very interested in Benji at one point. At first he was fairly tolerant, but then she started chasing him around. Not running or jumping, but following him relentlessly. Wen he had enough, he turned around and showed his teeth andsnarled. I’m thankful Brooklyn’s dad and grandparents are dog people, and understood Benji’s reaction. They told Brooklyn, “Okay, that means Benji has had enough. Leave him alone now.” And she did. (Though she did shed a tear or two at Benji’s rejection!)