The Many Faces of Ru

Maybe this isn’t the most popular thing to say, but having a reactive dog often feels like a burden. With behavioral issues that even I don’t fully grasp sometimes and often seem like they come out of nowhere, Rufus is complex to say the least. Despite all of this , I love him with my whole heart.

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I think that those of us who have fallen hard for reactive dogs are drawn to the “virtual platform” of sharing because it’s our way of showcasing our complex pups in all of their glory. We get to share those moments of pure bliss when our dogs are 100% themselves. Nothing is making them tense. Nothing is making them unsure. They are just dogs. Wonderful, uncomplicated canines.

And sure – progress happens and there are even times when he just plain surprises me with his intuitiveness in certain situations, but I’m just being real about the bigger picture. Rufus is a tough cookie and he makes me reexamine our training techniques over and over again. For years now, guys! Years! Ugh…

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But then there are the moments when it’s just the two (or three) of us. And I remember why I adore this guy so much and why I’m so happy he came into my life. Screwball behavior and all.

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2 thoughts on “The Many Faces of Ru

  1. I empathize so much! I sometimes catch myself thinking about Pyrrha and Eden, “Ugh, you two are such a pain! Why can’t you be NORMAL dogs?” But then I get to see them enjoying a hike without anxiety, or interacting with a stranger calmly, and I feel a little lighter. You do a great job with Rufus!

    • Reactive dog parents unite! And “lighter” is the perfect way to describe it. When Ru has an incident, I literally feel my heart sink. As much as I try and remember how far he’s come and how I know we can get through something, it feels so hopeless in that moment. Ugh.

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