Little Dog in a Big World
When you are 5 pounds and 12 inches off the ground, the world can seem like a big place. Such was the story with a toy Yorkie named Molokai (Kai for short), named after the Hawaiian Island known for its friendly nature. His sweet puppy face won me over instantly, and like so many things, he came swiftly into my life without so much as a warning.
Man's best friend warmed his way right into my heart. His puppy tricks included hand-standing his way down the front stairs and tossing frozen peas in the air and chasing them across the floor. My favorite of all is the way he sticks his tongue out to let you know that he is happy and content.
When he first came home to my apartment living I thought he would be right at home. Small space for a small puppy seemed like a good match. Kai quickly let me know that there was a constant threat for take-off if he were not adequately walked several miles a day by suddenly sprinting down the road into oncoming traffic. Efforts to tire him proved futile, so I decided to drag him up Mount Beacon with me to try and wear him out.
He bounded his way up the steep incline, occasionally stopping to give a kiss or a hello to a small hiker (with parent permission of course). People headed back down would ask disapprovingly if he was ok. "He's pulling me!" I would tell them. Honestly, he practically was. A weekly hike is his most favorite thing.
Recently I was without a daily dog sitter and had to bring Kai in to work with me. He didn't handle it well. He kept trying to sit under my hands that were working diligently on the keyboard. He would bark whenever the phone rang and chase flies around the room knocking over his water and food. It was a scene out of Marley and Me. I was so mad. And, yet how could I blame the small dog in a big world?
I cried outloud for Cesar Milan. But, it turns out he is not a genie, so he never showed. I was ready to give up and wanted to scream. Then, someone recommended crating him. At 6 years old I wasn't sure if I could crate this hyper dog with an affinity for climbing mountains. But, it would solve some problems if it worked. I had a small crate leftover from a flight to Florida he accompanied me on. So, I pulled it out. I started training him to go to his 'house' and rewarded him for good behavior. Before long he was curling up in there at bedtime unprompted.
I was afraid this tiny place would stifle him. But, instead it created a safe haven where he felt calm. The effects were evident immediately.
I decided to give the house a try at the office. The house was the perfect solution to a maddening problem.
During the day he curls up in the house waiting for me to finish typing. And, when the phones are done for the day and it's time to go, he runs over to me gives me a kiss and we head for the mountain for some hiking together.
The moral of the story is...when something is frustrating you to the point of no return you have to take a breath and try something new. I had to remind myself of that and sometimes we all do. Stick it out. A solution will appear. And, for an added bonus, remember to enjoy the sense of relief that washes over you when it does!