Pyrrha at “camp” with Fiona

While we were away this weekend at my brother-in-law’s wedding, Pyrrha got to stay with Fiona!

As you can see from this blurry action shot, the girls had a great time together.

Pyrrha gets to stay at Chateau de Campanelli this weekend! Fiona is swift, ideal company. @sallie516
Fiona and Pyrrha playing chase.

This was our first time leaving Pyrrha with non-family, and it apparently went well! Chris and Sallie (Fiona’s parents) are wonderful and thoughtful and did such a great job making Pyrrha feel comfortable. They reported that she was very shy and didn’t want to interact with them — which is her typical behavior in a new environment — but that Fiona’s presence was comforting to her. Pyrrha joined them on long walks, and she even had a play-date with a young golden retriever!

The girls in Fiona's backyard. Photo sent by Sallie.
The girls in Fiona’s backyard. Photo sent by Sallie.

Sallie also reported that Pyrrha didn’t exhibit any leash reactivity on their walks toward other dogs. I was very encouraged to hear this, but it also made me think that I’m probably part of the problem here. My anxiety about seeing other dogs surely amps her up, too. Something to continue to be aware of!

Pyrrha hiding out in Fiona's yard. Photo sent to us from Sallie.
Pyrrha hiding out in Fiona’s yard. Photo sent to us from Sallie.

We’re so thankful to have such great friends in town who can watch Pyrrha when we’re away. It really puts my mind at ease. I don’t think I could ever bear to board her in a traditional kennel environment. Hope we can return the favor for Fiona soon!

That said, we’re still in the thick of a really crazy season of life, so posting here may be more sporadic than usual. Thanks for your patience and kind comments, as always! Hope things will settle down soon…

12 thoughts on “Pyrrha at “camp” with Fiona

  1. While I am sure that your anxiety does have something to do with it, I wouldn’t completely blame yourself. Perhaps Fiona is a key here, and is a particular source of comfort and confidence for P?? Maybe you can ‘borrow’ her to work with the leash reactivity?

    I wonder what your trainer would think, but perhaps you walk Fiona and G walks P? Just an idea!

    She looks really at ease in these photos ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I think that’s a great idea, Kaitlin! Thanks for sharing. We’ll definitely have to try that! I agree; I think Guion needs to take the lead with Pyrrha more on walks. I have a feeling her reactions may be different.

      1. Can’t wait to hear how things work out when you try it! Have lots and lots of treats and you’ve got each other ๐Ÿ™‚

        Just the way dogs are so different, less rigid, and play better off leash, they too react to who is on the end of the leash, and how that person is feeling. Maybe if she feels she can take a back seat with Fiona, perhaps that is why she doesn’t react to other dogs? Oooh I love to speculate..can you tell?

        You guys are on the right track it seems- great work!

  2. As a comparison data point for you:

    I left Silas with my mom while we went on a quick overnight trip. She proceeded to have a series of strangers in her house and in her yard, including family members who just walked in the front door.

    Silas did not bark at a single one of these people.

    The day after we got back, I had one of those people come back by, just to check. Silas barked like a lunatic.

    I asked the behaviorist about it, terrified that *I* was Silas’s problem with people. Even though she knows that Silas can guard me a little, she just shrugged her shoulders and said, “Yep. That’s how it goes sometimes.”

    You may be stressing out and contributing–it happens–but it could just be “one of those things.” Dog brains are complex. I suspect it’s the same phenomenon that keeps newly-adopted dogs on their best behavior for their first few weeks in a new home.

    1. Jessica, the day after you got back and you had people come by, was that at your mom’s or at your house? I noticed that our dogs don’t bark at the doorbell when we’re at Grandma’s.

      Abby, I also relate to the concern that *I* am the problem. Our reactive dogs manage to reinforce our own anxiety, don’t they? I’m happy that Pyrrha gets to have dog buddies!

  3. Pyrrha may be reactive partially because she feels that YOU are worth protecting. This is an issue with Morgan for us. She views my husband as the pack leader and she LOVES me, but with that comes her strong protective streak. At least, that’s my take on it.

    I’m glad that she had such a great experience with staying with someone away from home. Hopefully, that makes the next time easier!

  4. Looks like she a lad a good time. Trainers say that they dogs pick up on our tenseness and react when they see or met other dogs. We’re supposed to stay relaxed. Easier said than done. I haven’t mastered that one yet.

  5. Glad Pyrrha did well while you were gone.

    To add my two cents, dogs will feel different levels of responsibility depending on the situation. So you may not be causing Pyrrha’s reactivity. But that doesn’t mean that your presence on the end of the leash isn’t affecting her behavior.

  6. I agree with everyone insightful comments.

    I don’t think you’re the CAUSE of the reactivity (ie; you’re not doing anything wrong) but you might be the REASON. I mean that P may over react in your presence in an attempt to both protect you & claim you to other dogs.

    With G, her feelings could be completely different, and her behavior will reflect that.

    Will be cool to see how things progress! She seems to be doing so great ๐Ÿ™‚

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