Franny is still very much alive so it would be unfair for me to conclude if the choices we have made for her have been right or not. The story is still being lived. I hesitate in the biggest kind of way to be a trainer/owner who works with a dog for a year or two, writes about how they now have a recovering reactive dog, and still have 10-14 years left of their relationship. Besides life with a feral dog is far outside the scope of just reactive, or just aggressive, or just anything. It is a way of seeing life unfiltered. Life has a way of changing us, our paths, and our choices. So our story is currently open ended!
She is old now, our Grandma dog. She sleeps a lot these days, even snores. She loves to be with me in particular, in her rocking chair close to my office. When we go out for walks, a mile is all she wants to do. She wants to do her sniffing and daffy Old Girl stuff when we are out and about. Basking in the sun on the back deck is another favorite, she makes it appear so delicious it really isn’t a hard choice to join her. Because she doesn’t move as quickly anymore, I find myself even more vigilant with choosing areas to walk her. I still find myself working on a stress free environment but for different reasons, old age.
I always thought that her golden years would be the easiest for me, but they’re really not. While she still very much has a dark side and opinions, she sleeps so much we just don’t see it as often. To be honest I miss her fire, her youthful energy, her wanting me to come down a path that was so unknown to me.
It isn’t uncommon for people to come to our home and fall head over heels for Franny. She is lovely and sweet and still adores that saturated touch. ‘We wish we had a dog as cool as Franny’, I just smile and say, ‘be careful what you wish for’ …
ps – my final post will be a list of everything we taught and/or modified over the years, and to a degree how. I will also include the books I have read over the years that I have found helpful.