ScarletSci wrote:I'm blaming myself a lot as well, because if I hadn't had a breakdown last year, and had to live somewhere I can't have dogs until I'm recovered, she'd be with me.
Hey, if you had had a broken leg or a physical illness you wouldn't be feeling guilty, would you? It's exactly the same thing - we don't choose to have breakdowns
Jasper doesn't do fetch either.
I agree with Judy. Do not blame yourself. You have as much control over you having your breakdown as my having fibromyalgia and dystonia. They are called invisible illnesses or disabilities. As an RN, I see this often. We never know what someone has or doesn't have.
You are so lucky that your parents were able to take Precious and Pixie in and that they love them so much.
I think Nettle has a great idea with the board and stars, and of course, reward your parents. It can be something as simple as taking them out for coffee or tea. Or if you have the money, tickets to a movie, if they like that. Put their reward on the board, too, so they know what they are working towards, also.
As to fetch, Sandy hasnt gotten the hang of letting go yet. VS has a good video on YouTube on what she calls drop it and take it. I do it with Sandy with two balls. I throw the first and tell him to take it. Well, he never brings it to me or drops it on cue. So, I get next to him and show him the second ball. I say drop it and then throw the second ball and say take it. When he drops the first to get the second, I say good drop it. It is funny, though, when he won't drop the first ball and still tries to pick the second up with his mouth. Occasssionally, will do what we call soccer, you football, and tries to hold the second with his foot. I will then go in and pick up the second saying it is mommy's ball. Then, we do it again. Needless to say, I end up getting exercise since if he does drop the ball it usually is where he is and may roll so while he is getting the second, I have to run around to grab the first ball. Or, sometimes, he will stop going after the second and try to reclaim the first.
Now, if that made any sense, I get a star
Basically, it is teaching him to replace what is in his mouth with something of equal value (both balls are the same).
Then, I have used it in hotel rooms when he picks up something not good for him, and to get him to drop it, I present him with something higher value.
All in all, it can be fun and a learning experience. And gets him to use his brain, too, to figure out what ball he wants and how he has to drop one to get the other.
Also, what Nettle said about fear of dogs is so true. When I was a child, I was so scared of dogs, I made a fool of myself trying to run from a dog in the neighborhood. Of course, he caught up with me and I was in the middle of the road screaming at the top of my lungs. One of the neighbors was able to get the dog off me. It was when I learned that running from a dog makes them think you are playing.
Needless to say, it took a long time for me to even let a dog in the house and as you notice, he is a chihuahua. And, we also need to watch his weight very carefully. He is larger than the regular chi, but even as a deer chihuahua, his last visit, he was up a half pound, so we have had to cut back on treats and increase his exercise. When it is hot, it is hard to exercise him, but being small and athletic, it is easy to play ball in the house.
One of his favorite exercises, is we have a strip of fleece that I will wave around and dance as he jumps to try to catch the end flowing around. When he does, we dance around the living room and usually loses his grip so then it is jumping to catch the end again. We let him win from time to time and let go of the fleece then, surprise him when he lets go and once again the game is on. And it is all done inside.
One day, my cousinf was visiting my parents while we were there, and my husband was walking Sandy in the front yard. She would not get out of her car until Sandy was safely in his crate in our car. She said that as a child she had been mauled by a dog and will not go anywhere near one or as I described wouldnt get out of the car. And Sandy was on leash at the time.
So, these are a couple of ways your parents can play with him for five minutes at a time. And then chart it.
Since we have to watch Sandy's weight, too, we have cut down his treats by cutting his favorite biscuit like ones in half. Also, your parents can give Precious ones for smaller dogs. Here in the US, we have Zukes that are for training and only 3 1/2 calories each. He gets two dental sticks a day for mini dogs. But Sandy only gets one meal of kibble with pieces of turkey or chicken a day around lunch time. Also, we need to make sure to take into account any treats when figuring out his kibble meal. It is all calories in versus calories expended. (Same as for people).
You need to take care of yourself, too. Eat right and get exercise which is great for mental health, too. So, in the meantime, enjoy visiting when you can, and importantly, give positive feedback to your parents when you see the chart. And remember, no one is perfect. You parents will mess up and P will get something she shouldn't get. But, with the chart, they will be more aware of it and be able to correct it with an extra walk or play time. Make it fun for your parents with rewards for them. I bet when things are going well, they will call excitedly to tell you something great that they did with Precious.
All any of us can do is the best we can under the circumstances we each find ourselves.
Sandy, Chihuahua mix b. 12/20/09