As some of you know we have a crazy dog and her name is Elly.  She is a Blue Heeler.  Some how the wires were crossed in her brain and she has fear/aggression.  What this means is that if you were to come over to my house, I would first ask you if you mind dealing with the rules that you would need to follow in order to keep you safe from her biting you.

Rule #1: Do NOT put your hands down.  If you do…she will reach up and nip at them!

Rule #2: Do NOT try and pet her…even if she is looking at you with adoring eyes…she will still freak out and bite you!

Rule #3: Do NOT LOOK at her in the eyes. If you do…she will start freaking out.  To her, this is a sign of aggression. It is best to just ignore her completely!  Then she will settle down.

If you say “Ahhhh…you are totally freaking me out!” Elly will be put in her crate during your visit.

If you say “That is cool.  I am good with animals!” I still might put her in her crate.  You see, lots of folks who say that they are “good with animals” think that they can get animals to “like” them or they had an experience with a cat jumping on their lap and the owner of the cat said “Wow. Fuzzy never goes near anyone…you are so good with animals!”

If you say “I get it Lynne.  My dogs are crazy too…I will keep my hands up and not look at her.” Then I will let her stay out of her crate.  Cuz this person gets it! My friend Christine is really good with her.  She works at the Raptor center and handles wild falcons and hawks.  Yep.  She gets it. Elly is like a wild animal.  She has been domesticated…but there is still a very wild part of her.

To sharply contrast her fear/aggression with people outside our pack, is this playful joyful part of her.  When it is just us…her family…she will lay around and sleep… all of a sudden she will wake up and grab a toy…fling it in the air, dance about and maybe fling it in the air again…then she lays down.

I call this “A Burst of Joy!”

She has them all the time.

Last week, when I thought my ovary was dying (looks like it was not my ovary but a really really really bad intestinal virus), I was laying on the couch watching my family’s comings and goings.

My oldest son comes into the room.  Elly looks at him for a moment and then does her thing…

“Ah Elly, you are having a burst of joy!”  He watched her smiling.  Then his mood completely changed (he had been kind of surly and grumpy) and he started chatting about something really funny and we both had a good laugh.

Then my fella came in and he was stressing about something. Elly looked at him, jumped up, flung her toy in the air, danced about and then laid back down.

“Ah, Elly is having a burst of joy!”  As my fella says this…his whole mood changes and he shares something really funny with me…and we have a good laugh.

Then my youngest son comes home. He has a headache from riding a gazillion miles on his bike with no sunglasses…(I know..I know…he just won’t listen to me!).  Elly has been laying next to me, quietly for a while.  She looks up at him…then jumps up…grabs her bone…flings it up in the air…prances over to him and greets him with lots of gusto.  My son grins.

“Ah Elly!  You are having a burst of joy!!!!”

He looks at me and grins.  Then he heads on down the hall for a shower.

Elly prances back to me and looks at me…I look at her and grin.

“Well, aren’t you the little family mood changer!”

She winks at me and then lays back down in her spot.

She may be a crazy girl…but she is also our friend.  We all seem to interact with her in this unspoken language. We love her unconditionally and do everything we can to keep her safe.  She seems to sense what we need.  And she offers it to us with no strings attached.

Maybe she is not so crazy after all!

10 Responses to “A Burst of Joy”

  1. I just love the way you describe Elly and her bursts of joy. Sounds just like one of my dogs (both are from rescues and have various adjustment issues). I never thought about it that way and it’s just a perfect description of what they do. Thanks for a great post!

  2. Hi there Prof S~ Great to meet you:) Ah…we are a special group…us folks that have special needs puppies:)
    Have a great day!

  3. Clearly, Elly is an angel sent to guard your spirits against the gloom. You lucky devils!

  4. Hey there Mr Peg…LOVE how you wrote that comment. Very clever:) Yep…we are lucky devils;)

  5. I can relate. I had a new client yesterday, and her mom told me that she (the mom) was afraid of cats. So I had to say, “Um, then don’t touch THAT one” (the big cat, Bailey, who only loves Trey and hates the rest of the world for not being Trey.)

    Of course, as soon as I left, Bailey sauntered over to check out the mom. But apparently she lost interest pretty quickly, and thankfully no one was bitten, and my client is coming back next week :)

  6. Funny story Jenny! Glad to hear that no one was bit…AND she is coming back next week! :);)

  7. Oh and Jenny…how to you make the smiley face? I can’t figure it out!

  8. Smiley face… make sure the colon and parens havea don’t have any other characters right next to them. :)

  9. :)

  10. yipeeee…I did it:)
    Thanks Mr Peg:)

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