If any of you are my friend on Facebook, you might know that I got a new puppy this past week. A 10 week old Borzoi that we’ve named Xana. She’s the sweetest little thing, and we absolutely love her to bits!!! However, with puppies come challenges. So, what have I learned this week?
I’ve learned that I can still function just fine with having to get up a couple of times a night. Xana is sleeping fairly well through the night, but not always. And when we go outside, she is consistent with having to do her business, so I can’t fault her. However, she dislikes being crated or in a pen, so there is some crying. This is a great test of my patience. I guess it’s something I need to learn!
The other thing she is having troubles with is meeting new dogs. She’s terrified! Each new interaction has resulted in crying and urination! Once she gets to interact by sniffing a dog that isn’t trying to interact with her, she settles.
I had to take her to work with me on Saturday. She met two small calm dogs first thing in the morning – screams and pee! However, my first client was a dog trainer and longtime client. She said, “Bring her into the room with my dogs. She can explore the room while you hold and work on my dogs.” We did this with each of her 3 dogs that she brought in one by one. It went well. I was then educated on how to help introduce Xana to new dogs in the future.
What was most humbling about the experience was the glaring fact that I am no dog trainer! I’m good with reading dogs, and dog body language, and I can work with them and know how to be safe, how to be reassuring, how to get them to do what I need them to do (mostly). I’m “Auntie Laurie” to most of them! I’m good with owners and educating them, getting ‘buy in’, building trust. However, I am not a dog trainer!
Honestly, without the guidance of that client, I’m not sure what my plan would have been to help Xana through her fear of other dogs. But, I have a plan now!
So, what is the bigger picture learning piece to take away from this?
It’s that Interprofessional Collaboration is key! I’m not a dog trainer, or a veterinarian, or a groomer, or a vet nurse / technician. I’m not an animal chiropractor, and animal TCM acupuncturist, or an animal osteopath. However, what I do dabble in many of these professional realms, but it’s important to know where my expertise ends and another’s begins. It’s important to acknowledge that we all have a roll to play. It’s what is termed Patient-Centred Care.
So, that’s my message for the week! Be awesome. Be great. Be willing to work with others. Be willing to accept their help.