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Poor Trickster. She had a rough day.

My Mom adopted a dog from the pound about six weeks ago. The first time Trick met Eddie, she went to sniff him and he bit her on the ear. No blood, no wound, but it really upset Trick. From that day on, she's been absolutely miserable when Eddie is around. She goes to the farthest corner she can find (the little office) and lays down under the desk. So I've been trying to encourage her to relax around Eddie. Today Mom came to visit and brought him along. She went out to walk him and I put a leash on Trick (she rarely wears a leash, but I wanted to keep her with me and I knew she wouldn't get near Eddie if possible) and went out to the little park to visit with Mom. I had a pocket full of treats and kept giving them to Trick, and she would eat them, but she looked completely miserable - head and tail down, stomach tucked. Eddie was fine (he has been fine with my dogs ever since that first time - he was just overwhelmed and reacted badly). But Trick was very unhappy.

So we go back to the shop and I went through the gate into the pen by the back door. Mom brought Eddie in and turned him loose to play with the other dogs (we do this frequently - Khana LOVES Eddie). And I went inside to get something and looked around for Trick and couldn't find her! I searched everywhere I could think of - in the office, under the desks, in the bathroom, upstairs, on the landing - she was nowhere. I started thinking "what if she somehow got out of the gate???". Typically Trick never goes anywhere and is absolutely rock solid off-leash, but her demeanor around Eddie made me think that IF she got out, she might go somewhere just to get away from him. So I'm outside calling for her. I go around the building and two of the stores on the front have their doors propped open. I asked both guys if they'd seen her, and no one had. I finally headed back inside, half-panicked and worried to death.

So I search inside again. When I go upstairs, I was calling and whistling and out from a little section where there's a hole in the wall (the upstairs was never fully finished) out peeks a black German shepherd muzzle. Trick had managed to sneak INSIDE the wall and was hiding there! I called her, she stuck her head out and looked at me and if she could have spoken I could tell she would have said "I'm NOT coming out until that dog is GONE!"

Mom headed out with Eddie and I sent Khana upstairs to get Trick. She popped right out of the hole in the wall and followed Khana back down. She was back to her old self - head up, tail wagging, happy because "that dog" wasn't there anymore .. *L* .. I've decided not to push it anymore. She doesn't have to like Eddie. If making her come out to walk around with him means she feels she has to hide in the wall, I guess we'll just not worry about making friends. She can just stay inside when he comes to visit and he'll play with the other girls.

Trick has always been sensitive, but never THIS sensitive. She just turned 12 and I'm really seeing her age now. She turned the other day and yelped and now has a slightly gimpy leg. I can't take her out anymore when I'm throwing a ball or stick for Tazer because she still wants to try to keep up with the pup!

It sucks to get old, 'specially when someone grumpy bites your ear.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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What a doll Trick seems from your story, Melanie! And Khana... hustling up there to extract her from the wall! I have a hunch, and I may be wrong-- I think part of the issue is just what you said, nobody wants to be around someone who bites their ear! But I also wonder if, being always a bit "sensitive," Trick may just be one of those very intelligent dogs who has learned to control things around her (and feel safer by having this control) by acting submissive. Don't we all know superstar, bright dogs who seem incredibly submissive.. but actually have minds like diamonds and wills of steel, and USE that submissive-thaang to get things in their favor? Maybe I am totally wrong here about Trick. But I wonder if she isn't doing the non-stop submissive signals NOT out of fear around Eddie, as much as keeping him where she wants him-- away from her. "Hey Eddie, here comes a boatload of my effective calming signals, keep your nippy muzzle miles away from my ears!"

In any case, I love your stories! Trick sounds like a wonderful dog. I know as she ages, she has the BEST care from you. Love that Khana, too!!
 

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Awww, poor old girl!
 

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Oh poor Trick!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Patti, TRick has been the most amazing dog. She's smart, willing, tremendously bonded to me, and has been dependable off-leash almost since the day I got her (eight weeks old). She's gone everywhere with me - horseback riding, road trips to the gold mine where she played in the ponds and had a great time, road trips through Canada to dog shows in the lower 48, etc. And everywhere we've gone, she's been the epitome of the perfect dog - well-behaved, temperamentally rock-solid, never caused a fight and never created a problem. She's helped me raise puppies, been the "greeter" in hundreds of training classes, and helped rehabilitate dozens of dog-aggressive dogs over the years. And unfortunately she's been nipped before by dogs during these training sessions, and I think Eddie was just the last straw. He bit her IN HER OWN HOME. And she just wants nothing to do with him.

Her body language is telling ME that she doesn't want interaction with him. He's kind of oblivious to things (young German shepherd mix male, more energy than brains at this point) and he's not really into playing much, although he will play with Khana (who is capable of enticing almost any dog to play .. *L* .. the little flirt!). Trick just wants to be able to stay away from Eddie, and the only reason I've been trying to work through it is that there will be times when Eddie comes to stay with me when Mom goes on a trip. But it may work out that Eddie just has to be penned while he's here and only turned out with Khana to play at times.

Trick deserves to be comfortable in her own home, you know? No dog should have to hide in the wall.

Melanie and the gang
 

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I love Trick!!! I am in love with her, the more I read about her. Your dogs all have such different personalities, and you Melanie have invested so much time and expertise into making them feel so fulfilled and happy!Just had to say that.
I had a dog who was so sweet and easy. My Grimm is a work-in-progress, and I dispair at times. My prayer is that with time, he will have more self-control, and be an easier dog to live with-- like perfect Trick!!

I agree with you. lovey Trickster does deserve her peace at her own home. Crazy Eddie could maybe enjoy his stay at Hotel Melanie in a private suite somewhere.. and Khana could be the hostess for his stay.
 

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I've just turned 50 and I know for a fact that anyone that got onto my ear would either get an earful in return or, like Trick, I would be avoiding at all costs. Trick is more diplomatic than me and all power to her.
 

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awe poor trick, just like us humans we don't like certin things when we get older
 
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