Reality Bit. Twice.

No, Stella didn’t bite anyone. But both she and I got bit last Friday by an elderly dog that just freaked out.

Here’s the deal. Stella got toothy and protective of me and her treats. The older dog didn’t take kindly to her and bit her on the snout–twice. I was collateral damage and got whacked in the finger.

Stella seemed to be unaffected. In the dog world I’m guessing this is a pretty minor deal–maybe one step up from a growl.

As for me, I’m on antibiotics for what appears to be a pretty small wound but I’m told that dog bites, especially to a hand, are not to be messed with.

This was a learning experience–big time. Yeah, the treats were working great in gaining control of her and getting her to come my way when she was getting too amped. But in a relatively narrow, crowded environment, treats can be a cause of stress and can accentuate possessive behavior. And in a narrow, crowded environment, Stella’s propensity to get amped is huge.

I realized that taking Stella to a beach, one without a huge amount of running room other than along the shore, can be very uncomfortable for her. *We* love the beach but maybe, in many instances, it’s been stressful for her to negotiate. Take her off the beach and put her in a nice big open space and there’s no growling, no TeethFace. No Hannibal Lechter appearances.

So no more beach unless we proceed with a lot more caution. And maybe it’s best to only do the beach once in a while and head towards more open spaces.

Dogs are always honest. Stella, now that I understand a piece of the puzzle better, has been saying to us, “I”m not comfortable here.” She’s been saying it in lots of ways. But I dunno–we’ve just not been listening. Last week was an eye and ear opener. Finally, we listened. And maybe, finally, those lambs will stop screaming.

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