When I started this blog, I had every intention of keeping it going with updates. But life gets busy and before I know it, a couple of months have gone by! When I was young, time always seemed to drag so slow (especially around Christmas), but as I have gotten older, time goes by so fast it's practically a blur!
Book sales of Tails of My Rescue Dog in the month of May have been the best since the free promo with 75 downloads (51 U.S. and 24 U.K.) As of this writing, 609 downloads (505 U.S., 102 U.K. and 2 Denmark) since the release date on March 18. I am very happy with these numbers especially because I haven't done any advertising in quite some time.
I have had a few readers contact me to ask how Mindy is doing now. I classify her as 95% angel most of the time and 5% hell on wheels at walk time. I am still having a very difficult time controlling her when we walk. About a month or so ago, I spoke to a dog behaviorist who made me feel very good about the progress we have made with her over the past 4 years. She commended me for not giving up and returning her to the shelter. I told her that thought never even crossed my mind as I made this commitment for life, She told me that I may not ever be able to change the chase instinct in her or the frustration aggression, but I could probably learn to manage it. Most importantly, I may want to do fun things with her like take her to the dog park or on hikes, but being in those types of environments with alot of other dogs just may be too stressful for her. Just the same, our codependency on each other had stopped me from doing some of the things that I enjoy. I thanked the specialist for her insight and if I was a millionaire, I would hire her forever!
I took this advice to heart and on Memorial Day I decided to go on a short hike at a local trail without Mindy (she already had her morning walk). Before we rescued Mindy, my husband and I used to hike the trail every weekend. After we rescued her, we took her with us and she loved it. But as she started getting more aggressive, we stopped taking her which meant that I stopped going all together (feet problems sidelined me as well) while my husband picked up mountain bike riding. The last few weeks, I started thinking about how much I miss the trail and the trainer's words came to my mind that I should avoid putting Mindy in stressful situations. So I laced up my shoes, sadly pet her goodbye and drove out to the trail. I felt so guilty leaving her behind, but I reminded myself that I was doing this for me.
There were many dogs on the trail that morning and I felt a sense of sadness as I watched them walk with their owners. One lady was walking 3 dogs on leash and I found myself envious because she made it look so easy. Even though I missed having Mindy with me, I knew how frustrated I would have been had I brought her. In fact, I probably would have turned around and gone back home. So I pushed aside all of those feelings, turned up the volume on my iPod and reminded myself that I was doing this for me. For the first time in a very long time, my shoulder did not hurt after a walk and I wasn't stressed out.
When I got home, Mindy happily greeted me at the door - tornado twists and all! She's not a grudge holder who was mad at me for going on a walk without her. My taking an hour of my time to do something for myself did not harm her in any way. Imagine that! It was quite liberating in many ways. I hope to remember how this feels so when it does comes time to leaving her for a longer period of time, it will hopefully be a little easier on me.
Until next time.....happy tails!