Victor and the man in overalls

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by smkie, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    A man heavyset, wearing dark blue overalls came into the guild today. He stepped in the door and Victor started up to him as he does anyone that comes into the building, an official door greater. I saw for the first time ever Victor act afraid of someone. THe man was calm, dropped his hand and tried to talk nicely to him, but Victor only backed up, tail tucked, his whole demeanor showing every sign of anxiety and stress. This is the first time ever I have seen him act like this. He is a public dog, an old pro at accepting people of all sizes and differences. THe man kept talking to him in a low gentle voice as I came up behind VIctor and clipped on his leash. Then I walked up slowly with Victor beside me to the man, talking low telling him all was fine, and again the man held out his hand and Victor gave it a gentle touch tentatively. As the man stroked his back I unhooked the leash and stepped back. YOu could see the muscles relax, a little bit of a wag, and he turned and leaned his side against the man so I knew he was better. I told the man that i had never seen this before, only once in a vet office did i see him completely stress out. THen i had and idea, i said maybe it was the overalls. I told the man that Victor was picked up in a very rural part of Missouri, farm country. HE said that dogs had always liked him so he was very surprised but that made a lot of sense about the overalls. HE thought maybe it was like a uniform, that he had a friend who's dog was terrified of uniforms. But Victor has visited police and has been petted by security on the plaza so that was not it. THe only thing I know for sure is that he was picked up from a kill shelter on his last day in Princeton Missouri. For months after I brought him home he would have nightmares bad enough you would wake him up and pull him close until he fell asleep again.


    THey were the heavy denim overalls, typical of rural farmers, not something you see hardly in the city...guess I will never know for sure, but i think i might be right. THe man was very good to Victor and talked gentle with him and they were good friends in a matter of minutes which I am grateful for. Victor never growled, nor shown teeth a the man, but you could tell he was shaken.. Just sad is all to see him like that.

    People ask me how long dogs remember things, and I have always answered about Mooner and the game which we did after being apart for 7 years. So I know they remember things from their puppyhood for a very long time. IT's been 5 years since Victor went through whatever it is that was so traumatizing. I don't believe they ever forget.:(
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  2. eddieq

    eddieq Silence! I ban you! Staff Member

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    I wouldn't be surprised at all if it was the overalls that bothered him. Whether he remembers them from his puppy hood or just that they are different to him is a tough call. I'm glad he was able to settle down though. Great job recognizing the situation and helping Victor meet this man and making it a positive experience for him.
     
  3. Barb04

    Barb04 Love my pets Staff Member

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    I think you're right about Vic remembering. I'm glad you were able to calm him down so he was able to say hello to the man.
     
  4. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    HE is use to strange outfits. When they test him for his pets for life test they wear the strangest things trying to get this reaction, from halloween costumes to umbrella hats and it has never happened. THey walk with funny gaits, use strange equipment, bang hospital trays and more. THat is why it was such a shock to see him so frightened. IT just doesn't happen!

    I am grateful the man let us work through this. Hopefully it will not be an issue next time.
     
  5. filarotten

    filarotten Moderator

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    Glad everything turned out ok.
     
  6. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    If he was frightened at 8 wks , he'll never forget . You sure handled it well !
     
  7. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    Poor Vic, but everyone handled it well!
     
  8. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    Zoom you know victor. This is so out of character..he is practically bomb proof. At least I felt he was more sad than panicked.
     
  9. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    I can picture his body language...and you're right. He either loves everyone or has a very good reason for telling them to "P*ss off!"
     
  10. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    But he's not scared..

    Even at the Plaza Art Fair..the night I think of as the fingers parade because so many people dropped their hands to touch him as they went by.we were all crammed together in a dense slowly moving crowd...nothing..not bothered by a soul..

    The man is going to take a beginner's class in handbuilding. SO Victor will see him again. Will be interesting to see what his reaction will be.
     

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