I meet many different types of owner/handlers. Whether they are doing everything right or wrong, the majority are well meaning.
Most people when having behavioural problems that are causing the dog to be difficult to manage just pass it on and let someone else deal with it.
This person was an exception. At first it seemed a straight forward job. A tiny Tea Cup Yorkie who had been treated like royalty and behaved like a king. He would not allow anyone to groom or bathe him and stroking was allowed as long as he instigated it. If he even saw a brush he flew into a rage. He guarded his food, toys, bed and the settee, all in all he was a little horror.
We made a start by putting his bowl away and only hand feeding him, getting his brush and only hand feeding after first showing the brush then building up for him to sniff the brush before he was fed. It took about a week and he was being touched with the brush and softly having it run over him.
We gradually worked through the ‘Leadership’ principles to reduce his status which after about a month were kicking in, not perfect but a massive improvement.
The lady then started asking how long it might be before he could be brushed and handled by other people because where she was going her dog could not go and he would have to be rehomed. (Bearing in mind she was about early thirties).
I was very surprised at this and said “He may never be perfect but he is now manageable and would be no bother where ever you go even in a small flat.”
The reply of “I only have four weeks to live and need to have to him so he can be handled easily by someone else when I am gone,” was a total conversation stopper.
I am not normally stuck for words or prone to tears but that floored me and later made me reflect on how some people think about others before themselves.
All I could do was just say: “Do not worry we will get him right within that time scale.”
That lady made me feel humble and much more aware of my own failings.
She said to write about the consultation so it would make people realise they needed to make the dogs easier to handle and not let them get out of control.