Am I a fraidy-dog? And who cares?

Maybe you’re heard the expression “fraidy-cat.” Our cats aren’t afraid of anything, except maybe the vacuum cleaner.

My mom has been worried that I’m turning into a fraidy-dog. Here’s what happened. One day we went to Regrade Park, the off-leash park that’s just two blocks away from our new home. A big dog jumped on me. I demanded to leave. We did.

Then a few days later, the same dog was back … and the same thing happened. Now I hate going to the park.

Frankly, I haven’t been crazy about that park for awhile. I’m not as young as I used to be: I’ll be eight in just two months. That’s getting into senior dog status, my mom says. So I no longer want to jump around with a bunch of high-energy younger dogs. I like sitting on the wall and letting Lindsay, Sue, Andy, William or some of the other humans make a big fuss over me. On very rare occasions, my mom allows me to accept a treat. That’s even better.

But now I tug on the leash when we walk to the park. As soon as we get there, I head right to the exit with a purposeful expression.

“Oh no, Gracie! We just got here!” my mom says. “We have to de-sensitize you.”

For help she turned to Andy, who’s a professional dog trainer. He had a great idea. Treats. LOTS of treats. “Special treats just for the park!” he said.

“Liver bits?” my mom suggested.

Yaay. I love liver bits.

My mom is no dummy, although you might wonder at times. I get peanut butter only in the crate so I love my crate. If I get liver bits only in the park, she hopes I’ll learn to love the park. I’m not so sure.

After all, my mom isn’t a great example of bravery. She’s not crazy about water, heights, shaky bridges and a bunch of other things that she won’t let me share here. When she bought a house in Florida, she got Keesha because she didn’t want to be alone in the house with just two cats. Did I mention that she also had a perfectly functioning alarm system?

“If I get another house, I’ll need a second dog,” she tells me. “You’re not ferocious enough.”

My mom’s getting older, too. Unlike me, she refuses to admit it. Yesterday she dove right into a zumba class where she was probably the oldest person by twenty years. That’s the equivalent of me joining a pack of three-year-old feisty dogs and trying to keep up.

“Don’t tell George the Fitmonkey,” she told me as she limped out the door to take me on a walk. Her hips were sore from all those “swing your booty” moves.

“When I have to give up these gym classes, I’m giving you to Bill in New York and joining the great aerobics class in the sky.”

I could say a lot but I value my treats, not to mention my regular high-priced food and walks with Aunt Sara. So I’ll leave it to my followers to fill in the blanks.

2 thoughts on “Am I a fraidy-dog? And who cares?”

  1. Gracie, I understand how you feel. I’m a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (my name is Crispin…nice to meet you, Gracie!) and we CKCS guys analyze things rather than defend our ground. 3 times a loose dog ran up to me in one week while I was on a leash, and growled into my face. Before I had a chance to analyze I heard my mom say what she learned in classes…”Get your dog under control! NOW!…NOW!” and the people, of course, offered weak justifications, but they got their dogs and swanned off. My mom was trained to sound fierce…she really learns well in obedience class. But in the meantime, it took me a while to get over the shock and surprise of those dogs. Patience, Gracie. I’ll be interested in having my mom read your progress to me. You will feel better.

  2. Whew…thanks Crispin! You’re even smaller than I am and I adore your breed. (My mom does too. But she suspects she will never see a CKCS in rescue.)

    My mom would have said that but we were in a dog park. Nobody was on leash. We weren’t supposed to be. My mom was several feet away and she didn’t get concerned because usually I do just fine when these things happen. The dog’s owner immediately put the dog into a “down.”

    I will make sure my mom says these things. But to be honest, when I’m on a leash, I’m usually the one who jumps out at the other dog! I want to play but they can’t always tell. Some dogs and owners have no sense of humor.

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