Stitch likes to take his morning walk nice and early, I was happy to oblige and recently walked with his caregiver Jess and his run-mate Skelly. Our little gargoyle (Stitch has many nicknames) is doing really well. Stitch has a heart murmur, and he has a very short muzzle, so his breathing is rather “snorty.” Getting him out in the coolest part of the day is essential so that he can enjoy the trail without getting too warm.
For both dogs, impulse control is a major training theme, but for very different reasons. Stitch gets overly excited because he's super happy to meet you. Skelly gets super anxious because she is thinking of 20 different ways to avoid meeting you.
They've both made progress. When Skelly first arrived, she would do almost anything to avoid contact with people. Now Skelly is walking on a leash in the company of a stranger (me) and is confident enough to give me a sniff. And sweet, slightly naughty Stitch is doing well with keeping his composure while getting in his harness. He still has moments when he gets wiggly, but fewer caregivers are getting bonked on the chin with his enormous head.
Together, they may look odd, but they live in harmony. Without even trying, Stitch hows Skelly that people aren't that scary. And Stitch has the benefit of a companion who doesn't mind it when he hogs all the attention. It works, and they work.