Sherlock barking at the gate again yesterday was like a huge pent up howl of anguish mixed with elation: he's worked so hard these past few days to be quiet, but stopping the barking is like damming up a river, and it's going to burst out of him...It's as though every time we go walkies he revisits the frustration of being abandoned and locked up in the pound, the tension between current joy and the quivering mess of betrayal and anxiety, the pain of being behind bars, the effort it took to hold it together, he's riding it out again every time. This is deep soul stuff finally coming out...
I know with Nobunaga there was a huge pile of frustration, desperation, loneliness, betrayal in his heart that slowly cleansed out, and he did bark and lunge forward when approaching other dogs in his joy to connect, which could easily have been misinterpreted as aggression (and did annoy some other doggie owners, to be sure, only with a big smile and loud friendly greeting I breezed their feelings aside, assuring them he was safe and friendly and only wanted to play and say hello).
Now with Sherlock the key is to let him voice his anguish without allowing him to time-slip and actually get lost back there, to keep present joy and strength in his awareness as he revisits the pain, so he doesn't drown in it, but to let him get the gunk out of his system and express it...only of course, I have to maintain my own sanity in the process. A delicate balance.
Photos by Lelantos