Two disappointments

Today we had two disappointments. The first one involved our border collie Holly. The second involves our house.

Disappointment #1 Holly

Today was Holly’s first practice run at going to Doggie Daycare. We’re not planning to abandon her or become part-time dog owners, but just occasionally we might want (or have) to go somewhere she wouldn’t enjoy. A small town, for instance.

We’d already had an assessment. “She’s a bit anxious, but after a few practice visits she’ll settle down”. When we got there (driving through snow – see how dedicated we are) she knew where to go and seemed happy. Just as we were arriving back home to do some sneaky DIY I got the call. “We’re having a few issues. You’ll need to pick Holly up…”.

It all started out well. Holly went on a walk and was well behaved. Then something changed. Back at base all her defensive instincts kicked in. “I’m alone. Abandoned. This is dangerous. Don’t touch me!”.

Looking after a dog with separation anxiety is a real pain. Sally from Doggie Daycare explained that with time and one-to-one attention Holly would settle, but they have a lot of dogs to look after and her anxiety is just too big a problem for them to cope with right now. Holly will never survive in kennels.

So I’m feeling disappointed, and I can see a lot of hard work ahead for us. It’s just lucky we don’t enjoy holidays abroad, and that our families don’t hate us for not visiting them ever.

Holly taking it out on the pond (not really - she loves this game)

Holly taking it out on the frozen pond (not really – she loves this game)

Disappointment #2 Floorboards

We had planned to use Doggy Daycare Time to take up the carpet in our hall to see what was underneath and to make plans for sorting out the upstairs floor.

We’d convinced ourselves we had floorboards in the hall, but were not sure about the bedroom. Guess what – no floorboards!

Right now we’re a bit deflated. We now have no hall carpet, and frankly, it looks like a building site. This is not a disaster though, but a spur to action. Next weekend is going to involve choosing flooring (it will be wood or laminate. No more dirt-loving carpet). Joiners may or may not need to be involved, but pretty soon (relatively speaking) we will have lovely flooring upstairs. That’s going to be a big tick in our home improvement programme.

Look - no floorboards

Look – no floorboards

Two disappointments in one day. Two journeys to take. One should be straightforward, but one will be hard. We will learn on the way, and get there in the end.


About Yasmine

After working with horses for many years I came to my senses and got a 'proper job'. I now live in Weardale with My Taller Half, a mad border collie and 5 chickens. Still wishing I could spend all my time in the great outdoors
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3 Responses to Two disappointments

  1. ayomtov says:

    Ah, that’s a problem (Holly, I mean). I wonder if the Doggie Daycare place is familiar with Border collies? And what happened when all her defensive instincts kicked in? Was she actually aggressive or just growling in a corner? Also, I would seriously recommend that you try her in a small town – obviously gradually, a few minutes at first, but I was always astounded with my collies how well they adapted to places and situations. The noise in London freaked Kess out at first – and then after some time, I could take her around without a lead – seriously!! Now, it’s true she was a particularly biddable, albeit highly feisty, dog, who knew her own mind but was also canny at knowing when to do what she was told – but I would say, don’t underestimate Holly. And… you may run screaming from this suggestion, but I’ve seen dogs respond brilliantly to homeopathic treatment for fear and anxiety issues. Alice


    • Yasmine says:

      Thanks Alice for your thoughtful comment and suggestions. I believe Holly made it very clear that she was not to be touched, but she didn’t actually bite. Funnily enough, she almost never growls – only very occasionally when she food-guards something amazingly delicious, like stale bread. Of course, when we came to get her she was happy to be handled by the Daycare people she previously wouldn’t let near her, so her problem seems to be ‘strange place/person without her humans’.

      I couldn’t bring myself to use homeopathy (I think you guessed that – ‘it’s just a sugar pill’) but we are practising TTouch, and Holly does find this calming. I think the next step is to ask people she knows to handle her in my presence, and build up her confidence bit by bit.

  2. ayomtov says:

    I’d never heard of TTouch – just looked it up and it seems really interesting. Yes, getting other people she trusts at least somewhat to handle her with you there does seem a good way to go. Poor lass, she must have been really frightened. It may not be the same thing, but I’m really regretting not having made sure there was a stream of people to the house when my cats were young, as one of them bolts every time anyone (even people he’s met before) comes to the house and the other is still initially wary. It’s such a short time that puppies and kittens are in that rapid-learning phase and so difficult to know what one needs to introduce them to at the time…

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