Updated: Apr 19
Learning to live with Sjogren's and my new puppy is an adventure in itself. Echo Rain was eight weeks old when we got her and it has been nothing but a learning experience for both of us. Sjogren's is something new to me also. I have never felt so miserable for such a long period of time in my life. I have come to find out that this may be my new norm. I have not given up but to be completely honest, I have had bad thoughts about that. Echo Rain is a German Shepherd who is by far the smartest pup I have ever raised while completely aware. I say that because in the past when I had puppies, I certainly do not remember the constant and persistent training that goes with raising a good dog. In the past, I just do not remember teaching my puppy how to be a good dog in all of the ways you should. With a German Shepherd you better make damn well sure they are well trained, or you will be in a world of hurt and not just on yourself but on others.
I went through a time where she was competing for Alpha as told to us by our trainers. She would test me every morning while I thought we were playing but in reality, she was beating the shit out of me. If I didn't comply with her demands of "playing" she would rough house me, jump on me, bite my hip, leg, bark, etc. I was told by some to fold my arms together and act like I was not interested in her, and she would quit. WRONG! She did mess with me and that is when she would bite (playfully or not) on the hip or leg. This turned out to be a stressful time for me with not only her but with my significant other. Waking up to that in the morning was very stressful and admittedly heartbreaking. It would actually make me cry I was so confused and hurt. Later, while at training did we find out that putting my arms together and acting like I didn't care was not the answer. I was to walk in the room boldly like a soldier, knees high and if she were to jump on me I was to knee her to get her down.
I was always in the minority of using an e-collar (shock collar) to help with training. My significant other was against that.... until he heard it from the trainers we went to. They absolutely recommended that along with a prong collar. Things have changed. We have control now. Imagine that. So now onto having fun along with the training.