Milly hasn't always been an easy dog, and even at 10 years old, she's still the reason my living room often looks like a whirlwind has torn through it She's pulled me into the road, crashed into my legs and sent me imploding onto the ground, bowled over (literally bowled over) other dogs, took my knees out from under me, blown recall and bogged off for over two hours, eaten her own collar, chewed books, beds (hers), DVD and CD cases, chewed the discs inside, damn nearly dislocated my arm by yanking it behind me, caused net curtains to twitch as she howled and screamed as though in her death throws simply because I refused point blank to let go of her leash so that she could kill her latest feline nemesis, chewed her way through two alarm clocks, consumed a large, 200g bag of treats, and countless loaves of bread, and did have a weird taste for my eczema creams. Frankly, it's a wonder she's still alive!
I've felt like giving her up to the next person who asked, more than once felt like throttling her, locked her in the bedroom to give us both Time Out, considered putting her in a kennel in the garden (not that I ever would - it was just a fleeting thought in desperation over housetraining), and raised my voice more than once.
But never once have I ever considered putting an e-collar or worse - a prong collar around her neck.
I was having lunch this afternoon when Milly came and sat in front of the table, just like she is in that picture. As I looked at her, hoping for a cheeky piece of bread, I tried to imagine a prong or e-collar around her neck. I couldn't. Any more than I could imagine one around my own. Yes, she's tried my patience. Yes, she's had me pulling me hair out. Yes, she's a monumental PITA. . . But as I looked at her - as I look at that pic, I realise I wouldn't have her any other way.
She's made me a better handler than I would have been otherwise.