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Post Info TOPIC: ***Urgent*** Training Myself ***Please Help***

House Broken

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Posts: 16
***Urgent*** Training Myself ***Please Help***

For some time now Ive been looking for support and good vibes for comfort of a paranoia of mine. No one I personally know has really been able to help me with this, and so in my search I thought: why not seek such comforts from a kind group of strangers? My mind immediately shot to BoxerCentral. Though Im not on here much, I hope that you will all be able to offer me some guidance and help for my problem. Its a bit of a long story, please bear with me.

When I was probably seventeen or eighteen, I was still an avid lover of all types and breeds of dogs. When BSL threatened our area, myself and a group of friends started an anti-BSL organization of sorts. One day a friend and myself were walking through a forested area on a shortcut to her home. To make a long story short, a mans APBT escaped from his enclosure as we passed. The dog attacked the two of us without being provoked. My friend, considerably younger than me, ran to get her father since we werent far from her house. I placed myself against the cage so I could use the wire to support myself if I fell (Im very short), I tucked my fingers under my arms to keep them out of reach and turned sideways away from him. I hadnt struck the dog at all yet, and surprisingly hadnt made a sound (I didnt want to egg it on). Finally my friend shouted that her father was coming, although I couldnt tell where she was. Sometime in the uproar, the dog turned away from me, and I pinned his shoulders down with my knees until I could grab his cuff. He had no collar, but when I grabbed that skin and fur there he didnt fight against me at all. I placed him back in his cage, and just like that, the ordeal was over.

I had found myself feeling fine afterwards, a little guilty because the dog would probably be euthanized, and that this wouldnt help our cause any when people heard about it. I look back and realize I might have done the wrong thing: I didn't go to doctor, call the cops, and I still don't know if the dog was put to sleep. The man did hear of it, but it was never publicized. But I was young, so I can't blame myself I don't suppose... And years later, now, I am in vet school, working with dogs everyday, and I still feel a fear. When any dog approaches me, I feel a light panic in my stomach, my heart starts pounding, and I feel cold. This is even with my own dogs. No one ever takes me seriously when I talk about this with them, I suppose I dont show the fear, for I have a calm and collected demeanor. Is there any help for me? Or will I always carry this anxiety with me? Should I reconsider my career path, and start with something new? I dont want to give up on my dream of becoming a vet, and I dont want to give up on any breed of dog. I own pit bull-type dogs myself, and I dont know how to train myself out of his...

Any help, prayers, or kind thoughts would be much appreciated. As silly as this situation is, it means a lot to me. I've included some pictures, though they might be unneccessary. This was just after the attack, after the wounds were cleaned. I was amazed at how quick the bruising and swelling came about.

GetAttachment.aspx?tnail=0&messageId=bfe5b93e-e026-49fd-ad5d-aea0254e8ecb&Aux=4|0|8CA4339CFF34700| GetAttachment.aspx?tnail=0&messageId=19883a77-7fae-4467-9dce-2885c3216a92&Aux=4|0|8CA433819DB2D80| GetAttachment.aspx?tnail=0&messageId=7ae77fe3-4f8b-45a0-8ed9-fb0e3e6765ce&Aux=4|0|8CA4339768B1800|
My wrist, side, and thigh. I also had a deep bite wound on my left arm, both hands, and a series of bites that covered my ankle, foot, and my calf. But I can't find pictures of those at the time. Just to see the physical damage.

"If you aren't ready for a 60 pound lap dog...the boxer is not for you."


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Posts: 409

What you are describing is a sort of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I myself have some PTSD episodes ever since my house fire last summer. I have found that counseling, helps a lot. A trained counselor can help you by giving you coping tools and helping you talk through your fears and reactions.
Absolutely do not give up on the career you have dreamt of... you just need to learn ways to cope with your reactions, and eventually the reactions shjould be a thing of the past. Since you are in vet school, I woul dimagine that there are on campus counselors who could help... check into it.

Oh, and don't blame yourself for past actions, especially actions when you were a kid. You did what you thought was right at the time... you meant well. Hindsite is always 20/20, and blaming yourself now, for your actions/reactions then, is unproductive and unfair to yourself.

Susan **Boxers... not just dogs, they're an adventure!

Smitten by Boxers

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Posts: 1271

Susan's suggestions are good. Another one I would suggest is to see if you can't spend a bit of time with other dogs similar to the one that attacked you. This will help your mind heal with newer better memories over the same type of a dog.

Pit bulls are a breed I do have fear over. Nothing has happened to me, but clearly to alot of innocent folks. And I live in a huge human populated area with reputed gang fights and pits trained to fit for their gang owners. The one downside over living in the SF Bay Area.

I love dogs. I love to pet and love on them all. I try not to be a dog snob. But I recently was at a speciality clinic with one of my Boxers. A goth gal was there with a large pit bull bitch having TPLO surgery. And I mean a LARGE pit. Strange small round eyes I am not used to. The vet took my Boxer in after having finished with the PB. I wanted to do my usually meet and greet but was afraid. I watched the gal with her large dog. She firmly had the dog in a sit, obviously had great control over her, petted her head for being good and got a tail wag out of it. Poor PB was shaved all up one leg and hip from the surgery.

I finally got the courage to ask if I could pet her PB. She assured me she was good with people. I bend down and gave her loves. She was so sweet! Very gentle and wagged her tail. She gave me kisses. I forced myself to look into her eyes as I do my own dogs. I saw gentle happiness. No hard gaze and no stiffening of her body at the close contact. It made me feel very much at peace. Of course I felt ashamed to have pre-judged the dog and her tattooed owner. They were both fantastic. I found out this was the 2nd TPLO surgery for this dog and yet here was this young owner doing all she could for her beloved pooch.

I was hoping I could have a good experience with this powerful dog and was thrilled it turned out well. I considered it healing even for me.

I hope my story helps a bit :)

  Christina Ghimenti
PawPrint Boxers
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