Fight or Flight.

We braved Holy Island this week ‘braved’ because it was absolutely heaving and we had packed all the kids and dogs to go with us including Nessie nervous pants. Generally Nessie did very well. Well other than becoming disoriented in the crowds, not being able to see her pack or sniff them out. This results in her shutting down and just, well sitting where she stands and no amount of coaxing can egg her on (much to the amusement of passer bys on the paths.)

The most difficult thing though is understanding her coping mechanisms and when in a place such as Holy Island that is busy beyond ridiculous, it is just not possible for the dogs to be leader free, meaning we were using harnesses and leads. This in turn makes for a vicious circle effect for a nervous dog such as Ness. A dog which in a natural situation would have the opportunity or choice when scared to fight or flight and the majority of the time dogs prefer to move away from a situation but sadly if this is not available (due to being in a built up area and on lead) fight is sometimes the only option left.

Now Nessie doesn’t have boxing gloves at the ready or anything and neither does she have an ounce of fight in her but she does have an amazing bark. It booms. I have seen people lift from thier seats in fright when caught off guard and Nessie likes to let it known (very clearly) when she’s not happy and she likes to get her two peneth worth’s in as early as possible.

Her reaction to people however, is the opposite we have found and if you should ever meet us out walking I hope you are not shy. For Nessie LOVES people, she can’t really see you but she can smell you and where people are concerned our biggest issue is stopping her from leaning into you, pushing her nose towards you as close as she possibly can, so she can take a deep breath and smell. Great if you love dogs or don’t really mind them but if you don’t…

Well let’s just say we spend a lot of time apologizing to people 🤣

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