After leaving my dirt bag boyfriend, Jess and I moved around quite a bit. I tried to stay as consistent as I possibly could, but it wasn't easy. There were times where I thought I would have to give her up, but luckily I found some nice people willing to help us out and we were able to stay together.
We haven't lived anywhere for longer than a month but we've come further than I originally thought we would, and we're only improving. I'm so proud of my girl and of myself.
We moved into an extra bedroom with Susie and her handler that they offered knowing I was having a rough time, but once I was seeing what was going on at home I understood why Susie was so fearful. (read Susie's blog for more information) Luckily Jessabelle didn't have as much of a fearful problem with what was going on because she was past her fear periods and I kept her away from the situation as much as I could. Balancing working with Susie and trying to also work with Jess wasn't easy since the dogs' personalities were so drastically different, but once they got used to spending time together it made it easier to blend both dogs' training sessions.
Unfortunately Jess had an interaction one day that pretty much ruined her great table manners. I was basically forced to go with Susie's handler to some friends of her husband's because he was helping them do yard work and I had an appointment with my Therapist that day. We decided it might be a good idea to bring the dogs that way they weren't left at home in their crates all day long. When I left for my appointment of course I had to leave Jess there, which stressed me out because I didn't know those people and I didn't know what might happen. Susie's handler took Susie with us, even though I told her she shouldn't because she wasn't through her Behavior Adjustment for her fearfulness and she wasn't predictable. She didn't listen to me. My therapy appointment went well, but my therapist noticed how stressed I was and tried to comfort me. It didn't help.
When we got back, we walked in on a scene that made me so angry I really don't know how I didn't completely blow up. Susie's handler's husband's friend was feeding Jess off her plate, letting her eat right off the plate! I told her as calmly as I possibly could that Jess wasn't allowed to do that, and her retort was that she fed her dog that way and was always going to feed other dogs that way too. We left shortly afterward, and since that day, Jessabelle has had the WORST table begging, food snatching, and counter surfing problem I've ever experienced. It wasn't long after that, when I expressed to Susie's handler and her husband that Jessabelle and I would never be going to their friend's house again because I can't trust them to not ruin my dog, that they kicked me out, knowing I had nowhere to go.
I almost lost Jessabelle then. I didn't have anyone I could leave her with and the only place I could go was to my granddad's, and his apartment was owned by HUD and they didn't allow pets and at this point I had lost the letter from my therapist. My only hope was to reach out on Facebook and luckily someone was nice enough to let Jessabelle stay with them until I was able to find a place to go that I could have her with me. It took me a while to find someone trustworthy to live with, since I had to resort to Craigslist to look for somewhere and I got a lot of crazy replies.
I lived out in Palmyra Nebraska for a little while after that, and noticed rather quickly how well Jess has a "homing pigeon" tendency. If she decided to be stubborn and not listen and run off, she always ended up back at the house, which was definitely a good thing. She scared me a couple of times, though, and I wasn't really that happy with her about her stubbornness coming out. We worked more on recalls, although without a long line it proved difficult.
Once I moved back to Lincoln, (I moved back in with Susie and her handler, they invited me back because she was having even worse fearful problems with Susie) we were settled for a couple months, and I was finally able to get her the rest of the way through her vaccinations. I also started treatments on an ear infection that she had picked up from playing in the creeks out in Palmyra. I worked hard trying to balance training Jessabelle while also trying to figure out what to do with Susie and then potty training Violet, but Jess ended up on the back burner a lot and she developed a lot of problem behaviors, so I had to work on those as well. By the time she was 6 months old her obedience was finally solid enough for us to begin looking into starting her Public Access tasks.