Today Dixie and I had a new experience. (By the way, Dixie is my Sheltie...the doggie love of my life!) We went to see my friends, who live a half hour away, to go on their daily walk. We didn't get to walk for long, though, because of all the mosquitoes. Very buggy...yuck! So since my dog wasn't allowed in the house we had two options... 1. Leave Dixie in the garage by herself while we went indoors to talk or 2. Stay in the garage with Dixie and talk there. I wasn't loving option 2. As clean as the garage was, it just wasn't conducive to a "let's catch up" chat. So I decided to attempt option 1.
You have to understand that Dixie is a very clingy girl. She refuses to be left on a tie-out in the backyard unless you remain outside with her. She's a big baby, I know. We take the blame for this because we have always taken her outside on a leash and didn't know this would become an issue. So, if she is left alone outside, her response has always been to bark and bark and bark until someone comes to get her. So I figured option 1 was just not gonna work out.
As I shut the door behind me and went into the house, she seemed preoccupied with new surroundings and was investigating the garage. It is a well-kept and clean garage, so I wasn't concerned about anything she might get into. I would periodically hear her whining quietly at the back door, but she never barked and eventually layed down at the door. There were times I even forgot she was out there.
So Dixie and I passed a very good test today. She endured being treated like a common dog, and I endured the experience of her being treated as a common dog. Now that we're home, I'm back to acknowledging her as the precious, baby girl that she is.