One of the other participants in the class came up to me and said I should not put Winston's hair up in a top knot when he visits clients. She said his blue eye is really " freaky." She said the fist time she saw his eye - it caused a negative reaction in her. I thanked her for her suggestion - told her that I love him and didn't even notice anymore and then called her a $%#&* in my head. I know she was only trying to be helpful - but Winston is my child. I don't think he is freaky - I love him.
Then during class, the trainer was talking about how dogs scare clients - and she pointed to Winston. Everyone just looked at me - - - He is the biggest one there - but he is so fluffy and lovable - it never crossed my mind he was scary looking.
So - - last night I left the class wondering if my big scary, one blue eyed freak of a sheepdog should do this. I know I have to get a thinker skin - - - -but my sheepie is my pride and joy and I get a little hurt when someone makes a comment that states otherwise. Have anyone of you had anything similar? How did you handle it?
|Yes to the eye, that is if they don't first say, "Is he blind in that eye?"
As to the size issue, that's silly. Many people are just negative on larger dogs. Frankly I don't trust ankle-biter dogs as I can't see what they are up to down there
Remember when a sheepie is all fluffed up, he presents a much larger dog immage to people. They've never seen them in the tub and realize there's a smaller dog under there.
|I have had "clients" scared of Pearl's size and one time, had to back her into a room so this one patient could pet her tusch..she was afraid of her big teeth---
When I sense fear about her size, I have her to one of her silly tricks, like a bow or a 'five'..or I just tug on her ear and when they see that she is just a fun loving, sweet dog who ignores any tugging and pulling, they calm down and are able to enjoy my girl!!!!
(As far as the "participent" commenting on his beautiful blue....SHAME on HER!!!! She is probably just jealous that you have such a unique dog compared to whatever oh-hum dog she has!!! You have to admit OES's are the center of attention where ever they go!!!!!)
|His blue eye is his special feature. It's nice for people to learn he is not 'blind in that eye' and that it's common in some breeds. You could use it as an opening conversation, an interesting thing about your special dog to help introduce him to anyone who may seem a little wary. It's a GOOD thing!!!
That bag who was mean, well, she can go join the other bags and rude people we have been hearing about lately
Sounds like you handled it beautifully
|I don't personally see how "one blue eye" can be scary... most people comment that it's "neat"... And sure, our Sheepies are large, but they also look like walking stuffed animals. A calm Sheepie is a sheepy asking for a big hug if you ask me... but then again, I assume all dogs are nice until they prove me wrong. I never make that assumptions with humans though...|
|I'm sure there are people who are scared of large dogs. I'm scared to death of small dogs; anything less than 30 pounds and I'm terrified.
Don't let those people take your excitement away from Winston being a therapy dog. People of all ages love our big, loveable, soft, fluffy guys (and girls). Yes, a few people will be afraid of him, but a few people are afraid of the small dogs too!
You are doing a marvalous thing by training Winston to be a therapy dog. I know when we have Oliver in public, people flock to him. The smiles that he brings to people when they pet him is remarkable. If Winston can make someone forget their ailments or troubles for a brief second, then it's worth it.
You should be so proud of Winston and yourself!
|I don't think it matters what kind of dog you have, someone somewhere is going to be afraid of it. Part of the beauty of therapy dogs is their ability to help people overcome their fears. I would be aware that some people are afraid of big dogs but I wouldn't change what you do.
As far as the blue eye goes, I'd rather see a dogs face and eyes than have i hidden from view, so again it's a preference. I would do what YOU are comfortable with.
|That woman's attitude about a blue eye would have caused a negative reaction in me. You should have told her that perhaps she shouldn't come to class anymore.
Everyone likes different traits in a dog. The only way you know who likes what is when you get there.
| Apparently yesterday was RUDENESS day and all of us on the forum here missed the memo.
Now I am speaking from experience - as is Val. And Cindy could weigh in on this too - Harry tends to be the most popular dog in his therapy visits because he is a large fuzzy sheepdog!
Regarding the eyes, unless Winston acts blind with his hair down - but you will be guiding him on leash, try leaving it down just when he does visits. Not because of the dumba** comment from the rude bitch. I leave Harry's hair down every visit because I use it as an icebreaker: "Would you like to see his eyes?" The best part is Winston has even more of a surprise with the two different colored eyes. So you can tell them that before you show them.
Muffy, the sheepdog I grew up with had a blue and a brown eye. We left her hair down all the time but people loved when I would show them her eyes. I desperately wanted another one like that when I got Harry.
Tell Winston not to be offended by the rude lady. I have been told lots of times that my eyes are scary too!
Ignore the rude people in class you know what a great dog you have.
|If darling Winston's blue eye is ever mentioned again, tell whoever the legend of the "Walleye" (one blue eye, one brown).|
It is believed that walleyed dogs can only see evil through their brown eye, and can only see good through their blue eye. This way, they are proficient at steering their Masters toward good and away from evil.
We with walleyed dogs are very blessed!!!!
|Thank you everyone for your thoughts and suggestions. It really helped - - You are correct - Most people love sheepies and are happy to see them. Plus, in the seven years I have had Winston - the lady in the class was the first to say something negative about his eyes to me.
I guess the way I need to look at it is that everyone has an opinion. If a client doesn't like Winston because he is big or he has two different colored eys--- it is ok - -I am sure there is another client that will be thrilled to have him visit.
|Forget her...I have a wall eyed sheepie too and she is a good conversation strarter. My therapy dog has two brown eyes and when he has longer hair I put it two top knots and call them his "horns" Patients first see the fuzzy wiggle butt Some nurses are afraid of big dogs but some soften up when they see how gentle he is. There will always be some who just plain don't like dogs but that is OK we all don't have to like the same things. Many folks are afraid of big dogs and that is OK too. Your shaggy dog will be a hit . Maybe she was jealous because he is so beautiful. Keep going!!!!|
|and another legend that you can tell them about is, way back in time (even before my time if you can believe time goes back that far )
Shepherds thought that it meant they had two brains
|What a lovely story.....|
and another legend that you can tell them about is, way back in time (even before my time if you can believe time goes back that far )
Shepherds thought that it meant they had two brains
I've never heard that one! That's a good one, too!
They won't be able to resist winston
|What happened to my Pic Geeze I am brain dead|
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