Pilaf started out with horrible distractions towards the other dogs in our household. Basically she was on isolation training for the first few months we had her. We kept her in the kitchen blocked off from Eli and Ricki except for when she was supervised. After several months of separation training, we observed incredible results. Pilaf began to understand that if she left the other dogs alone her reward would be companionship and a communal connection. At times we felt really bad we had to separate her from the rest of the family, but it really helped her out. Now as an adult, you would never know there was an issue with exception of her yearning to lick Ricki’s and Ozzy’s ears from time to time.
Pilaf was a hard worker. As soon as we put the green jacket on her she became very serious. Serious about doing what was asked of her, serious about trying to do a good job, serious about ignoring distractions including other dogs. All of her behavior while out in public was outstanding, especially once she turned six months old.
Pilaf was eager to please and didn’t want to be wrong. We noticed she never wanted to disappoint us. Sometimes she would stress out about it so much that she could shut down. This was most apparent when we filmed our episode at the mall. The confidence issues withered away, and her shut down mode became a thing of the past. As she got older she began to understand what was expected of her resulting in a very confident dog with a bright future.
It all came to a screeching halt with surprising conditions however. We had her evaluation, and Pilaf overall did a great job. However ever since Pilaf was a young puppy she liked to lick, suck, and chew on Ricki’s ears. We tried to keep her from doing so, but she just couldn’t seem to help herself from the temptation. Over time she became a little obsessed with doing the same thing with her tail. Bitter apple kept her from licking, and sucking her tail most of the time, but she would still do it intermittently.
Now even though this was happening, we always felt she would grow out of it. We also thought it was not that big of a deal the whole time or we would have filmed this topic earlier in the show. It was not until our CFR brought Pilaf home for a weekend evaluation that we realized how serious things were. Our CFR discovered a dripping wet tail both mornings when taking Pilaf out of her crate. Pilaf thereafter woke up with a wet tail 90 percent of the time at our house as well which was surprising. Moreover, her wet tail was also discovered after short car rides, while at Amie’s work, and also at home during the day.
There was a long discussion with the training department at Guide Dogs about her and they determined that Pilaf had a small obsessive compulsive disorder which most likely would get worse. (if you remember as a baby puppy she had a very hard time controlling her impulsive biting and chewing on the other dogs). The decision was made by our CFR and the training department to career change Pilaf. We were disappointed about the decision, but we couldn’t be more proud of the dog that she has become. A family that we have been friends with for years adopted her. They were very excited to welcome her into their family. It is always hard to say good bye to one of our puppies, but knowing that she is with a family that will love her as much as we do made it much easier. She is happy and well.