So I missed the final Growly Classes, but I had a good excuse -- exploring New Zealand! Amanda was left with Gianna to finish classes while I was out, and she did splendid! I mean Amanda did splendid, not the dog. Here are Amanda's accounts:
Growly Class IV: We started outside in a circle, and the dogs were supposed to walk by each other. Gianna was reactive and bit me once. It didn't help that it was Valentine's Day and Paolo left earlier that day for New Zealand. When we went inside, she did great in the "outer circle" where we practiced looking at other dogs in the eyes for treat rewards.
Growly Class V: Paolo's mom Vicki came with me. We started off inside, and Gianna was the only dog out in the hallway because she acted like a freak. Vicki was almost in tears because she couldn't believe Gianna behaved that way. Of course, she sees Gianna all the time at her house and with her dog, Simon. To no surprise, we were in the outer circle again. I think we peaked during the second class, but at least I didn't get bit this time.
We were supposed to attend a final class when I got back, but Gianna broke a toenail that day. We didn't want to put her in class with an injury. She's reactive enough when she's happy and healthy.
The whole toenail injury was odd. I don't know how she did it. We were playing fetch up at the elementary school like we always do, and she came back from a run with a bloody paw. I figure she landed on a small rock or something like that. She got to cleaning the wound right away, and I saw the toenail hanging with the nerve sticking out. Eww. I ran her up to the vet hospital, and the girl at the front desk said the injury wasn't worth the extra cost of ER admittance when there was an open appointment 90 minutes later, so we waited out the time back at home and returned to get the toenail cleaned up.
All I have to say is Thank the Lord for Trupanion and the very concept of pet insurance.
The trip to the vet reminded me why we started Growly Classes in the first place. That's where we first saw Gianna's growly behavior. Unsurprisingly, Gianna was in full growl mode again, but the vet's tone was more pleasant this time. It wasn't about how Gianna reacted, it was how I did.
Last time, Amanda and I were upset about how aggressively our new dog behaved. This time, I was fairly calm or at least unsurprised, and that's probably why the vet was easier on me and the dog with her tone.
Perhaps due to Growly Class, perhaps due to time and experience, I was better prepared.