A story about a Shetland Sheepdog I worked with for over 1.5 years who is very close to my heart.
“Now I have a great toolbox to bring with me to manage Cosmo’s stress and reactivity.”
This story has taken a long time to write because I still get emotional thinking about Allan/Cosmo’s journey and being a part of it. ❤️
In the spring of 2021, I was contacted by Allan’s dog mum Mikaela. Allan was a 10 month old Shetland Sheepdog who was extremely reactive towards dogs on the walk. However, after our first meeting it was clear that the main issue was being calm inside the apartment, which was in a big city in Sweden. He reacted to noises outside the apartment, barked att all visitors and didn’t want to relax after 3 pm when he whined and paced off and on all evening. You can understand that Allan’s dad and mum were desperate for help.
Allan’s mum Mikaela said:
“Both we and he feel bad that he can’t calm down.”
After a lot of work with Allan during the summer of 2021 and a lot of progress, it was clear that life in the city was not something he could handle. There were too many noises, dogs and things that stressed him out. Mikaela and her family worked incredibly hard with him and fought until the very end, and it was with tears in their eyes that they told me they decided to rehome him. I understood and agreed that a life in the country would be the best for Allan. A difficult but worthy decision.
Allan then moved to a breeder of Shelties who lived in the country, changed his name to Cosmo, and after two short months I saw him for sale online…. Mikaela and I are still in contact and we were both so sad that he now had to move again, but hoped that he would come to his forever home this time. We all crossed our fingers and toes.
Two weeks later, an email dropped into my inbox with the title:
“Cosmo is a Shetland Sheepdog who is about 1.5 years old and we need help”
I immediately started crying when I realized that Allan, now Cosmo, had found his way back to me and it made me SO happy! Even Mikaela and her family were extremely happy and finally felt at ease knowing he was in good hands.
Cosmo still had problems with the stress both outside and inside. This is how Cosmo’s new mum Madeleine described him before we started training:
“Stressed 24 hours a day, difficult to get in touch with, very reasonable and very outspoken about everything.”
We struggled and worked specifically on Cosmo’s calm inside and outside, as well as his ability to distance himself from other dogs on the walk. After 4 months together we started to see SO much progress and his new mom now says this:
“Cosmo understands more now what we want to do and has an easier time calming himself down when he gets stressed. Goes to bed and sleeps on his own instead of continuing to run around like before. “
“Now I have a great toolbox to take with me to deal with Cosmo’s stress and reactivity and not forget my own action of course ????”
I asked how she feels about the future:
“Relief as I now have the tools and understanding of my dog!”
I can now announce that Cosmo lives in the country with his owners Madeleine and Leif and has made dog friends and is enjoying the quiet life we always wanted him to have. He has landed on his paws and will hopefully never leave his new family.
As I said, it has been emotional to write this story and I am SO happy that his new master and mistress became the family he got and that he is doing so well now. Even the previous mum and the new one are now in contact, which closed the circle and Allan became Cosmo.
Cosmo, you will forever be in my heart and good luck with your new amazing life.❤️