Learn how to better understand your dog

Posted on July 3, 2013


crazyBitch71Reviewed by Jeff Ezell Search, Rescue, and Recovery K9 Handler (Ret.)

Crazy Bitch

OK guys, stop thinking this title is a biography of your former girlfriend or ex wife.

It’s the author’s seduction of the reader into an intimate membership in the Tibbetts family of humans, dogs, cats, friendly neighbors, subhuman neighbors, corrupt police, corrupt politicians and dog park friends amidst small town dynamics.

The harassment from evil neighbors and supporting cast of corrupt cops and politicians is a horror story itself and could easily be titled “Crazy Neighbors” in a novel bcause their behavior is stranger than fiction. At many points I forgot I wasn’t reading a page-turner, can’t-put-it-down novel.

Dogs are the only animals that develop such a complex relationship with man. Peggy thoroughly documents the interwoven relationship of Lab/Akbash mix, Venus, and Zeus, a powerful but gentle Alaskan Malamute. It includes their love for each other and moments of terror and aggression. Their experiences with other dogs, family, and crazy, taunting neighbors help us understand they are “not just a dog”, but a valued family member. The dogs’ thoughts are shared via Peggy’s incisive interpretation of body language, eye contact, nose and ear movement, etc. Dogs “talk” to us. Humans are not good listeners. We should all study this story to better understand the K9 partners in our lives. Peggy’s perspicacity provides us an inner view how dogs interact and communicate. She shares that this requires an understanding of each breed’s traits and that they have a “job to do” to keep them happy, while serving their masters. This helps readers understand more about their own animal pack.

Peggy and her husband, Tod, had a lot of tough times as Venus’s mental illness progressed and the neighbors and cops got crazier. Admirably the Tibbetts were up for the task and altered their lives to accommodate the dogs they loved. They were lucky to have some great vets to help them.

Venus’s CCD presented many unknowns and unpredictable behaviors. Undaunted, Peggy would dive into research mode and develop new approaches. Many humans would put the dog down based on the vet’s doubts about a favorable quality of life. Not Peggy and Tod.

Some readers may think Peggy gets too bogged down with a plethora of ongoing canine interactions. But read on and you will discover the value to yourself in better understanding your own dogs and different triggers that alter their behavior. Certain behaviors are guided by their breed background and differ greatly.

Someday I hope to meet Peggy and Tod and give them a big hug for what they did for their own dogs and what they have done to help us understand and improve our own dog-human relationships. This should become a textbook for canine behavioral studies. It’s certainly a guidebook into the love dogs offer us, other canines, and other animals. My life is richer from Peggy’s well crafted true story.

I had a yellow Lab companion that was a super bird hunting dog and an even better Search, Rescue and Recovery dog for eight years. His last search, five weeks before cancer took him, was finding two drowning victims in a submerged vehicle. Thinking back, I learned more from him than I could ever teach him. You can too. Sometimes we don’t listen well.

A must read for anyone who cares about the canines in their life, past, present, or future!

Crazy Bitch
Living with Canine Compulsive Disorder

Autographed paperback copies available. Send email to: peggyt@siltnet.net

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Posted in: book review