Yup, you read it right. Siam is in doggie rehab, or doggie boot camp. But it’s nowhere as bad as it sounds. At my most trying time, I remembered this guy that I met when I hosted a pet event, this guy named Lestre Zapanta who I interviewed onstage, and who turned out to be an animal behaviorist. Just for reference, think a local dog whisperer. At the time, I was talking to him about my aggressive chihuahua. But at the time that my poodle Siam was keeping me and my neighbors up with his relentless 4:00am barking (refer to my at-my-wit’s-end blog post about it HERE), the time when I was so close to giving up and contemplating defeat for the very first time (and giving Siam away), I remembered Lestre. So I tried to find the calling card he gave me, and I found it amid the tons of cards I messily keep in one drawer, and gave him a call. He told me about his company, PETiks Atbp.
Lestre told me that there was a lot of hope for Siam, and that he can board Siam in his place, and try to fix what needs fixing. The problem was, Siam was a mere 3 months old at the time, with only 2 shots in, and they couldn’t board him unless all his shots were complete. So suffice it to say, I bit the bullet and kept Siam for an extra 5 months, through all his shots, his neutering and my 2-week vacation. After all that, finally, Siam was ready. In Siam’s defense, he already evolved from a canine menace into a lovable companion in the past 5 months. He doesn’t really whine anymore, but he still gets a bit restless when left alone and starts shredding the houseplants’ leaves into leaflets, among other things. Nothing major anymore, and the idea of giving him away had been long filed under the “No way, Jose!” drawer. But I still agree with Lestre’s initial diagnosis that Siam is way too intelligent, and needs more intellectual stimulation than I know how to offer. So I finally decided to board Siam with Lestre, and he’ll figure out what makes him tick, identify possible behavioral problems, and find a way to correct these behaviors. Plus, Lestre promised to teach Siam lots of tricks, which poodles crave, because it gives them mental challenges that they hungrily need. So hopefully after a week or so, Siam will be a “better” dog (I put the word “better” in quotes because we love Siam just the way he is; we just feel there’s always room for improvement). Of course Lestre has a “no visiting” policy from us “parents” so as to have Siam’s full attention. We the enablers/spoilers might be an unwelcome distraction. Check out the PETiks Atbp website by clicking HERE. Their website is under renovation so you can check out their Facebook page in the meantime.
As resolute as I am about Siam’s rehab, of course it was torture leaving him in a strange new place for the first time since we got him last November. It felt like leaving our kid at school for the first time! Siam gave me a look as if to say: “Daddy, am I in jail?”
I can’t wait to have him back home! Hang in there Siam, we’re rooting for ya!