I was putting my dogs back in the truck after their morning walk when a lady approached and asked if I could help her with her Chihuahua who was shaking in her arms.

“He’s terrified of leaving the house," she told me.

“He’s afraid of dogs and people and never goes outside it upsets him too much.”

She told me she dealt with his phobias by keeping him away from any situation likely to trigger them off.

I tried to explain that by avoidance she was disabling her dog rather than enabling him but her own anxiety made her impervious to reason.

She had the poor little dog sleeping on her bed where he would never gain the confidence to be independent thus reinforcing his separation anxiety.

“He hates walking outdoors and is terrified of other dogs,"she told me with such passion it was beginning to unsettle my own dogs waiting patiently in the back of the truck.

Dogs are extremely sensitive to the energy that surrounds them and there was enough negative energy going on to unsettle a rhinoceros.

I held out my arms and asked her to give me her dog, which she did with great reluctance. After a few minutes I lowered him to the ground and placed a lightweight lead over his head.

I allowed him to go where his nose took him and wandered beside him as he sniffed his way around the grass. With great care and in complete silence I placed my little Lab Tally beside him saying absolutely nothing.

Within five minutes he was following Tally as she snuffled her way around the picnic tables.

I sat on the grass with both dogs allowing them to explore their surroundings in the sunshine.

For the first time in his life this little dog was being ‘enabled’ to face the world.

If you need help with your dog join one of my classes at vicbarlow.com or text me on 07590-560012.