The day I got my Heart Broke

My wife knew the pecking order in the house long before we got married, Sheba (my female Basenji) then her. I love my girls (my wife and my dog) but don't be mistreat my Basenji. Sheba sleeps under the covers curled up behind my legs and sits by my side when we watch tv. Sheba only wanted to be next to me and I would never push her away. In 2005 I got orders to deploy to Iraq, I was very lucky in the fact that it was going to be a short deployment, only 7 months and not 12 - 15. The day came for me to leave and I kissed and hugged my Basenji goodbye and prayed that she would be ok without me. During my deployment I would talk to her over the phone if I could, yes, I am still talking about Sheba, haha. Well, after those long months without my Basenji it was finally time to come home. My wife picked me up after the welcome home ceremony and we drove home, yes I kissed and hugged her… When we got to the door, (4am) I opened it and got down on my hands and knees and crawled to Sheba's kennel and looked inside and in a very soft voice I called to her, "Sheebaaa" then opened her door. She started to come to me but then she backed up and growled at me. My heart sank and I almost cried. It took her a few minutes to come out and when she did, she sniffed me up and down for several minutes before she finally realized who I was and began to wag her cute curled tail and jump up on me.
For that time that she didn't know me, my heart was breaking... I will deploy again at the beginning of 2009 and now we have a pup, I don't want to go through that heart break again...

It is very heartbreaking to see things like that, yrs ago my bf at the time deployed and we had a dog together, when he got home the dog (who was now attached to me and used to it being just us) had no idea who this strange man in our home was and had the same reaction your Sheba had.

Since you're are not leaving until 2009, you'll have time to bond with the new pup, they won't forget you completely and might take a little getting used to prior pace in life, but they will be okay. My bf deployed twice while we were together, when he returned from his second deployment he walked in with cookies held out, that time there was no growling or backing away, it was all about the cookie. LOL easiest way to a dogs heart is a cookie

It was just the initial greeting that was off right? Dogs do forget certain cues sometimes…she obviously remembered you...but it might have freaked her out if you crawled up to her kennel, particularly if that wasn't something that you normally do. Imagine this...if my husband was gone for a long time, and he didn't tell me he was going to come home while I was sleeping, and creep up to the bed...it wouldn't matter how nicely he was talking to me, I would be SCARED by his unusual behavior, and his unexpected arrival.

Next time you arrive home, try just walking in like you normally do and say Hi Sheba (and puppy) like you normally do, and I bet she will be overjoyed.

We have to remember that dog brains work differently than ours in a lot of ways. If we try to think of them just like people, we usually end up getting our feelings hurt 🙂

Hey, and thanks for serving our country! Stay safe!

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