Friday, February 26, 2010
We played for about 45 minutes, but as my hands and feet were freezing (and i imagine her paws were too), we headed inside.
A quick dry-off session followed by Lacey's breakfast then led to what is (I hope) becoming a routine. We played fetch again. I'm pretty sure my downstairs neighbor hates me now, but really, I'm okay with that. She's very good & never fights about giving up her toy. I almost think she's part retriever!
Thursday, February 25, 2010
So, other then that... The walk tonight, while snow covered was really easy. She really has fun in the slush and snow. Also, she really liked being dried off when she gets back inside. She was rolling over and having a really good time :)
Yeah... So pardon my goofy dog voice, but I was excited. Enjoy the video!
The biggest jump in progress that Lacey has made has been in the home. She's progressively more playful, and I've really been enjoying that. This morning we even had a nice little wrestling match (I won of course) She's also getting way more comfortable in the space. She like's her crate as a home base, but is feeling much more comfortable just walking around. She's a smart girl and if you give her boundaries, she will stay within them.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Thanks for checking in, we'll be back in action soon!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Miss Lacey and I are really getting a chance to get to know each other this weekend. I've had to work all week, so this is the first day that I have been able to relax with her at home for most of the day.
She and I had a nice long walk around the East Village of NYC this morning. It's the longest walk we have taken, and Lacey handled it very well. She stopped once or twice due to loud noises, but as long as I didn't react, and kept up the forward momentum, she kept moving.
We got back to the apartment around 11AM, later than I had wanted, because Lacey still needed to eat. She's really liking the food I'm giving her now. Dry food, with one scoop of wet mixed in. She has been eating like a champ the last two days. I couldn't be more proud of her.
Friday, February 19, 2010
She, for the second day, came right out of her crate when I got home and was happy to see me. Tail wagging.
We had two walks this evening. One, with the Gentle Leader and one with the slip lead. She did well on both walks. She took very well to the gentle leader, but I'm not sure if it really made that much difference yet. Granted, it takes more than one try to train a dog.
She's reacting better on the walks in general. Staying with me, and not pulling quite so much. I can keep her at my heel about 80 percent of the time with very little effort. However, I am finding that she does like her specific route that we have been taking. I tried to mix it up this evening and go down a different street... she wasn't too keen on the idea. We're going to try some longer walks this weekend, maybe to the park, so hopefully we can get past that block. (pun intended?)
Well, as you can tell by the picture, she's a real sweetheart.
Bed time for us now. She's busy snoring and kicking me and well, I need to catch up.
After we woke up, Lacey watched me from the bed while I got ready. The moment I pulled out her leash, she was up, tail wagging, spinning in circles at my feet. This was the most excited I have ever seen this little girl get! I sat down on the couch and she came right over and let me slip on her lead. Out the door and down the stairs she goes! No hesitation at all. I even had to stop because I dropped my keys, but it didn't even phase her.
We went on a nice hour-long walk around the Lower East Side this morning. She's still pulling, but I think that that is fear based. When she gets a little overwhelmed, she speeds up to try to get out of there as quickly as possible.
Right now I am using a slip leash to walk Miss Lacey. Its similar to a choke collar, but is made of fabric, slips over her neck, and tightens if she pulls too hard. I have found these types of leashes/collars to be difficult with Rhodesians. Rhodesians tend to have long necks (plus they are tall), and it is very difficult to keep the leash stationed at the base of their heads. Therefore, completely taking away our ability to lead the dog.
In a simliar story, a harness called "The Gentle Leader" helped fix this problem with Oritte's dog. Oritte had tried choke collars, regular collars, slip collars, and even the pronged collars (ew). Gemma, mind you, is a 90+ pound, six-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback female, and if she decides where the walk is going, not only will you go where she wants, but you will end up at the pet store every time. (She's sly like that). In an amazing turn of events, Gemma took to the "Leader" right away and her walks became so much easier.
Back to the apartment. Stairs, no issue. Food, she gobbled it right up. She's still playing peek-a-boo while I shower, but afterward she just sits on my bed waiting for me to get ready.
Today was the first day that Lacey responded to a command. I told her to come off the bed (she did), and then I motioned for her to "get in your crate" (she did, and laid down right away)
Leaving for work didn't hurt at much as the past few days. Lacey seems to be much more at ease. She's a good girl.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
I have to say that this dog is surprising me left and right.
I came home for lunch today and she didn't react as well as I was hoping. She was curled up and shaking as if she didn't know me. Not only that, but she hadn't touched her food at all. I decided to cut the visit short, and head back to work, but also decided to leave on a classic rock radio station for a little ambient noise (How could you love a dog that doesn't know/love Led Zeppelin??) and perhaps the occasional pleasing human voice. Needless to say I left my apartment feeling a little bit crushed.
Much to my surprise, when I got home later, Lacey came right out her crate and said hello to me! Kisses and all! Where has this dog been all along?? On top of that, she ate her food right away! To be fair, I cheated and added a scoop of wet food, but come on! She loved it!
I fixed myself a little dinner (rotisserie chicken and veggies) and sat down on the couch to eat. She hopped up to sit next to me, but didn't beg or try to take my food. Not even once. It was pretty incredible. Every dog I've ever known has been quite the food hog. This is refreshing.
Surprise number two, and I don't wanna jinks myself (or her) but Miss Lacey has pretty much overcome her fear of the stairs. She went straight down, no hesitation at all. It was beautiful. I'm so proud.
Well, we are going to have early evening as I am not feeling 100%. Lacey, on the other hand, is inching toward that line.
We had another good/easy night. She has no problem sleeping through the night. I'm finding she is quite the cuddler and really likes human contact. If she is near me, she likes to be touching me. (Yes, we were spooning again)
So 7:30 this morning we are getting ready for our morning run/walk and this is the first time I have seen Lacey actually get excited and start wagging her tail. I immediately tried to take advantage of that energy and we headed out the door.
The first set of stairs was no problem, but Lacey got a little scared for the second set. Worried that we were going to make no progress this morning, I sat down on the stairs to let Lacey work through her fear and potentially move forward on her own accord. After 5-10 minutes I decided to get up and try to get some momentum going. I started walking back upstairs and she started to follow. FAKE AND REDIRECT THE PUP!! I turned around and took the momentum we gained to go downstairs. After the second set, I made sure she was near the wall and not the railings, and she had no problem. Five flights later, we were outside and she was ready to run!
She's a very strong dog and tends to start each walk with the intention of walking me. She's a puller, but I have found that if I run her for 5-10 minutes right away, she calms down and will walk comfortably with me. After our starter jog, I took her into the park for a run in the snow. She quickly went 1 & 2 and then decide to run around a little more. I would love to see this girl in a yard. I think if she had space that she knew was hers, she would run all over the place. This little girl loves the outdoors almost as she loves sleeping on my bed.
Lacey has yet to eat in front of me. She seems to like when I pull out the bag of food, but doesn't react once it is prepared. This comes as a BIG shock to me as my previous Ridgeback experience made me think that RR's were VERY food driven. My dog-pal Gemma, Oritte's monkey Ridgeback, would be on her food dish so fast that she would take off a hand if you weren't paying attention. The plus side is that Lacey IS eating. She just does it on her own time.
Leaving for work today was hard. Lacey was trying to convince me to snuggle on the couch with her. I politely declined and told her we are going to hang out this evening. Needless to say, we are both looking forward to it.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Once we got outside, we had a fantastic run around the park in the snow (shes a fan). She's a very easy dog to run with, though, she did try to trip me a few times. We also made it back in and up the stairs and to my apartment with no problems for the second time today.
Well, time for us to veg out on the couch and watch the latest episode of LOST.
Today, I think, was a really good day for Miss Lacey.
Another positive note is, while skittish, she's becoming pretty loving. I sat down in the floor and she walked over and sat in my lap. She then turned around and gave me a few nice kisses.
She's still not wild about her food. She did eat while i was gone today, but when I got ready to feed her her evening meal, she turned her nose up at it. We'll give it another couple days. As long as she does eat, I wont be worried.
I know this is going to be a long road to a completely "comfortable dog," but she's well on her way. Over the next weeks I plan on slowly introducing her to my friends to get her more comfortable with new people. If all goes well, I may even introduce her to a couple Ridgeback friends I have. :)
Well, we are off to attempt the stairs again so we can go on a walk.
Wish us luck!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I was contacted about Lacey about a week ago. She was a shy & scared Rhodesian Ridgeback mix that was sitting at a kill shelter in Long Island, and was on the short list to be euthanized. The Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue had found her several weeks prior, but right as they were about to rescue her, she was adopted by a small family in LI. Cut to two weeks later, the family decided to return her because "She's scared of my husband and she peed on our new couch."
Needless to say, Lacey was brought into the city from the Islip Animal Shelter last night. She refused to get out of the car, but once we got her out, she took me for a walk. We managed to get her to my apartment, but she didn't really like the stairs. She had no problem walking up them, but it seemed that because she didn't know her surroundings, and didn't really trust yet, she wasn't prepared to go up them.
Once we got into my apartment, she did a quick look around and then settled on the rug in the kitchen. Denise and I sat with her in the kitchen for 30 minutes or so. Lacey drank two bowls of water, and ate a half a cup of food.
Oritte came over and Lacey took to her immediately. I think there is no question that Lacey prefers women. She laid down in Orittes lap almost immediately and actually fell asleep. (snoring)
I managed to get Lacey onto the bed and she has completely taken over the space. This dog is a love, and just needs some time and stability.