Posted by: silverstar98121 | November 7, 2010

It’s Been Awhile

Since I got Lacey. Much has happened. She can finally pee and poop on a leash, but is still a little “speshul snoflayke” about when and where. It’s progress. She has taken and passed an obedience class. I signed her up for service dog classes, but they got cancelled. I may have to go with a private trainer. Unfortunately that’s costly, fortunately Washington has assistive technology loans you can get to cover the cost at a low interest rate.

I’m not used to a dog with a tail. I’ve had Cockers for 40 years, all with docked tails. So, it’s interesting to suddenly hear
“whap, whap, whap”, and realize it’s Lacey’s tail thumping on the furniture. My one set of puppies had their tails docked, but I don’t think I would have it done today. They do it when they are small, and it’s like circumcision without an anesthetic. They did it in the beginning because they were bird dogs, and you can imagine that a dog’s tail going “whap, whap” out in the field is going to scare birds away. Most Cockers these days aren’t field dogs anyway. You couldn’t show a dog without a docked tail, because it’s the standard of the breed, but maybe someday they will stop this cruel practice for all but field Cockers.

Lacey still cringes at a lot of stuff, not really people friendly. There are a few people she will let pet her, The Boyo and my therapist come to mind. Otherwise, forgeddaboutit. She has good days when she sails right along on our walks down the crowded sidewalks, and bad days when she cowers behind my chair at the least little thing. Well, except for the time she pulled her leash out of my hand to go chase a squirrel. The dog park is no longer a favorite since one of the big dogs attacked her because he thought she was going after his ball. Little did he know, she was chasing him. One time, I had her off-leash in the middle of the night at Seattle Center, and the little devil ran home. Across two normally busy streets. She was playing, she’d stop to make sure I was following her, then run some more. Twice, when she got spooked by loud noises, she slipped her collar and ran home. In broad daylight, when the streets are busy. But maybe she understands traffic lights. The last time, some people were trying to “help” me by chasing after her. So, of course, she ran faster and farther. All along the trail, people would just point and say, “She went thatta way.” I thought I”d never find her, so I went back to the building to call animal control, and some folks had somehow chased her into the lobby of my building. She was cowering in the corner by the elevators, and there was a cop there. Apparently, because she had her service dog vest on, they thought something had happened to me. So, we may have to do some behavior modification work, and she may need puppy prozac. *sigh* Not giving up on her.

She really is a good dog, except for the cowering. Whoever had her trained her well. She doesn’t beg. She doesn’t get up on the furniture, except with an engraved invitation with treats in it. She goes right under the table and just sits lies there if a stop off for a sandwich or coffee. Wouldn’t poop or pee in the house if you didn’t take her out for days. And will hold it until she gets to one of her designated spots, as she proved when I spent the weekend in Las Vegas over Labor Day. The Boyo didn’t know where her spots were, so she just didn’t go until I came home. Well, OK she did pee during that time, but you should have seen the pile of poop the first time I took her out when I got home.

Well, that’s all the news that’s fit to print, and probably some that isn’t.


  1. i had forgotten how challenging a ‘rescue’ pup can be… we had adopted a 1 year old sawed off street shephard who was ‘quirky’ all his days… he did get better over time, but would still bolt at the sound of thunder if he were outside (climbed a 5′ chain link fence to get out).

    she sounds very sweet, though, and i’m guessing she adores you! hope to get another chance to get out that way this year and meet her in person!

    • Why, yes she does adore me. Very different from Friday, who adored The Boyo. She’s rarely more than 5′ from me. She is very sweet, just needs a lot of attention.

  2. i’ve done that too… “slipped [my] collar and ran home”. long story, but my date wasn’t too thrilled about it.

    very glad that you found someone who can take care of you as much as you taking care of her.

  3. I was wondering where you was cos you wasn’t here. Obviously you’ve been taking Lacey for walks – or should that be the other way round? This cowering thing is often begun in the litter without human intervention. Biggest sibling wins bout one, next biggest sibling wins bout two and so on till there is only one left. And he/she cowers as a habit taught by its “biggers”.

    • Now you just have to tell me how to convince her she’s not bottom dog anymore.

  4. Seems like it takes a long while (and a lot of negative influence) for a dog to become mistrustful. But an even longer time (if ever) for a dog to regain its ability to trust.

    Hopefully things continue to improve with Lacey and that she becomes a little less taxing a companion.

    Kudos to you, silverstar. I would never have that much patience, I’m afraid.

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