[Originally posted on my static HTML home page when I “wasn’t” blogging. On a more recent drive-by of Mayhayley’s house it appeared to be vacant.]
Update, April 15, 2017: This and all earlier-dated entries are collected from either my then-blog blogoSFERICS, or Mrs. McG’s onetime critterblog cats. iz. perverse.
The Fayette County Humane Society held a fundraiser on Saturday, June 2nd, at the Peachtree City Dog Park. One of the many attractions brought in for the event was the Doggie Fun Zone, a traveling agility course specially designed so that dogs with no experience can run the course. A typical agility course contains a number of obstacles such as jumps and tunnels scattered about an area, and the handler must direct the dog through the obstacles in a specific pattern. Doggie Fun Zone had a definite course laid out with mesh fencing, directing the dog (and handler, sort of) through a maze that contained the jumps and so forth. There was also a lure line running through the course—a white cloth on a cord that would hopefully entice the dog to chase it through the obstacles. All in all, a pretty cool setup, and some of the dogs were barreling through the course for all they were worth.
Lucy chose that particular time to act like she knew how to heel.
Baby gates were set up between the sides of each obstacle and the mesh fencing, to ensure that the dog didn’t go around an obstacle. Handlers, however, were cautioned to go back and forth over the mesh as needed rather than over the baby gates. So I was doing quite a bit of awkward swinging over the mesh, while encouraging Lucy to stay on course. (Do as I say, not as I do.) The lure was of almost zero interest to her, and she was very content to wait around until I had finished my gymnastics to find out where I wanted her to go next. But to her credit, she didn’t balk at the tunnels as some dogs might—if she could see me calling her on the other side, she would happily trot through, and then continue to stick right with me until the next obstacle.
Our not-exactly-blistering run was capped off by Miss Congeniality’s noticing a group of dogs she wanted to meet just outside the Fun Zone, and she hopped right over the mesh fencing, missing the last tunnel. Honestly, instead of a cloth, I think the very best lure for her would have been one of the other dogs running through the course at top speed!
But, we’ll be ready for ‘em next time. Lucy doesn’t have any “fetch” instinct that I can detect, but we’ve been quite successful with a game called “Get The Treat!”, where I throw a dog treat across the yard and she runs after it, then comes back to me for another round. Not “fetch” exactly, but it’s a start. Maybe I’ll start tying the treat to a white cloth or something. We’ll get this figured out—she’s a smart girl, not to mention the best doggie in the ‘verse.
[Written by Mrs. McG]
I am continually amazed by Lucy. Maybe it’s just because she’s my first dog, but I dunno…
Over the weekend I was cleaning up the bedroom. Lucy found a small box, picked it up in her mouth and walked out of the room with it. Since that was exactly the sort of thing I was trying to collect and throw away, I griped,
“Aww, Lucy, bring that back here.”
She put the box down and came back to where I was.
Intrigued, I went for broke. “No, go get that box and bring it back here.”
Massive hugs and praise ensued.
I know border collies are notorious for this kind of thing, but it’s amazing to see it in action.
[Originally posted to blogoSFERICS]
Dustbury inspired the following, which was originally a comment left there:
I had to drop off our dog at the vet this morning. One of the outermost bands from Ivan was passing through the neighborhood when I opened the garage door. Lucy, who normally loves to go anywhere as long as she can show off her stylish harness and leash, took one look at the downpour and said, “On second thought, I think I’d rather stay in and eat bonbons.”
Unfortunately for her, we’d already paid ahead of time for this vet visit, so if she’s getting bonbons today it’s not at home. But I didn’t even have to say anything when I opened the door to the truck. I half expect the next time I need to take her anywhere in bad weather she’ll open the door herself.
I was going to post on this anyway, and that comment was too good to rewrite.
Anyway, today Lucy’s getting the next (we hope, last) bit of heartworm treatment—this time to kill off the immature worms that might have survived, or hatched since, her first treatment four weeks ago. For some time after we brought her home from the first treatments, she was tired and uncomfortable, but she bounced back very quickly and has been her usual frisky self for most of the time since. In fact, I thought it would be worth the risk yesterday to let her out into the yard for a romp, which she enjoyed very much though. We’ll probably have to keep her confined until she’s pronounced completely cured (hopefully October 4), but after that…
That girl needs exercise, and obviously enjoys it.
UPDATE: Lucy is home and in excellent spirits—no apparent discomfort.
[Originally posted to blogoSFERICS]
Lucy’s got her shots and a rabies tag, as well as a flea-and-tick treatment that should actually work, unlike the retail treatment Chris bought and we applied shortly after we first got her. We received reassurance about some of the things we’d noticed about her—a dewclaw that was growing the wrong way, a couple of bare patches on her chest that the vet called “hot spots,” and so on.
She did not, however, begin a heartworm preventative, having tested positive for those potentially deadly parasites. The vet is sure we caught the infestation early enough that we don’t even need to be in a massive hurry to get her treated (though we will start the treatment as soon as feasible). The treatment will take a grand total of about six weeks, during which we need to keep her confined and her activity level down. And it makes sense that we keep her activity level down until we can get her started on the treatment. So no more of those running-hellbent-for-leather romps I discovered she likes. And maybe after the ‘worms are all gone and we can resume those romps, she’ll take longer to decide she’s had enough anyway.
The vet also couldn’t find any sure indication that she’s been spayed, and he thinks she may have had a litter of puppies once upon a time. Oh, and although I had thought she could be four to six years old, the vet says more like 2½. So it isn’t just that she’s an unusually cheerful middle-aged dog who tires easily because she’s getting old, she’s a cheerful young dog who tires easily because she’s not altogether well. But she will be. And I thought it was hard keeping up with her now.
Anyway, after the heartworm treatment we’ll get her spayed, and then we think we might go ahead and have her implanted with an ID chip.
[Originally posted to blogoSFERICS]
Well, we’ve picked up another stray, and this one appears to really be a stray. In the photos she looks a lot better than she did when she followed one of my wife’s co-workers (see comment) home a few days ago—she’s been bathed and exercised since. The red collar she’s wearing is all there is, no tag, no tattoos, no distinguishing characteristics.
I’m estimating her age at four or five years; she has no gray at the muzzle yet but her collar, though loose about her neck, has been on its current setting quite some time. We figure she’s been wandering loose for some time but she was quite happy to hang around at my wife’s co-worker’s house before we came and picked her up. Part of that, though, may be because we were having something of a heat wave until yesterday, and we’ve noticed she really doesn’t like to be out in the heat.
She’s got some very minor problem behaviors, the nature of which lead me to believe she may not have been an only dog at her former home. She likes to jump up on people but we’re working on breaking her of that. She will often respond to a whistle but when she gets far enough away only a loud, stern yell will bring her back. Out of habit I yell “Dog!” but it’s possible any word will do, including a name. We’ve taken to calling her Lucy
She appears to be at least half border collie, and someone suggested to my wife yesterday there might also be some lab blood. Despite the picture at left (pictures appeared in the original post), her ears really look more border-collie-like than lab-like.
My wife’s co-worker says he and his family asked around in the neighborhood where they found her to find out if anyone knew where she belongs, but had no luck. Yet unless she’s just a stocky dog she seems to be a little overweight, which wouldn’t suggest she’d been on her own for all that long. Yet she at least hadn’t been bathed in quite a while and I suspect her previous family either didn’t have much time for her or simply didn’t know how to discourage unwanted behaviors and teach such basic things as sit and stay. We hope she’s not too old to learn.
And yes, that does mean we expect to keep her.