Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bring Mommy the Frisbee, Lucy!

Rob & I live in a world with a "ball dog"; a dog that is completely crazy over the ball- despite that fact that old age has him limping and stiff. So when we brought Lucy home, I know that he was hoping that Lucy would learn from the shepherd and love to chase the ball the same way that Ceasar does. In the spirit of this, Rob will sit on the deck and coach Lucy to watch Ceasar chase after the ball. For weeks this has been going on. Rob throws the ball, says "Lucy, watch", and Lucy surveys the whole thing from the edge of the deck. I've often thought that she was thinking that the whole thing was just plain crazy! Rarely will Lucy leave the security of the deck and her Mommy & Daddy when ball time is going on- unless I walk out to the yard, and throw the ball while standing in the yard. She will, from time to time, make attempts at removing the ball from Ceasar's possession when it is not being thrown. (As previously noted, this usually does not work out very well for Lucy!)

Several days ago, with a disappointed look on his face, my darling fiance announced that Lucy was not going to be a ball dog.

Lucy's Human, however, had different plans for the little boxer! Last night when she and I returned home from work, and Ceasar was with his dad (meaning the yard, frisbee and all of the tennis balls scattered about were free game!), I decided I was going to have a little game of fetch with Lucy and see what would happen. I was thinking that perhaps Lucy's lack of desire to chase after things in the yard, had more to do with the presence of the shepherd than a lack of desire to do so!

As is the norm when I'm trying to get Lucy to learn something, I filled my pockets with liver treats, grabbed the frisbee, said "Lucy COME!" and headed out to the back yard intent on getting my little dog to chase and bring me the frisbee (without a coat on- which wasn't the brightest idea in the world- but bright ideas haven't been abundant in this blondes world lately!).

My bright little boxer did not dissapoint. All those weeks of surveying the fetch game from the deck must have been research, because I threw the frisbee, watched Lucy chase, and then told her "Lucy, COME!" and she came running. "Good Lucy!" When she saw the treat in my hand, she dropped the frisbee at my feet and accepted her goodie with her little butt wiggling! I could tell she was very proud of herself, she loves to please her human. I would tell her to "SIT" and throw the frisbee again, and again, and again! We did this for about a half an hour! I'm not sure who had more fun, the human or the boxer! As I quickly found out, Lucy doesn't just retrieve the frisbee, she does a comedy routine: flips, rolls, jumps & hops, you name it- it's part of little Lucy's retrieval process, and I wouldn't change a thing about it.

Unfortunately, Lucy's Daddy did not see the whole thing- so he, at this point, is very skeptical that any of this happened! Guess we'll have to show Daddy, hugh, Lucy?

Lucy is growing up so fast. She was 26 or 27 (not entirely sure because she sat before the machine was turned on, and then wouldn't sit after that!) pounds last week at the vets, and I'm sure she's over 30 by now. ( I get a big shock every time I try to pick her up and lift her out of the playpen. That's not gonna work much longer!) Her little legs just keep getting longer and longer- I can relate to that- it's the same way I grew. I was all legs for a very long time! And yesterday, I noticed that the new collar we bought for her 2 weeks ago needed to be loosened, soon we'll be buying another new collar.

My little pup will try to eat anything (and just about everything)- last night she had her very 1st (and very last) raw carrot which didn't agree with her, so we won't be doing that again. She loves peanut butter, blueberries, and ice cream is her favorite treat! And when there's a steak on the grill, Lucy is always close at hand.

We were given very exciting news last week at our checkup- Lucy's baby teeth are going to start falling out! I couldn't be more excited!!!!! While the number of incidents involving skin, blood and pain have been seriously reduced, she still gets me now and then, and I can't wait for them to be gone!

I am prepared for new teeth to be arriving, we've got every kind of chew thing imaginable and then some. Our chew toy selection rivals that of Petco and Petsmart both! Bring on the big girl teeth!

Yesterday, Lucy decided that in order to be completely happy, she needed all of her toys surrounding her and available for immediate play! She dragged each and every toy from the "toy bag" to her little play space and proceeded to give each toy a little bit of attention, one by one until she exhausted herself and required a nap!

Lucy & Ceasar are still making progress at getting along with one another. Ceasar still gets ticked off, and Lucy is still a puppy and she still wants to play, but they're both learning when to back off! Lucy is starting to learn that barking at the big dog or nipping at his very fluffy tail, isn't going to make him play with her.

Saturday night, Lucy and I spent a half hour in the neighbors yard! Lucy and her buddy Layla, the brindle boxer, had a great time! I really need to get my camera over there- but we weren't planning on going there (at least the human wasn't!) so I wasn't prepared. We were out for a walk, trying to work on our "heel" when Lucy spotted her buddy, after that there was no where else for us to go but Layla's yard! They play so well together, I absolutely love watching them and the experience of it all seems to be great for Lucy! I know she slept well on Saturday night after that little romp!

Last night, we decided to leave the "kids" outside while we ate dinner. (It has been raining here for days, and the dogs have been cooped up in the house without a break to run and play for what seems like eternity. I could just tell that if Lucy didn't run off some of that energy soon, there was going to be some kind of disaster!) I was thinking to myself that they were being very quiet which is very unusual, and was just getting ready to check on them when I noticed my neighbor (who recently fell in love with Lucy) walking across the yard carrying a boxer puppy!

I got all excited, thinking that she had loved my boxer so much, that they had decided to adopt one. (I confess, images of play dates were swirling in my mind and I could hardly contain my excitement! I couldn't wait to tell Lucy!) I couldn't believe how much the pup she was carrying resembled my Lucy, it was just a lot bigger than Lucy! As I flew down the sidewalk to greet my neighbor and the pup, I realized that it was indeed Lucy that she was carrying. She had found Lucy sitting on her back porch, waiting to be let in! (Rob insists that she was begging for food!)

I had completely forgotten about it, but we had opened the back gate so that the hot tub repairman could get in and out, and neither one of us had nailed it shut! That explains how the dogs got out! (Incidentally- the hot tub ran for 4 minutes last night before tripping the breaker- I suppose we should have been thrilled, that's longer than it's run in the last 6 weeks!)

I have been busy as a bee with training Lucy and teaching her manners. My earlier concerns and fears that I had a "DOMINANT" boxer were eased a few weeks ago. I knew I had to take immediate action, so as soon as I got to work, I did a search for a book about working with dominant dogs. I stumbled across "So Your Dog's Not Lassie" and immediately ordered a copy up- even paid for express shipping. Turns out that Lucy, while having dominant tendancies, tends to be more of an independant dog-- Whew! And the issues and challenges facing Lucy and I were more the result of her human's action (Bad, bad, bad human!), than Lucy's dominance or unwillingness to learn. I sucked up the information in that book like my Dyson sucks up dog hair- and I'm proud to say that my little boxer is more than happy to learn, is extremely obedient and is an exceptionally quick learner... now that her human is behaving properly!

We've mastered the "SIT" and the "PAW", she "Come"s most of the time, and this week we're focused in on "HEEL" and "LAY DOWN". We're making great progress, we've definitely got a head start on Puppy Kindergarten which starts in 2 weeks! "Good Lucy!"

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