Friday, January 29, 2010

I Love Lucy!!!

Our little Lucy is a neurotic dog! We got her in August 2008 shortly after I had knee replacement sugery. The day we picked her up from a friend's home (where she was sheltering this abandoned dog) I was felling bad. Louis Dean had been left to himself pretty much as I spent days in bed he felt like it was time to add a companion dog to our life! As it turned out, Lucy seemed to think I was HER responsibility (probably since I was lying down on my friend's couch even as we met Lucy) and she proceeded to stick with me like glue! Now Louis Dean was the one needing companionship! I just needed to sleep! As the days passed with her staying right by my bed, we noticed that when Louis Dean was up and about she barked at him. When he sat down she would come up and put her head in his lap and STAY THERE as long as he allowed! This has continued!! No matter WHAT we do...she barks at Louis Dean, but ONLY when he is standing up! When we sit in the den or out in the gazebo she is right at his feet. She absolutely LOVES him....and 'herds' me.!We have figured out she must have been abused by a man the size of LD! I can take Lucy for a walk and she NEVER barks at the people we pass or even other dogs. In all other ways Lucy is a near perfect critter. No behavior problems, no accidents in the house. Of course we keep her kenneled when we are not home and at night when we go to bed. She does not see her kennel as anything but a safe place and has never even shown the slightest reluctance to enter it at day's end. We learned early on that when we are away from home Lucy goes berserk if she is left loose! She tries to get OUT of the house to find me. The first time we left her she tried to get out our back bedroom door. She shredded the lace panel, damaged the drape, DESTROYED the room darkening shade and it was just my good fortune she did not shred my best negligee that was hanging on the door. We were not gone that long.....and that's a good thing! No telling WHAT she would have done if we had been gone any longer. She gets beside herself and is frantic so it is in her best interest as well as ours that we have the kennel. She used to be able to get out of it by sliding the floor section out and then lifting the kennel with her back and walking out from under it. Louis Dean fixed THAT!!

Now we have tried everything we can think of to change this 'barking at Louis Dean' behavior of hers! We even went to a dog training class but only attended two sessions. We were afraid Lucy would pick up some of their bad habits! SOME of those dogs barked at EVERYTHING!! For $100 we ended up with two 'clickers' on the deal! And 'clicking' does not work for her either! We have tried shushing her, gentle voice, holding our hand out and saying "no"....none of this works! And I have to say she does NOT respond any differently to yelling either! Finally, LD bought a shock collar for her. Even THAT doesn't really work! (Although I think Louis Dean enjoyed trying it a little too much if you ask me!)Yesterday afternoon a friend was visiting us and she has had a lot of experience with 'problem' dogs. (She also watches Dog Whisperer!) SHE suggested we ignore her. Never make eye contact when she is outside her 'dog mode'. Do not give ground. We are now trying this approach! So far......she is STILL barking at him! It is a GOOD THING that I love Lucy.....and even more important....that Louis Dean does, too!!

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