First Pack-like Walk

Yesterday, Lacey went on her first pack-like walk with Glimmer.  I say “pack-like”, because it was just with Glimmer instead of with two or three other dogs. We were out for over an hour.  Lacey was resistant about it at first, because she wanted to pull and be ahead. But eventually, she figured out how to walk beside Glimmer calmly, and by the end of the walk, both dogs were doing much better together. Glimmer helped a lot with that by remaining calm, and by correcting Lacey when she tried to take the leader position.

I should state that normally, when I walk her, Glimmer is never allowed to be ahead of me. I allowed her to take the lead yesterday because Lacey needs to learn to be respectful of other dogs when she is in social situations, and because there are times when Glimmer needs to be the teacher instead of me.  Yesterday was one of those times, on both counts.

Where her bad behavior towards Glimmer is concerned, Lacey is doing much better since being corrected by Glimmer the other day.  She still pushes her boundaries, of course, but that’s normal for puppies her age.  Since the correction, Lacey is being more respectful towards Glimmer. In response, Glimmer is allowing Lacey to be close to her.  They’ve even touched noses and licked each other a couple of times. And when Lacey pushes her boundaries too much and Glimmer growls at her in warning, Lacey immediately steps back and becomes submissive to Glimmer. Sometimes, Lacey gets a bit vocal about the correction – like she’s protesting it or something – but what matters is that she is finally beginning to accept Glimmer’s authority.

Lacey didn’t have the benefit of learning from her siblings and mother. Considering that she has to learn almost everything from her humans, with Glimmer pitching in to help where she can, Lacey has actually made a tremendous amount of progress.  She has a long road ahead of her that includes learning how to share (claiming is one of the things we’re currently working on with her), as well as how to behave in social situations, but she’s getting there.  Slowly but surely, she’s learning.  And if there’s one thing Lacey absolutely loves, it’s learning.

Despite the challenges I have with this little girl, Lacey really is quite an extraordinary dog. She’s smart, she’s hilarious, she’s sensitive, she’s compassionate, she learns very quickly and is able to retain what she’s learning, her attunement and response to distress is absolutely mind-blowing…

Some dogs are born to be Support animals.  Lacey is one of those dogs. I am honored and privileged to be a part of her journey…


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