Shining Dog

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In the previous post, I noted that Lacey was getting her third and final round of vaccinations yesterday. I was mistaken: She was getting her second set. Her third and final set comes next month.

Yesterday, Lacey showed us and everyone she met just how great her potential is.  At the vet’s office, she was incredibly well-behaved. She sat calmly on the scale for her weigh-in (she weighed in at 11.2 pounds. Yay!), and she was calm and still for the vet when he was examining her.  He was in constant contact with her eyes, ears, and mouth, and she didn’t get upset or anxious about that at all.  She even maintained a beautiful “stand” position when her temperature was being taken.  When the time came for the vaccinations, Lacey’s human mom became a bit anxious. Both the vet and I picked up on that, so I asked her not to touch Lacey. She didn’t understand what the problem was, so the vet explained it. Then, he gave Lacey her vaccinations – and Lacey didn’t even flinch.  We all were so, so proud of her….

The vaccinations take 72 hours to fully integrate into the body, so the vet advised us against taking Lacey into the pet store.  He explained that taking her into a place where there are other dogs and other animals in general would expose her to things she’s not immune to yet.  He added that for the first 72 hours after vaccinations, she is completely vulnerable to everything because her immune system is busy integrating the vaccines.  This put a bit of a wrench into our plans to have her fitted for her first harness, but we found a way to work around it and now, Lacey has her very first harness.

While Lacey’s mom and I were in the pet store, Lacey’s human dad had her outside, by their vehicle, so she could do her business.  When we came out of the store and put the new harness on Lacey, we found it was too big. So, Lacey’s mom went back into the store to exchange it for a smaller one.  I waited with Lacey and her human dad, and tried to get her to do her business. And this is where Lacey really shone.

There were people, dogs, and vehicles everywhere. The traffic along the main road was bulky and very loud. There were even emergency vehicles going by with their sirens blaring. Despite all of it, Lacey did not exhibit any anxiety at all.  She remained completely calm.  And when people wanted to meet her, she went into a half-down/half-sit position; she did not jump or even try to jump on anyone. I told her human dad to enjoy this while he could, because once she is vested, people will not be allowed to touch her. When she’s wearing her vest, she is working and not to be distracted. He didn’t really say anything to that, so I told him it was important that he understands this, because some people are going to be really rude about it when they’re told they can’t pet her.

Lacey spent the night with her family.  They will be bringing her back to my house this evening. Tomorrow, I’m going to continue the desensitization training, as well as basic obedience. I’m also going to be working more with the alert-and-response training.  And, if the weather allows it – and if she’s feeling up to it – I might even start her on long-leash recall training by using my back yard. There are a lot of things in the yard that Lacey loves to play with, which makes it an ideal training area.

Overall, Lacey is showing herself to be an exceptional dog. She loves to learn new things, she loves to practice what she already knows, and she gives 110% to everything she does, whether she’s playing or working.  In my experience, dogs like Lacey are few and far between…

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