Lacey: Day 18

Lacey’s barking is slowly but steadily beginning to settle, though she’s still vocalizing at meal times. She is still impatient, andit’s difficult for her to contain herself. But, she’s trying, and that’s all I can ask of her right now.

I’ve been teaching her to clearly alert when she needs to potty. She has to “show me” she needs to go by pawing at me; at the door, she has to “tell me” by barking once; and at the screen door, she has to “tell me” again, but more quietly. I’m doing it this way because it really challenges her brain – which she needs – and because it also helps her learn when, for how long, and how loudly she’s allowed to use her voice. She’s doing an outstanding job of it… and she hasn’t had any in-house accidents since we started.

Yesterday, I took her to a nearby school to work her. The whole building offers fantastic opportunities for trust- and confidence-building exercises that simultaneously challenge both her mind and her body. She has never been to this school, nor has she ever done any form of agility work, but that didn’t prevent her from doing a fantastic job yesterday. She was truly wonderful: She looked to me for guidance, she gave me full trust, she followed instructions almost immediately… She was fantastic. And she was completely tuckered out by the time the exercise was finished.

Lacey is also showing improvement with respecting Glimmer’s and Violet’s boundaries. Violet has begun to invite play with her, and she corrects Lacey when Lacey’s excitement level gets too high and she gets a bit rough. I supervise very carefully, of course, and step in to support Violet when necessary. Lacey just gets so excited to be playing that she loses control of herself and can’t pick up on Violet’s corrections, so I intercede to prevent any accidental harm to Violet.

Lacey has been with me for 18 days. At this time, there is no set date for her to go home. The new baby is doing well but still requires a feeding tube [normal for premie babies]; until that changes, he can’t be taken home. Which means Lacey can’t go home, yet, either, as Tanya is at the hospital all day and Matt is at work all day. Aside from getting bored sometimes, she is happy and thriving, and she’s getting all the training, attention, love, play time, and more that she needs.

Have a great day, everyone. Remember to stay calm and lead on.

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