Saturday, April 11, 2009

Daisy makes a leap


It's been a while since I've updated anyone on Daisy's progress. Partly because it's been a little busy around here (we've had a lot of visitors staying with us), but also because Daisy seems to have made a tremendous leap in her progression towards finding her "inner lab". To be honest, I couldn't be more proud of her.

It's like a light has switched on and she has suddenly become more confident and sure of herself. She still has her moments when she is unsure and overwhelmed, but all in all, she seems to have turned a corner. Even my friends at the dog park have noticed her new confidence. She absolutely loves to have her friend Brutus chase her through the woods at the dog park. She can fly like wind when she's running through the woods. I am always amazed at her dexterity and her ability to quickly change course or find a way through the thick brush. I would never have guess she could be so nimble! 

It makes me laugh sometimes to watch her pretend that she doesn't see Brutus sneaking up on her, and then just when he's about to pounce (and yes, a 120 lb. Rottweiler can pounce!), she's off like a flash! She flies through the woods, her tail up and a smile on her face. What happened to the dog that stuck closely to my side or just behind me (so close that her nose often touched the back of my leg)?  She's still there, on those occasions when she does not feel safe, but she is more often than not off exploring with her friends or running through the woods. And, when she does stick closely to my side, it's different. I don't see the fear that I used to see. She's more confident. More sure of herself.

Just last week, her friend, Lynn (Sasha's dad) and I commented on how she is able to approach both men and women comfortably now. She used to be more cautious and unsure when she approached a woman or when they approached her. But, so many of her friends have moms that she has learned to be less fearful around women. It's so great to see. 

Daisy is also confident enough to sit with her group of friends waiting for a treat from her friend, Henry's mom, Ann-Marie. Last summer, whenever her Bob (another dog park regular), would distribute treats, she would back away and only approach cautiously when the other dogs let her in. Not anymore! She's right there waiting for her share. A Lab never turns down free food!

I think the last thing that has changed is our morning and evening rituals. When Mya stayed with us she slept on my bed (Daisy prefers her kennel since she is unlikely to run into Nick the cat there). When Mya started receiving belly rubs every morning, Daisy decided she wanted in on that. So, every morning before she goes outside, she jumps onto my bed and lays down, body fully stretched out, so I have full access to her belly. We spend a little quality time together just me rubbing her belly and giving her kisses. She loves it, and so do I. 

In the evening, her belly rub time is a bit longer. Sometimes it even includes a little doggie massage. She absolutely loves her doggie massages! it's out quiet time together and I get to tell her I love her. I think she likes that too.

My vet told me when she first met Daisy that she would probably be the best dog I've ever had. To be honest, at the time I seriously doubted her statement because I have had some pretty awesome dogs in my life. But now I think she may be right. Daisy is special in every way. She's courageous, well-behaved, gentle, loving, and smart. She doesn't bark and gets long with every dog she meets. Who wouldn't want a dog like that?




7 comments:

  1. Great story about your sweetheart Daisy. I just found your blog. I always a like a good dog blog.

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  2. Gracie's MumMay 22, 2009 at 10:30 AM

    Hi, I just found your blog through the comment you left on fearfuldogs blog, and had to let you know about my Lab Gracie. She too is an ex breeding dog from a puppy farm as we call them here in the UK. My Gracie looks soooo much like Daisy, even the pose on her photo is familiar to me. I have had Gracie for only 7 months so there is hope for her I know.
    She is about 8 years old and has, as far as I know, spent her entire life in a farm. She is a challenge for me as I am not a trainer of dogs, but Debbie Jacobs has been very helpful, so Gracie and I are learning together!
    Looking forward to reading more about Daisy's progress.

    Regards,
    Lizzie

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, I just found your blog through the comment you left on fearfuldogs blog, and had to let you know about my Lab Gracie. She too is an ex breeding dog from a puppy farm as we call them here in the UK. My Gracie looks soooo much like Daisy, even the pose on her photo is familiar to me. I have had Gracie for only 7 months so there is hope for her I know.
    She is about 8 years old and has, as far as I know, spent her entire life in a farm. She is a challenge for me as I am not a trainer of dogs, but Debbie Jacobs has been very helpful, so Gracie and I are learning together!
    Looking forward to reading more about Daisy's progress.

    Regards
    Gracie's Mum

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lizzie

    So nice to hear from someone else who has rescued a dog like my Daisy! It's not easy for dogs like these that have spent so much of their lives being treated as a nothing or as a commodity. I can tell you that over time it gets easier. Daisy will never be completely like a "normal" dog, but I don't care because I love her just the way she is right now.

    I will share that I have found Daisy does better when she has another dog that can show her how to be a dog. She seems to thrive when she has a friend. This is the case with many puppy mill or "farm" dogs. Something to think about.

    I would love to see Gracie's picture! You can e-mail me at melspetpals@gmail.com or you can share a Twitpic via Twitter. I'm MPetPals on Twitter.

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  5. Daisy has found her innerself fur sure!! She has a great Mommy for support...love your blog!

    Lisa Illman
    Kritter Kommunity

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  6. Mel, I have enjoyed reading your blog and other information...its a pleasure to get to know you better this way and all the helpful tips I really value too. What you have done and are doing with Daisy is so wonderful-so glad love and caring are paying off. Thanks, Carole B.

    ReplyDelete