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Friday, July 27, 2007

Lucy and her anxiety update

Doesn't she look comfy? I've had a hard time trying to decide what pictures to put up of Lucy and I find that most of them look the same, Lucy napping in some bizarre positions on her couch! I often wonder how she's comfortable sometimes.

Anyway, my main reason for this post is to give an update on Lucy's anxiety problem. As those of you who know Lucy or have read my previous posts you know Lucy has had major separation anxiety. Since she has been a model ridgie for the last few months we decided to finally see if she could be trusted to be left alone out of her crate while we were out. Previously, she was crated when we were not home, unless it was a very short trip.
When we leave, we either fill her Kong (love that thing!) or throw a few small treats around the room. She is not allowed to touch the treats until we are walking out the door and say "Go ahead." The first few days she was confused and when we came home she was jumpy and anxious with her whole body wagging at the sight of us. Then things calmed down as she got used to it. All this time her crate was still in the kitchen for her to see if she needed it. Now, after a successful 4 weeks or so, the crate has come down. She has been left alone for 8 hours and when either my husband or I come home she is fairly calm and waiting with a toy in mouth. We are so proud that she has adjusted.
Of course, once or twice upon arriving home there was a mess. Just the other day she found an empty milk carton which ended up on the living room floor in about 100 pieces. But, hey, it's that's her worst I'll take it. She also lays on the "forbidden" couch, which I cover with a throw as a precaution, which she probably takes as an invitation even though she has her own perfectly good couch. Gotta love the ridgie thinking.
The last few months have finally fallen into a routine at our house where there wasn't much of one before. This seemingly small thing I believe has made a big difference with Lucy as well. She knows the schedule and therefore has no reason to freak out when we leave her like she did before. She knows we'll come back and has nothing to worry about.
Lucy also has had some issues with coming when called or running away. Just last week we took her to a doggy meet and greet at a site where there will hopefully be a new dog park soon and let her run off leash with the other dogs. Again, she behaved herself, ran around with the tongue hanging out of her mouth and didn't give us a problem when we called her. We couldn't ask for a better girl, it's unbelievable to think she was given up as a problem dog by her previous owner. Thanks RRUS for giving us such a special girl, we love her to pieces.


At 7/27/2007 5:43 PM, Blogger Patti said...

Yay to Lucy for gaining her confidence and Kudos to you for helping her learn. She's a beautiful girl and it sounds like she is forever home. Thanks for giving this girl the home she deserves.

At 7/30/2007 12:08 PM, Blogger Mary Ann said...

What a gorgeous livernose! I'm so glad you've worked out her anxiety issue. Don't you just love all the positions ridgies sleep in?

At 7/31/2007 6:30 PM, Blogger sibtigre2 said...

Congrats to Lucy!!! What an accomplishment! (And one Tori hasn't quite achieved yet...) :) Hugs and Kisses to that special girl. She looks so comfy on that couch. She is truly where she belongs.

At 8/02/2007 3:20 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

Glad to hear it. Lucy is such a beauty.



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