Friday, March 26, 2010

Fridays are Golden

I'm still mad at her. So today I'm posting photographs of Lucy (AKA Lucifer) in order to try to appreciate her sweet qualities, and recognize that she is still an adolescent. Most of all I need to keep in mind that just because my back and shoulder muscles are quite stiff and sore this morning, Lucy has no idea why and certainly not that she had anything to do with it.

When we are out walking, I put the dogs in a "sit/stay" whenever we encounter other people on the street. They remain in this position until I release them. Only then are they allowed to approach other people. After all, some people do not want to be approached even by the friendliest of dogs.

Our neighbors often stop their cars to chat for a brief while and the girls go into a "down/stay" and do not approach the car at all. Yesterday a red car approached us and stopped. The dogs were at a "sit/stay" when the man got out of the car. Abruptly and forcefully Lucy broke the command and lunged forward to meet the man. I was totally unprepared for this and was pulled forward and twisted. It was George and Lucy was so happy to see him that she forgot all her training and went to greet him. George is our dog walker who walked the girls daily when I couldn't leave our injured player for that long. He is wonderful and the girls just love him and hadn't seen him for a while.

When I recovered my balance, I grabbed Lucy and pulled her right back to the position she had before she bolted. I carried on a conversation with George without allowing either dog to break the command. Once again, poor Ellie had to "suffer" from Lucy's bad behavior.

Today, I will take her out and we will do some practice sessions. I'll have one of my friends approach and speak to Lucy, even calling her while she is in the sit/stay. With some corrections and some treats, our training will be reinforced. We'll do this every day for a while.

When your dogs are well trained, it's so easy to forget that one of them remains an adolescent more intent on her own desires than any desire to please you. Lucy is a dog. She will occasionally break the rules. And I will still love her. But I really wish she were as obedient as Ellie.

Lucy manages to position herself in ways that look so uncomfortable. Here she is leaning against the chair with her neck bent in an awkward position.

Here she is on the chair rung. How can she sleep like that?

And she does have a thing for shoes. Canvas ones:

or leather:

I do hope you have a wonderful weekend. Life will be relatively quiet around here as we plug forward toward normalcy. Oh, I have a new favorite phrase: "This is a big f**king deal."

And I must congratulate all the winners remaining in the basketball tournament, most especially BUTLER UNIVERSITY in Indianapolis, my son's alma mater and the recipient of a lot of tuition money from our family. GO BULLDOGS!
Have a safe and wonderful weekend, everyone.


Sam said...

Ouch - that shoulder jolt just SOUNDS painful. Oh well, like you said, no training is foolproof, especially not with a young dog. You have a good attitude about it!

Cheryl said...

Hope your aches and pains soon heal....

I think it is wonderful that your dogs are so well behaved. It takes time and patience to train a dog....the credit is yours.

When walking Nella I cannot let her off her lead. She is good, until she sees a rabbit and then she is a speck in the distance. We have open countryside for miles and is one thing I have never been able to sort out. Any ideas on that one??

Busy Bee Suz said...

I wish my dogs were trained as well as yours. I suppose I NEED to be more disciplined about it.
I hope you feel better.

Our Ozzie sleeps like Lucy, with his neck all sorts of cricked up. Crazy.
Enjoy a quiet weekend.

robin andrea said...

I always love meeting friendly well-behaved dogs on the trail. I understand Lucy's enthusiasm, but sorry to hear it had such an impact on your body. Hope you heal well and quickly.

I have the same new favorite phrase!

George said...

Since I grew up in Indiana I'm as delighted with Butler's win last night as you are. I would love to see them go all the way.
I'm sorry Lucy forgot her training in her excitement of meeting a friend and I hope all your ache and pains are soon gone.

TSannie said...

Dogs are like kids. Too darn cute to stay mad at them for any length of time. Love your goldens!

TaraDharma said...

that is my fav new phrase as well. Yes, hard to stay mad at the doggies for long....I have two "pullers" that I've worked with to get them to walk with me. I think I've given up.

Vicki Lane said...

You are to be commended for training your dogs so well, even if the teenager occasionally forgets.

Hope the aches and pains leave you soon!

Barb said...

Oh - your poor strained muscles. Dogs as well as people need constant reinforcement. Take my little grandson, for example... Have a happy weekend.

Jayne said...

I am sure that was rather jarring, and I am also sure that if she could, Lucy wound apologize. ;c)

Rae said...

Lucy is just like a kid. Every once in awhile they goof up. She is still a real sweetie though. It would be hard to stay mad at her. Hope you are over your aches and pains real soon. Have a great weekend.

KB said...

Your new phrase shocked me into raucus giggling. It does NOT fit my vision of you, not in the slightest... Sorry for laughing.

I know exactly how you feel with Lucifer... I unconsciously expect our young R to have the same self-control as his older sister K. But, he doesn't yet. So, I try to appreciate him for who he is... and who he'll eventually become.

I hope that your shoulder is healing fast. A yank from a dog can indeed be a big f**cking deal! I know from experience. But, I'm still giggling over your shocking phrase!

Murr Brewster said...

Eighteen cheers to you for really training your dogs. I spent a good hour a day for three months with mine, looking for things for her to be distracted by, and whereas it sometimes looked severe to well-meaning onlookers--I ended up with a dog that was 100% safe and 100% able to come with us anywhere. No leash, no problem. It set her free.

The Thundering Herd said...

Agree with KB - was laughing at your phrase. Was not the mental image of you that I had created, but it made me laugh.

Lucy, Lucy, Lucy - I do expect a lot out of my dogs and though I joke around about the misbehavior of the breed, that is never an excuse for bad behavior out in public. I do get reminded - as I am sure you do - when people meet The Herd, they always compliment their behavior.

Hope the shoulder heals quickly.

Samantha said...

OUchie - hope the soreness eases a bit more each day. You are so wise to work a little each day on obedience! We do that too, but I still get "pulled" sometimes by Sammie cause of some little thing she simply can't resist. I can usually anticipate, but sometimes, she's better at that than I am and WHAM! That surprise jerk. BTW, don't understand the sleeping positions either! Sammie has her own versions of furry uncomfy looking ones! Have a great weekend and I guess I'll root for your Bulldogs, as I don't watch the madness heheh!
Hugs xo
Sammie and Mom

Anonymous said...

GO BULLDOGS, indeed! Our grandsons were so excited they could hardly talk when they called. (Part of it was that their parents were yelling in the background.)

Sorry your shoulder has gone to the dogs! ( Sorry--I just had to!)

Oh...nice choice on the phrase! It does have a ring to it!

Sam said...

Even the best dogs have bad moments! Sam has a few quirks too - but we try to overlook them, there are so many other things he does that are wonderful!


ilovepink1078 said...

They're so loving and playful.
Honestly, seldom to find dogs with golden or yellowish hair, here in Phils.

Til next!


You are two beautiful girls and we really enjoyed your blog. Our hooman brother lives in Momcure, N.C. where he and his wife are Organic Farmers.

We would luv to have you as furrends so do drop by and see us.

Have a wonderful weekend and we hope to hear from you soon!
Riley and Star.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Carolyn, You are the BEST dog trainer I have ever known. I just wish everyone would train their dogs like they do their children---oops, I mean like they should train their children!!!! ha

Hope you are okay!!!!

I like Butler.... I like any of the 'Cinderella' teams in the NCAA--except when they are playing my Vols. ha ha

troutbirder said...

Mmmm. I hate to admit it but Lucy the Terror sounds very well behaved compared to my Baron the Spoiled Rotten. Oh well...

kks said...

hugs to the hounds...they are *&^%ing gorgeous! :)

Anonymous said...

I always seem to stop by your blog on Fridays. I guess the Golden Girls are subliminally drawing me to your site.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for commenting, everyone. My sore shoulder is fine and Lucy and I have done a lot of reinforcement this week.

Jayne - I'm not at all sure that Lucy would apologize. The silly thing thinks she should be able to do whatever she wants.

KB and Herd - Oh...I have tons of phrases that would surprise people. I use them only in the privacy of my car and usually they are aimed at other drivers. I have been known to shout some of them at the politicians on TV.

Murr - I don't think Lucy will ever be 100%. She goes for months without breaking and then something happens to make her bolt. So we keep working and make her wear a correction collar when we're out walking.