Friday, July 13, 2012

Fridays Are Golden

Our Lucy had a birthday last week.  July 4th to be exact.  And now she is seven years old.  Lucy is the smartest dog we have ever had.  Far from being mellow like Ellie, Lucy has the temperament of a show dog. She is very loving and while she is not particularly interested in pleasing you, she is devastated when she is scolded.

Lucy was much more difficult to train in common commands than any dog we have ever had.  I might have mentioned before that she had a dozen questions about every single command.  We first noticed that with one of the first commands, "sit."  Some of her questions were, "why?  where?  for how long?  can I wag my tail while I'm sitting?"  She needed special training to believe that a command given inside the house applied equally outside the house in other situations.  It took forever for her to finally learn the command, "down."  In our training, when the command is given and the dog is first learning, the owner places a hand on the dog and gently puts her in the down position.  Unfortunately, Lucy thought this was a fun command.  "OK, they say 'down' and then they push me to the floor.  Yeah!  That's fun!"  The command became so corrupt that we left it for a while and then re-trained her using another word.  Lucy knows all the commands and she also knows that she will be corrected if she fails them, but every now and then she just HAS to give it a try.  She will try to go out the door before the master tells her.  Sometimes she will move forward and pull on the lead rather than walking by the master's side.  She knows she will not get away with it, but something within her just makes her have to try.

She was our first dog to get carsick on a regular basis.  I made it a habit of taking her for short drives around the neighborhood, plastic bag and paper towels at the ready.  Slowly she became more and more tolerant of riding in the car and by the time she was six months old, she no longer had a problem.  She continues to have a "delicate" digestive system which we attribute to the fact that she picks up almost anything along the way.  We have to check her mouth every time we bring her in and often find acorns, little sticks, or even pebbles.

Lucy has always smiled a lot, even on her first day home.

Whereas Ellie loves tennis balls, Lucy loved very large hard balls.
She was so funny pushing this ball and falling all over it.

She always loved to play with Ellie.  And she still does.

Here she is several months old.  She still has the "puppy" sit.

And this is the grown up Lucy.
She looks smaller and leaner than fluffy Ellie, but they are within a pound or two of the same weight.

We asked for relief from the heat and we definitely got it.  On the down side, the cooler air brought heavy rains.  We are going through dog towels rather quickly as we walk in the rain.  There is flash flooding nearby and the parched fields are now standing in water.  Thank goodness we have a large den with heavy furniture where the dogs can romp and play a bit.

It seems that more and more people are angry much of the time.  I may have used this quote before, but if so it bears repeating.  From The Buddha:

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal intent on throwing it at someone else;  you are the one who gets burned."



Tucker The Crestie said...

What a sweet look back at baby Lucy!

Folkways Note Book said...

Lucy is a beautiful Golden and has that wonderful Golden smile. So nice you have two Goldens. -- barbara

Ms. A said...

Just like my kids... each one is SO different!

We're having a heck of a mess with rain, but it has saved us from the extreme heat.

NanaNor's said...

Hi, I loved hearing about Lucy's games with training. She is just so beautiful! We haven't had rain for several days and that is fine with me, it is summer after all.
Have a great weekend.

George said...

Thanks for sharing these pictures and stories of Lucy as a puppy. She was -- and still is -- a cute companion.

kks said...

love, love, love the Lucy story! and the end quote!
still hot and dry mowing for 1.5months.
funeral tomorrow....

Cheryl said...

Lucy, tku, I was feeling fed up with the rain...but your antics made me smile.

I love tiny Lucy with paws on dear Ellies muzzle.

You have rain, I am pleased the land has been refreshed. I hope it does not continue, like the months of rain we have endured.
May the land be blessed with the warmth of sunshine.

Tku for the quote....

KB said...

It's wonderful to learn more about Lucy. She sounds like a girl who is too smart to simply follow commands. While it can be frustrating, it's also fun to see such a smart dog. What puppy pictures! Happy Birthday to Lucy!

I've read a lot about Buddhism, and I adore that quote.

Just so you know and are ready, I've been telling the "happy" story from our house recently. Things have gotten very rough, and are day-to-day and even feel like hour-to-hour sometimes. K is very peaceful and loving but her body is failing. I haven't cried so much in a very very long time. Such is love... I'm lucky to have it but it makes the loss all the more painful.

Arkansas Patti said...

Ha,ha smart dogs that think for themselves are such fun to try to train. Enjoyed her questions.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I love that Lucy. {I love Lucy!} She is merely checking to see if YOU both remember HER commands. :)
Love that should be repeated often!
have a great weekend, Suz

My Mind's Eye said...

Happy Birthday Lucy!! You also have super model posture!! Ellie has been a great role model.

Mom had a good chuckle at all the questions you ask about a command...she suspects you might be about 1/10th feline.
hugs your BFFF

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Happy belated Birthday to a beautiful and young Lucy. Glad to read that yiu got soem welcome rains, even if a bit more than needed all at once. And the last quote was very good as too many folks do hold onto anger, including myself at times, so I will have to remember what Buddha said.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone. Lucy definitely has her own personality but we love her so much and wouldn't change a thing. Well, except for the constantly picking up things on our walks.

D.K. Wall said...

Chuckling - you have described every Siberian Husky that exists. While they are crazy smart, every command is met with the question, "Why?" If you successfully answer the question, you get great response. If not, good luck.

Rudee said...

A very happy belated birthday to Miss Lucy. It's amazing how alike and yet how different your dogs seem to be.

Barb said...

Happy Birthday spunky Lucy! You're gorgeous.

Janie said...

I like the quote. Happy birthday to Lucy! It's so interesting to study personalities, whether in people or animals. You gave a great synopsis of Lucy's spirit and her demonstrations of it.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

I admire your patience in training Lucy, our Skyler is a smart one too. He is not always happy to follow commands. We got him when he was 9 months old (rescue/adoption). Certainly a strong willed dog-- who is afraid of thunderstorms and fireworks.