Home > Animal Rescue, Daisy, Dog Behavior, Puppy Mills > Daisy’s New Year 2010 – A Look Back

Daisy’s New Year 2010 – A Look Back

September 11, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

DSC03718Today I am taking another look back to the early years when Daisy first came to live with me.  Daisy is a former puppy mill breeding dog who was estimated to be four years old at the time I adopted her. She was afraid of everyone and everything. She practically crawled on the ground the first few days she came to live with me. This is an old blog post from Daisy’s blog, “Daisy the Wonder Dog (and how she found her Inner Lab).” It highlights the progress Daisy had made after I adopted her in 2007.

I hope it gives hope to those who have a damaged or unsocialized dog. Progress can be made. It takes time and patience and often happens in fits and starts – for every step forward there are two steps back, but it is so rewarding when you start to take those steps forward.  The key is to never give up hope. You need a lot of patience and understanding. You also need learn to learn to celebrate the small successes.

This post is from December 31, 2009, two years after Daisy first came to live with me.

It’s so hard to believe, but year two with my beautiful Daisy the Wonder Dog has already gone by and we are headed into year three. She has come a long ways, something made more clear to me after I reread some of my posts from my earlier days with Daisy. She was so afraid and skittish when we first began our journey. Everything was new and frightening to her. But she is becoming less frightened by every day. She is truly an amazing dog, and she continues to inspire me every day.

Last year I listed several goals for Daisy.

Little did I know at that time how much progress we would make and how far we would still have to go. Nor could I know that just a few months later I would be adopting a new dog, a Sheltie named Jasper. He has brought a lot of changes to Daisy’s life, mostly good and a few not so good.

The Progress!

Daisy still eats in her kennel, (it’s still very much her safety spot) but she is no longer afraid to eat in my presence. She still doesn’t like to drink in front of me, probably because it requires her to have her back to me, but she isn’t afraid to go get water when she needs it.

Daisy is getting more confident – in herself and in me. She still continues to be overwhelmed in new situations or where there are a lot of people around, so I try to expose her to new places and situations on a regular basis. Her new Thundershirt (I’ll talk more about the Thundershirt in a future post) has helped her to be calmer in new situations, but she is still a work in progress.

Daisy is also no longer afraid of me touching her collar. This is mostly because I have added a new routine to our day. Every day when we return from the dog park, or from a walk, I remove her collar for the day. When we get ready to leave for the dog park in the morning, I put it back on her. There are two reasons I do this, 1) to get Daisy to associate me putting her collar on with something good (namely, the dog park or a walk – something she really enjoys), and 2) to increase the number of times I touch her collar thus turning it into a non-event. It really seems to be working too. Daisy now comes to me so I can put her collar on in the morning! I’d say that’s progress indeed!

While Daisy has not yet learned to play like other dogs by chasing a ball or a frisbee, she has learned to play. I witnessed it this summer while I was mowing the front yard. Daisy and Jasper were in the back yard hanging out when suddenly she began taunting him with a rope bone. She started prancing around with it in her mouth, daring Jasper to try and get it, and when he did, she played tug-of-war with him. I couldn’t have been more surprised. It was one of the coolest moments in my time with Daisy. She has started doing this at the dog park too, only using a stick in place of a rope bone.

Daisy is also more comfortable being at home now. Jasper is her constant companion and pal and she seems to be less lonely having him here with her. At one time this summer, Jasper stayed with my mom and her Sheltie, Jake, for a few days and Daisy missed him immensely.

The Work Ahead

We’re still working on being more comfortable around cameras. I fear I may have scarred her for life on this one 😦 I continue to use my camera around her; hoping that continued exposure will lessen the fear she associates with it. In fact, just this month she let me take some shots of her and didn’t try to run away or turn away from it in fear. One of the photos is at the top of this post.

Daisy is not yet able to walk beside me while on leash or at the dog park, but she is starting to be more comfortable being out ahead of me if Jasper is on leash next to her.

Daisy continues to make progress, and that is something to be celebrated. I will continue to share Daisy’s progress (and my insights and ideas on what works or doesn’t work with a puppy mill dog) throughout 2010. I hope you will cheer Daisy’s progress along with me this next year.

Go Daisy Go!


  1. September 12, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    She is so beautiful! What a great pairing the two of you!

    • Mel
      September 13, 2013 at 6:51 AM

      Thank you so much Kasey.

  2. September 12, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    It’s funny, I didn’t know you for too long as Daisy the Wonder Dog before you started this blog…I recall that on Dog Talk, the twitter show 😉 I do remember all the trouble with getting photographs of her! Nice one at the top of the post btw!

    • Mel
      September 13, 2013 at 6:51 AM

      Thanks Mary!

  1. October 9, 2013 at 6:02 PM

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