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Posts Tagged ‘labs’

Wordless Wednesday #349 – Miss Daisy

September 27, 2017 3 comments

Miss Boo 3

Miss Boo 2

Miss Boo 1

Wordless Wednesday #244 – Dog Park Daisy

June 16, 2015 4 comments

Walking with Daisy

Sniffing Daisy

Daisy Paws a Moment

Wordless Wednesday #238 – This, That, and the Other

May 5, 2015 7 comments

Mother Nature's painting #minnesota #weather

Begging Sara for treats. #Cupcake #Daisy #dogpark

Daisy

upload

Portal

And then I saw this on the way home from the dog park tonight. There was a black horse too, and what looked to be two vaqueros riding them. So cool.

Up at the Cabin

Up at the Cabin

No storm, just crazy clouds.

Up at the Cabin

DSCN0081

I love sunsets on the water #minnesota

Tree shadows

Touch can feel good. #Maggie #puppymilldog #fosterdog #Sheltie

Wordless Wednesday #176 – The day after the storm (in color)

February 26, 2014 14 comments

Pretty pine trees covered in snow

Clover running through deep snow

The snow covered fence

Who are you?

Cupcake explores the new terrain

The magical dog park 2/22/14

Solo

Clover in the winter wonderland

Boughs of snow

Abby surveys the landscape

The dog park was magical today

Daisy and Water: Who’d have thunk it? – A Look Back

July 10, 2013 14 comments

DSC07374Today I am taking another look back to the early years when Daisy 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 April 25, 2010, about two and a half years after Daisy first came to live with me. Since this post was written Daisy has learned to swim and has done so in several lakes and in the Mississippi River.

If you’ve owned a Labrador Retriever at any time in your life, then you know that they LOVE water! It’s instinctual right? It’s part of what makes a Lab a Lab.

When I first got Daisy, I made that assumption too. After all, ALL labs love water right? As it turns out, not necessarily. Daisy taught me that one should not make assumptions where dogs are concerned. Not all dogs are the same and not all dogs fit what we think is instinctual to a breed. Early experience has a lot to do with how dogs react to and deal with new things, including people, other dogs, and, as it turns out, water.

Daisy’s first experience with water was tentative at best. I remember walking down to the lake near a hiking trail we use. I thought that she would run right in, but instead, Daisy came to a dead stop and refused to go near the water. She looked at it, watched it for a while, watched other dogs playing in it, but she had no intention of entering it. It was only after I took my shoes off, rolled up my pant legs and went in myself, that she took her first steps into the lake. You could tell she was nervous. Unsure and scared. Having lived in a cage all her life, she had never experienced a lake or a pool. Her only experience with water was probably what came out of a hose or what appeared in her water dish. On Daisy’s first foray into water, she would only go in far enough to get her toes wet. Then, it was back to shore (where she felt safest) to hang out on the beach or explore the nearby woods. That was good enough for her.

Over time, Daisy has become more comfortable around water. I got her a kiddie pool that summer. I am certain my neighbors thought I was insane. A pool for a dog? Seriously? But, it was a great way to expose Daisy to water and let her decide on her own terms if she wanted any part of it. I’ll admit. I kind of hoped that instinct would kick in and she would suddenly decide that playing in water was fun. Instead, she came to view the pool as more of a giant water dish. It was great to stand outside of it and get a drink, but step into it? Uh-huh. She wasn’t sure about this pool-thing. But after watching some of her friends enjoy the pool and hang out in it over the summer, she finally gave it a try and stepped in… to drink some water.

And so, that’s how it has been for the past 2 1/2 years – Daisy walks into the water (not too deep!) and drinks. On occasion, she has even dipped her whole snout into the water (very definitely a Lab thing to do!). Until this year.

I don’t know if it’s because she now has a companion who is not afraid of water (Jasper) or if it is because Daisy finally seems to be coming into her own (i.e., finding her inner Lab), but for some reason this year something has changed. Something has clicked with Daisy.

We’ve been lucky enough to have an early spring this year, so we’ve already hiked the park trail several times this year. Daisy and Jasper have really enjoyed the opportunity to check out all the new smells and to fly through the woods, chasing one another, flying over fallen trees and tall prairie grass – wild and free. She and Jasper have also enjoyed taking a dip in the lake that is along the trail. In the past, Daisy would have approached the lake slowly and gone in just far enough to dip her snout and lap up some water. But, not this year! Daisy has suddenly taken a liking to water. Something I have never seen her do before. Now, she thinks nothing of going in far enough to get her belly wet. She stays in longer and enjoys dipping her snout in and walking around. She has even taken to sticking her whole head under water! Who’d have thunk it?

I think today’s adventure was perhaps my favorite. Oh how I wish I had brought my camera!

This afternoon, Jasper was chasing after Daisy, who was running full out through the woods, stretching her legs as she flew across the wooded floor and out into the clearing along the lake. Without hesitation, she continued into the clearing, ran down the hill and… straight into the lake!  Then she did something unusual. She began to leap and jump in the water in such a way that I can only describe it as ‘frolicking’. Daisy was having fun. Water was finally fun!

The moment didn’t last long. She and Jasper splashed around. She dunked her snout, lapped up some water and that was it. She was done. But it was more than enough to bring a huge smile to my face. Daisy was no longer afraid of water. She loved it. Who’d have thunk it? Go Daisy Go!

Daisy enjoyed the Mississippi River

Daisy enjoyed the Mississippi River

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Wordless Wednesday #116

November 21, 2012 8 comments

 

Making time for “Daisytime” – What are your favorite moments with your pets?

March 20, 2012 16 comments

Daisy hates thunderstorms

Last night we had our first thunderstorm of the season. In March! I’m still shaking my head at the thought of a thunderstorm occurring so early in the year. Last year, we still had snow on the ground in May. Just crazy.

As soon as the thunder started, I put Daisy in her Thundershirt so she could be more comfortable. She is absolutely terrified of thunderstorms – she pants and paces and shakes like a leaf. Wearing her Thundershirt helps her to be less nervous. It’s also the only time that she prefers to cuddle (with the exception of her morning belly rubs). She spent the evening on the couch next to me as I rubbed her head and belly. I don’t like it when Daisy is so scared, but I do love the chance to cuddle with her. She is such a sweet and precious girl. She is my heart dog. I’m so glad that she finds my presence comforting when she is stressed.

Daisy in her Thundershirt


Cuddling with Daisy is one of my favorite things I get to do with her. Knowing how long it took for her to want to cuddle with makes these moments all the more precious. I call these moments with her – “Daisytime.” There is no “too busy” in Daisytime. There is no “not now” in Daisytime. When these moments come, you take them. Because you never know when you will get them again.

Do you have your own favorite moments with your own dogs or cats? If so, what are they?

Daisy and her Second Puppyhood

February 23, 2012 13 comments

Connecting with Lizzie a couple of weeks ago, and seeing her video of Gracie, made me start looking through some old videos of Daisy. I’m disappointed that I have so few pictures and video of her from the early days. I kind of wish I had taken more to show her progress.

However, I do have two videos that were taken about a year after I adopted her. They’re a good reminder that Daisy wasn’t always a fearful dog, like she was around people and at home. She loved (and still loves) other dogs. At the dog park I always got to see a different side of her – the carefree, happy pup.

To me these videos are examples of Daisy’s second puppyhood. Considering she never really had the chance to be a puppy its probably more accurate to say this was her first puppyhood, but I am sure you get the point. Watching her in these videos it’s easy to see that her inner puppy was just dying to get out.

You’ll notice that when she gets excited she starts to bounce around and run around but doesn’t really engage the dogs yet. She did this a lot at the beginning, excited to see her friends, but not quite sure how to greet them. Just like watching a puppy discover it’s world for the first time. The dog she is running with is her friend Henry. Forgive the goofy laugh you hear in the background. That would be me.

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The House of Special Needs Dogs

January 31, 2012 21 comments

My sister once referred to my house as the “House of Special Needs Dogs.” At the time I laughed at her description, but in truth, she could not have described my home any better than she did. It’s true. I have a penchant for adopting and fostering those dogs who are most afraid, most emotionally damaged and unsocialized. I see possibilities where others see the impossible. You see, I DO believe that love can make a difference.

Working with special needs dogs requires patience, an understanding of what they truly need (not what you want), and being able to celebrate small victories as big ones. Every small step forward is often followed by two steps back, but you know that it will be followed by another step forward, eventually. There is a bond that builds between you and your dog when you have to build trust slowly, from the ground up, and earn it with every action and interaction you have with them.

Jasper and Daisy

With Daisy, it was that first tail wag. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was when I first realized that Daisy was actually wagging her tail instead of tucking it under her butt in fear. For those who have only had a “normal” dog this may not seem like a big deal, you probably see it every day, but to me it was the sunshine of my day, my week, my month. That one action was more rewarding and fulfilling than any other I can remember (and I know there have been many along the way).

With Jasper, it was less a step-by-step process. He has taken many leaps forward and only a few steps back. Most of his issues have to do with his inability to deal with new objects in his environment. If you can imagine how a puppy reacts when they first encounter something they haven’t seen before, you will get an idea of how Jasper reacts to new things. He barks, circles the object from a distance, approaches cautiously and eventually will get close enough to sniff. But, it takes time and patience. He has made huge strides in so many ways that the small steps back seem less consequential.

Jasper

With Lady, it has been more of a slow progression of building trust. She needed to get a feel for our routine, the house rules and how I would be as her new foster mom (and adopted mom). She has always been a bit reserved and cautious, but after her 12 day adventure in the wild, things seem to have changed. She has slowly started to let her true personality shine through a little more each day. Yesterday was one of those days (kind of like Daisy and her first tail wag).

We went to the dog park in the late afternoon. Jasper was full of piss and vinegar and barking and trying to get me to throw a stick for him (one of his many obsessions). I decided to distract him with our usual game of chase. “I’m going to get you!” I said, and started to chase him. He was thrilled. He barked and raced ahead, spinning around as he went, waiting for me to get close enough to chase him again, when suddenly, out of the blue, Lady joined in. She started running with Jasper and then jumping and spinning, mimicking his behavior. Then, she gave a whole series of play bows, both to me and to Jasper. She wanted to play too! And, she did. For many minutes.

Lady barking


This may seem like such a small thing to many dog owners, but in the House of Special Needs Dogs, this is huge progress. Lady’s willingness to trust me and Jasper enough to join in a game of chase says so much. It means that she is letting go of any fears she has had about her new family and is realizing that not only is she finally “home”, but that home is a place where she can not only let her hair down, but be accepted and loved for just being herself. That’s the type of reward we celebrate at the House of Special Needs Dogs.

Wordless Wednesday #74

January 10, 2012 8 comments

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