It has been a while since I have written, certainly time to get back to the world of Lizzie. Last Monday marked the 2 month anniversary of Lizzie’s arrival. The initial transition was rough, but she quickly bonded (with me at least), and continued to improve.
At about the 5 week mark, she began opening up to my wife, and became more comfortable around her while I was at work. Still some rough edges, backsliding on the potty training, and the destruction of a couple of beds (we now have a ballistic nylon tough bed for her “den”.) Additionally, she began going on a short front yard roam every morning.
But last week was a real test. I was traveling to a conference and some team meetings ofr a week, and Barbara was going to have to be alone with Lizzie for a whole week. This is a bigger deal than might be thought, as I am a morning person, and Barb? – well, not so much.
I am happy to report that it went well, Barb was able to sleep in (mostly) until 7 or 8. Not only that, but Lizzie was her usual, bouncing, playing, and be-bopping self. Her and Barb are now completely bud’s and there is no hesitation. Heck, Lizzie goes to her as much as she goes to me. Not only that, but Barb was able to put the harness on her, and take her out for Lizzie’s little explorations of the neighborhood.
Some other things that have improved:
- sleeping through the night – Lizzie now regularly sleeps until I wake up, not insisting on being active at 2 or 3 AM. Huge deal. Of course, I am still a morning person, so I am often up before 5:00AM.
potty training – Lizzie had some accidents that became rarer, but seemed to be tied to her hesitation to go outside during the daylight. That seems to have stopped. She hasn’t had an accident in 2 weeks. Phew, the Bissell ProSpot cleaner had quite a workout, and could use a break in the action. I won’t declare this done, but it seems to be good.
less exuberant play – at first, I was just happy that Lizzie wanted to play, and I was content with getting on the floor and wrastling with her. But that led to many teeth/arm interactions that made me look like I went running through the brambles. Lately I have been correcting the behavior, and reminding her that I am not a chew toy. Still more work here, but time outs in the crate (that she really doesn’t mind) are helping.
The transformation has been remarkable. In April, when she cowered as we met her at Alyce’s house, I could see the potential (she did take treats from me by hand there) but I thought it would take months to have any progress.
One thing that we are going to do, is to look for a suitable brother or sister for her. She has a lot of energy, and a sibling to roll and play will will help her burn that energy off. Looking for another Kauai dog, as she is so good, but with more confidence so that Lizzie can work on her trust issues.
There are two areas that need a lot of work. First is her distrust of people in general. Once she accepts you, it is all-in. But she is very shy and retiring with new people (and she is a barker). I am confident that this will improve with time, but it is not a quick process.
Second is walking. She has boatloads of energy, and I know that she would be a good long walking companion (I enjoy 3 – 5 mile excursion type walks) but she struggles to go beyond our neighbor’s yard. I know there is a walking buddy in there, waiting to come out. Slowly, I will work on this. I will not be derailed.
Lizzie has captured our hearts, and she seems to be fully integrated into her permanent home. We just applied for her dog license. I guess that makes it official.