Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Training: Socializing, Obedience
Posted September 26, 2016
We rescued Lucy from the local shelter. Someone found her on the street and brought her in. Frankly, we were shocked that she was a stray because she is the sweetest, most loving dog with not one aggressive bone in her body. The shelter workers really pushed Lucy on us, saying she was really sweet and loving. She was going to be put down the week we adopted her.
When Lucy first came to our house, she was fearful and refused to eat. She was constipated and filthy, her fur long and matted. (The shelter did not bathe her when they received her and we could not bathe her until her spay wound healed.) I'd say it took a few months for her to get comfortable with us and realize she was now in her permanent home.
Lucy appeared to be house trained. She only peed and pooped once, and after that she was just fine. We think she was still nervous about being with us. We had to be patient with her.
Personality wise? Lucy is a dream, very smart (her eyes tell you a lot) but a bit stubborn about listening to us. She likes to do what she wants, when she wants. If she's out in the yard and doesn't want to come in and you demand that she come in, she'll just sit there and look at you. She has escaped our yard a few times (not by jumping the fence but because of our own mistake in not closing the gates properly) but has always come home. She knows where she belongs; she just loves to explore as much as she can. Naturally, we are more fastidious about closing the gates properly.
Lucy is loves getting loads of petting but oddly enough, she is not a cuddler. She does not enjoy hugs but will tolerate it with us. When we have visitors with dogs, she will insist you give her the most attention because she gets jealous if she feels other dogs are getting more attention. She usually won't sit on the couch next to you; if she's on the couch first and then you sit next to her, she likes to be petted and have her belly rubbed but after 15 minutes, she will get down and go somewhere else. She's not one for prolonged petting.
One prominent thing about Lucy is her separation anxiety. We assume she was abused in the past because when we leave her at home and we're only gone for an hour, she whines and cries when we get home. We've had her for five years now and she still exhibits this behavior. We suspect it won't ever go away. It does make us sad.
On the leash, Lucy isn't really well trained. We had her take training lessons but she is stubborn and impatient on the leash because she wants to see everything, everything in her sight. When I walk her, she pulls insistently and looks back at me as if to say, "Come on, you're too slow!" So I take her to doggy day care twice a week and the dog park other days. She loves day care because she has her friends there and at the dog park, she can sniff other dogs and plants/bushes to her heart's content. She gets so happy she'll come up to me and jump up as if to say, "Thank you for bringing me here!"
Now, Lucy's eating habits can be odd. She usually eats most of her food but can get bored if you give her the same food day in and day out. You'd think dogs would be used to the same food but not Lucy. Sometimes she will look at her food bowl and look up at us as if to say, "Am I having this AGAIN?!" When this happens, we'll add an egg or a bit of boiled chicken or a bit of cheese.
The worst thing about Lucy is the grooming. It's not her fault because she's a beauty and everyone remarks on what a beautiful dog she is. She does not like to be brushed and will run away from you if she sees you with a brush so we don't bother with that anymore and just take her in for a grooming and nail trim every couple of months. We live in the desert so her fur is trimmed short during the summer and we let it grow out in the fall and winter. She loves playing in the snow; it's the Husky part of her (plus, the stubbornness!).
Because we live in the desert, we get thunderstorms and lightning during the monsoon season. July 4th is the worst time for Lucy. She gets distressed and panicky and hides in our closets so we give her two anti-anxiety pills and put a Thundershirt on her. She needs to have both, not one or the other. It can takes an hour or two for her to calm down.
Overall, Lucy is a dream dog, affectionate and loyal. Anyone would love to own her but sorry, she belongs to us. :)