Welcome Home Lizzie

We met Lizzie (South Haven's Virginia Woofer) on Friday the 13th. Not being of a suspicious nature the date seemed to have no impact on our making the life altering decision to adopt a dog.

She was let out of the kennel at South Haven Farm that she was sharing with another Corgi named Cowboy. She visited with us briefly before taking off to sniff and explore. She didn't go far but didn't exactly respond to being called to return either. A leash was put on her and she was walked up to the house. She wasn't concerned about the cats or the dog who was wandering about. We hung out on the porch talking for quite awhile. Having animals is a huge responsibility, one I've never taken lightly. Adopting a dog only days after losing my cherished little dog, Tucker, was also affecting my ability to make a decision where Lizzie was concerned. I said, "I don't have things prepared at home." My husband finally said something to the effect of, "If you're not going to make a decision, then I'll make it for you." That was it, the decision was made. Lizzie was coming home with us. I had left Tucker's collar and Flexi-Lead in our vehicle, so I went to get them. The collar, a round leather one that Tuck had for years, is still in fantastic condition. It also had HIS three tags still on it. I felt only a little strange putting it on Lizzie.

We wondered how she traveled in a vehicle. Well, no problem. She settled onto the seat, while my daughter held her leash. She rode home without a peep. (We don't have her traveling harness yet.)

When we arrived home there were things to do—beds to wash and bowls to get ready. I walked her to the "potty spot" telling her to go and praising her like crazy when she went.  (She piddles in little increments in several spots.) After showing her the yard I brought her through the back door and walked her around the house. First the main floor and then my husband took her up to the top floor. She came up too close behind him going up the stairs, almost tripping him. Our basement is very spooky. The steps in particular. Tucker never would go down there on his own, no matter how much he wanted to keep me company. Lizzie balks at the door, backs up, and walks away when the basement door is open.

She took to the plush donut bed that Tucker had for about 10 years. She didn't want to eat her usual dry dog food even when mixed with the food I've been feeding for years. So, Friday she had only a few pieces of kibble.

Friday night she settled into her bed on the floor next to my side of the bed. I appreciate the fact that no matter how much she loves attention, she is gracious when it stops and doesn't pester. We're discouraging her from jumping up (don't all little dogs want to be taller?) and she seems very responsive to the "off" command. She pretty much stayed in her bed all night until early in the morning, when she started walking around. I carried her downstairs where I took her out to go potty.

Saturday morning we went for a short walk. I made the front door the "go potty" exit and the back door, the "go for a walk" or "go for a ride" door. She's frightened of the doors and nervous to go through doorways. She wants company when she goes out to go potty. There is a large dog at the corner house, who always barks. Lizzie was very frightened by her that morning on the way out, but on the way back she went behind the small embankment across the street. I thought she might be thinking "if I can't see the big dog it can't hurt me."

Saturday afternoon we took her with us for a drive that turned into a four hour jaunt. I put the doggy blanket on the seat and put fresh water in the Buddy Bowl and off we went. She handled the trip perfectly! We took her out for potty breaks, but she went back in willingly.

After we got home she made the trip up and down the stairs several times all on her own. We made a huge fuss over this major achievement.

Last night there was a thunderstorm. I had no idea how she'd react to them. I sat down soon after the rumbling started. I could see that she was nervous and when she tried jumping up into the chair with me I gave in and brought her up. She crawled in beside me, resting on the padded arm. With the next loud rumble she pushed her head in behind my back and quietly hid. She stayed that way for several minutes before my husband came into the room and talked to her. She brought her head out to get pets and then kept facing outward. I stayed there with her for nearly an hour. She didn't shake overly much. She didn't make a sound or move much at all. When the storm finally passed I picked her up and put her on the floor. She walked off like everything was absolutely fine.

She slept well with one early morning potty break.

This morning I cleaned and treated her eye and then we went for a walk. She was so much braver today. She even tried chasing a squirrel up a tree. When we got home I fed her some of her new food, which she ate lickety-split.

She followed me about the house while I did chores. She stayed close by while I was in the kitchen, but not under foot. What a good girl!

I put a dose of Frontline Plus on her. She's been chewing on herself just a little. Gotta keep those fleas and ticks off my girl!

Later she ate two more small meals quite quickly. I hope she'll soon realize there is no competition for the food here. She is the only dog after all.

My husband tried walking her out onto the pier and she didn't want any of that. The sound of water lapping was enough of a deterrent. She wanted back in the house pronto!

We're also trying to encourage her to play with the fluffy little ginger man and rope toys. She's good for a few seconds and then walks away. Some dogs just gotta learn to have fun.

I've been using the undercoat rake on her throughout the day. Corgis shed constantly. I've had two black-tri colored dogs in a row and am quite used to dark colored fur swirls. This little girl sheds white fur, which is so short it doesn't exactly swirl. Tomorrow we'll see how she handles the vacuum cleaner. I have a feeling that if she isn't exactly okay with it now, she soon will be. I am a 'vacuumaholic' and with our dark floor and all that white fur...yikes! Be brave little Lizzie girl, I won't let the big, mean vacuum cleaner get you. I promise.


Margaret Hill said…
[Originally posted Fri, 04 Jul 2008.]

"Even made a homepage for my dog."
~from "White & Nerdy" music video by "Weird Al" Yankovic