Yikes! I never introduced Lily to the blogosphere. For quite some time, I’d been looking for a companion for Gg. I still think she would have preferred a cat, but we have a doggy door, coyotes and I’m allergic, so we added Lily on November 15th. We got her from a rescue, and we know her mom was a Jack Russell, and dad is a presumed hound. The rescue thought maybe a basset hound, but I’m not sure at all…
The rescue folks were calling her Lily, and as we’d already considered that name anyway, we kept it. But my dogs get middle names, and six months in, Lily’s remains elusive. Here’s a list of what we’ve tried on already:
- Pawlitzer – a nod to Lilly Pulitzer, as the girl resided near a country club when we picked her up.
- Bean – as in LL Bean – because she’s definitely more rugged outdoorsy than prepster society girl.
- Lagertha – as in the warrior from Vikings; Lily loves to play rough and doesn’t doubt herself.
- Brienne – as in — of Tarth from Game of Thrones. Lily is a GIANT of a JRT mix, and not done growing!
- Mae – as in Ellie Mae Clampett – because Lily loves to wrestle.
- Limo – because she’s really long in the body.
- Lizzo – because she’s bold and it sounds like limo, AND Gretchen was named for another singer, Gretchen Wilson.
- Beth – as in Beth Dutton, because this dog makes Beth D. look like she DOES have impulse control!
She’s a smart, sweet girl who has no concept of personal space, but she is a handful and requires a firm hand and needs more training and exercise than she’s getting most days. It’s even more complicated because she is hyper-alert and EVERYTHING triggers her. Leaves, squirrels, cats, neighbors walking on HER road… I’m supremely grateful for the co-workers, gym friends and neighbors who have tried to help us help her learn to trust and work on her impulse control, but I’ve had to stop walking her in public, which includes our road, because she’s gotten so big it’s just dangerous to have her flip out – literally. So until we can get her with a trainer who can help us get this managed, we are limited to walking around the house unless I think she’s in a place where we can risk a walk on the road.
Big girl has her first birthday on the 5th. She’s a lovebug, but… Lily is a lot. I’m positive she’s going to mature into an amazing pup, but right now, she’s more work than any other dog I’ve ever had.
She is more “handsy” than any dog I’ve known. Not only does she need a tremendous amount of physical contact, she uses her front paws like hands and will hold hands, pull a hand to her chest for a chest rub (more desirable than a belly rub, evidently), boxes, throws hands, grabs, etc.
She’s brilliant – no, really. She’s a fast learner and tries to anticipate what we might ask of her. She knows at least two versions of most commands (paw and shake, for example, if you want her to put her paw in your hand), and yet… she has no impulse control and cannot execute proper leash manners when temptation strikes.
She is very willing to please, as long as she’s not on one of her tangents. She’s clean by nature and once we cleared her giardia, she’s been perfectly housebroken and crate trained, in spite of living with a cranky, incontinent old dog (Gretchen Greer). When she did have accidents in her crate, she cleaned them up AND folded the mess up in the towel in the crate.
I haven’t been able to have a “made bed” since she came here. She can’t help but tunnel and flip and dig in the covers. See above – she’s brilliant, wants to please us BUT her lack of impulse control rules her brain.
She chews. Oh how she chews. Thank goodness there are fabricated sticks, because those are her favorites, except when she wants to play fetch with a squeaky ball or a plushy toy. She’s not allowed to keep either of those in her reach though, because … impulse control. When the switch flips in her head, she MUST destroy the ball/stuffie and she can do it faster than I can blink. She ate the sole out of several socks before she decided I was SERIOUS and she ought not to do that ever again. She also ate the buttons off of several blouses, shredded roughly a dozen towels (so now her crate is bare), and yet, we can leave her loose in the house while we cut grass and nothing other than her toys has suffered for it.
We feed her via puzzle toys now, to keep that brilliant, mischievous mind working. We walk and play fetch, and we’re trying to find a trainer to work with us, all while still managing a senior Cushing’s girl with baseline anxiety and thyroid issues, who is losing her eyesight, hearing and bladder control. But otherwise, Gretchen is a happy girl who still likes walks, albeit shorter ones, who still gets excited about meals, and has her humans at her beck and call. Gg’s greatest joy is getting Lily in trouble, second only to greeting her people when they return.
It’s not an ideal mix, this senior mess and the wild pup, but they are well-loved and pampered. Gg even has her own credit card now, and paws are crossed Lily remains healthy. Evidently, my motto should be, “No low-maintenance dogs allowed!”