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Bloviating Zeppelin: Lilly Dog

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Lilly Dog

I haven't had my own dog in roughly 25 years.

The last dog I had was a genetic mutant Rhodesian Ridgeback named Bill, who weighed in at 145 pounds. My former girlfriend had a red-boned coon hound named Ida-Mae. It was clearly her dog and not mine.

This late May I rescued a larger (50 pounds, it turns out!) terrier-looking kind of unit from the Mendocino Shelter. Take a peek at the photographs and tell me what you think the origin of my dog might be. Quite frankly I have no idea, with one exception:

One of my peeps at work suggested it might be an abandoned Portuguese Water Dog.

You know; an ObamaDog.

I checked some websites and compared some photographs.

Holy Christ; my dog might be an ObamaDog.

I'll have to shave her so she looks good walking backwards. And shave her so she doesn't even remotely resemble an ObamaDog. She'd be too embarrassed anyway. Examining the photographs, what kind of dog do you think she is?

Above are the "before" pictures. Below are the "after" her shampoo and cut pictures.

So, a few questions for you, because I've kind of lost touch of the whole "dog" thing -- I've been more of a cat person than a dog person, circumstantially --

What might your, say, top three pieces of advice be for a new dog owner -- for a dog that is roughly 3 to 4 years old?

I have no idea of what her past consisted. The shelter indicated she was turned in because she killed chickens. I'm not quite sure it was quite that simple; I suspect there was more going on than that.

A few things I've concluded since her adoption: she is a rather sensitive dog. I believe I could very easily -- perhaps too easily -- break her spirit if I were to be heavy-handed with her. She takes corrections and input cautiously and with studied consideration. I have yet to have to really raise my voice to her on most occasions.

On the other hand, I can tell that she is a very intelligent dog; she is constantly watching, processing, thinking. I can almost literally see the gears and cogs turning in her head. She's figured out the doors, how to open one with her nose, how to slip out of a standard collar, how to slip out of a halter and harness.

And yet, on the other hand, when I took her for a 2-hour walk this morning up in the mountains near my cabin on a Gentle Leader head-collar, she kept pace, was easily corrected, and was responsive. There were any number of challenges that she faced properly and with few overt corrections. I had her sit and stay when cars passed by. I rewarded her with praise when she reacted properly. She tried to growl and lunge at dogs whose homes we passed, but this behavior was reduced with a curt "no" and a small snap of the lead.

She did generally well when she passed a dog who followed us along the road, unfettered, but I had to make corrections more sharp.

Overall, at the conclusion of her first weekend up in the high country, she performed admirably. She is new and I am new; I can still tell, however: slip that collar or lead off and she'd sky away.

I sense she is still holding me, my wife and the situation at a bit of arm's length. She may want to trust but she is still not quite there yet. The trust is not present.

On the other hand, like a Labrador, she is very "touch"-sensitive. She wants to be right next to me at most times. She'll nudge my hand for petting and scratching. But licks or kisses are mostly straight out. She made a few "drive-by" licks but only in passing.

Another question for you: is it because we are so new in our relationship that trust is just not there? She's a slightly-older dog and perhaps a bit set in her ways.

Any thoughts, dearest readers?



Anonymous Ranando said...

I will tell you exactlly what kind of dog she is..............

A fine dog, that's what she is.

Sun Jun 07, 07:28:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Well I guess, overall, you could make that kind of generic conclusion. I was fretfully hoping for some more specifics.

Although, on the other hand, she is indeed entered into that category.


Sun Jun 07, 07:40:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Thomas Lawrence said...

A terrier mix...almost always a good pooch. In time she'll be great.

Sun Jun 07, 07:44:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Milepost 154 said...

Larry: she is reticent. She is holding back. I somehow want to enable her to let go.


Sun Jun 07, 07:50:00 PM PDT  
Blogger shoprat said...

I've always seen that adopted strays, as long as they weren't taught to be mean, usually turn into very loyal friends, once they overcome the mistrust.

Sun Jun 07, 08:14:00 PM PDT  
Blogger cary said...

I have five adopted dogs (yes, we are back up to five. don't ask.) and the one thing that always helps is training. First, the evaluation - does she sit on command? Stay? From the post, she has those commands - does she do them off-leash also, with nothing but spoken correction? IF she has basic training and commands behind her, then the route YOU need to take is to find a reputable trainer (PetsMart) and ask to audit a class - with or without her. Once you know the commands she is looking for, work with her, and the trust and respect will grow.

Oh, and time. She's probably been shuffled around a bit, and adoptees are usually kind gun-shy about warming up to someone, since they are never sure if they are finally in their "forever home."

Any questions, call me. You should still have my number.

It would appear you have an unfortunate member of the water dog family. Poor thing - what a fate, to have to hear "Obama" everywhere you go...

Mon Jun 08, 12:17:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous WMD_Maker said...

She kind of looks like a dog my brother had once. He called him a Dutch Sheephound. Dumb as bricks and obstinant but still a very sweet dog.

Mon Jun 08, 06:12:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Gayle said...

BZ, around his muzzle he looks like he may be part Schnauzer. I think he's a mix. I'd call that cute pooch an "All American" Dog!

Although it would be fine to have an Obama dog. Bo is my favorite member of the Obama administration. :)

Mon Jun 08, 10:07:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Rivka said...

I am pretty sure she will 'come out' when she gets used to you. Sounds like you are strong, but gentle with her and figuring out that she is sensitive to correction, and as you said with dogs like that, just a little correction usually helps.

Lilly is a cute one that is for sure! Glad you have her!

Mon Jun 08, 10:08:00 AM PDT  
Blogger TexasFred said...

Killed chickens huh??

Stock up on KFC chicken tidbits, no bones, and keep the dog happy...

No all you gotta do is decide, regular or extra crispy??

Mon Jun 08, 12:47:00 PM PDT  
Blogger TexasFred said...

NOW all you gotta decide... :/

Mon Jun 08, 12:48:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Z said...

AHA, you adopted a FEMALE WITH A CHECKERED PAST, huh? :-)

Gayle's right..Schnauzer.
When Mr. Z wakes up from an uncharacteristic NAP, I'll ask him because this dog is the spitting image of his Mikki in Munich!

Lily is adorable! And what a lucky puppy!

Mon Jun 08, 02:49:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Thanks, folks, for your input!


Mon Jun 08, 03:13:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Carlisleboy said...

She is adorable!! And to me it looks like there is a bit of Schnauzer in there!

Mon Jun 08, 08:59:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

Ahh shucks. She most certainly is of mixed heritage. She could be an Obama dog but their hair looks curlier to me. She looks like she has some Scottish terrier to me based upon that muzzle. You know BZ if you are willing to pay a little less than one hundred dollars, you can get her DNA tested with mixed breed dog analysis.

Dogs are like us; they have souls. They can be damaged and need time to recover just like us. Your dog seems like a fine lass but is understandably cautious. Lord know what she's been through; what she has suffered at the hands of humans.

My Lena's best friend is Ginger the pit bull and to this day, Ginger keeps her distance from me. She'll lick my hand and let me get one pet in, but mostly she wants to be with my Lena or she is curious about Enabran.

She is the first dog that approached Eno's stroller that Lena did not well er get angry with...All of this to say that trust has to come in time.

You've probably never just met someone and then it was all good. You had to build and cultivate your relationships even if you were initially comfortable with another person. Same with dogs.

Given her tactile affection, hell she might be mixed with some spaniel too. We rescued Blackee the cocker spaniel and he was prone to wandering but was VERY physically affectionate.

God bless you and your wife for providing a new home to such a wonderful animal.

Hey, how does she get along with the cats?

Tue Jun 09, 09:05:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

And she could be mixed with Schauzer too as I think about it, in light of the other commenters.

Tue Jun 09, 09:07:00 AM PDT  

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