Long Time No See

It’s been quite a while since I have written but, hey, what are you going to do?

Lucy is now almost 15 months old and is developing into a really lovely, well-mannered dog. She is still very energetic and full of fun, but staying consistent in my expectations, and listening to her when she says she needs something, is really paying off.

Back in early April Lucy and I went for a walk in a very lovely nature reserve where I took some great photos of her but, sadly, the camera strap broke. Since I didn’t notice the camera was gone until we were far away from wherever it fell, those pictures are lost and we have nothing more recent than the winter. Hopefully this summer I will be able to replace it. She’s growing fast, and it’s hard to believe she was so small or her hair was that short without photographic proof. Plus she’s just so damned cute!

We moved to an apartment almost two months ago, and it’s working out much better than I expected. I was concerned that Lucy would find it difficult not having a yard, but she has adapted very quickly. She loves going for walkies, which we do much more than before, and she seems to think it’s a pretty good trade. She is a very good apartment dog, to my tremendous relief.

I got Lucy a 50-foot lead so she can get some running in, and I’ve been really surprised and pleased how well she listens when I call her back and that she’s not constantly racing off to the end of the 50 feet. When we walk through the park with that length of leash she stays nicely by my side or a reasonable distance away. At the merest hint of a cat, she will bolt, but she is clearly making great strides in her ability and willingness to listen to me and behave well with more freedom.

What a good girl!

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Lucy and Gracie

It is so nice that they get along so well.

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Lucy is much harder on soft toys than I expected for a spaniel. I have had to sew her fishie many times, and it’s missing a couple fins at this point. She ate the eyes off her pony and chewed a hole in its face. The other day she chewed one of the wings off her duck. Lucy goes through rawhide like nobody’s business.

I had been a little disappointed that she wasn’t keen on tennis balls because they’re cheap and plentiful, but given her proclivity for chewing, it’s really for the best, because swallowing the pieces could be a health hazard.*

Shortly after she came to live with me, I got her a Dogzilla ball (made by Booda). Five months later, it’s still one of her favorite toys. I like it because it’s extremely durable. It’s hard rubber, not air-filled, so it still has the same bounce today as it did when it came out of the package.

Yesterday, while out doing errands, I got her a couple new toys, one of which is a Dogzilla “bone.” She loves it!

It’s like three toys in one! It bounces, so it makes a fun retrieval toy. Because of its shape, it’s fun to play tug with it. And of course, chewing on it is very entertaining for her.

The “dental rope links” were not such a hit. In fact, Lucy doesn’t want to go near them. That surprises me given how much she enjoys playing tug. It’s probably something to do with the fabric. I had gotten her another tug toy made out of similar material that she also avoids.

Maybe she is picking up something that I’m not aware of. Apparently there is a problem with toxicity in many dog toys and bedding.

If you have a question about whether an item sold for use by a dog, cat or other pet is safe, visit HealthyStuff.org to check it out.

*I had heard in the past that the rubber from which tennis balls are made is toxic if ingested. My vet confirms that this is in fact not true.

UPDATE (1/30/11): It turns out that Lucy likes the “dental rings” just fine. In fact, she’s almost destroyed them at this point.

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That’s my girl!

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When it rains, there are snails all over the driveway and concrete walk that Lucy thinks are deliciously crunchy. That’s bad enough. But last week Lucy’s hoomin discovered that Lucy had caught a critter and brought it inside to explore further.

It was a giant slug!

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When Lucy first came to live with her hoomin and Gracie, her hoomin got her a set of Nylabone keys.

She enjoys them so much that the other day her hoomin bought her a three-pack of bacon-flavor “dental chews.”

Lucy says, “Yay!”

One of the “bones” is nobbly, as shown to the left, and the other two are smooth.

Lucy’s hoomin can’t detect any bacon odor and Lucy says she doesn’t know from bacon but assures her hoomin that they are a great gift for any “moderate chewer.”

Lucy’s only complaint about the keys is that she can’t use them to open the door of her house.

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Today Lucy’s hoomin made a fire and cooked food outside, including some delicious corn!

Funny thing is, Lucy doesn’t care for the corn once it’s cooked. She likes it raw or the stripped cooked cob.

Whodda figgered?

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